Don’t focus on ‘health’

By: Richard Bruce

What does being healthy mean to you? In general it seems to mean being free of disease, illness or injury. Those are the common goals.

As you think about it, consider what it would take for you to feel truly healthy, and be aware of your mindset. How did you start to feel about taking that journey – that it would be too much hassle? Does it make you feel overwhelmed? Does it all seem too hard – or do you feel excited and motivated?

In my experience, most people definitely don’t feel the latter to begin with. And it’s those mental stumbling blocks that hold everyone back and that some can’t get past – but the trick is all in the mindset.

For me, it’s about positivity, optimism and the contentment that comes from making healthy life choices every day. Having almost died so early on in my life (which I spoke about in my last HM column) I see every day as a bonus and for me health is a bi-product.
‘Health’ is such a huge topic, but a combination of things in the right doses keeps me feeling healthy. They are what I call my ‘four pillars of health’.

• The first one is movement. I move a lot to maintain a strong foundation of natural movement. Every day I work on maintaining the freedom to move without pain or injury. • Nutrition – I choose foods to consume with intent. I eat first to support my body’s needs, to heal physiological imbalances. Nourishment can also lower inflammation and lower risk of disease. This does not mean sacrificing the enjoyment of eating. I love a good glass of wine and some chocolate a few times a week. • I keep my sleep time regular. I work to support my body’s need for deep and restorative rest and try to be aware of my body’s sleep rhythm. • Mindset – I suffered from depression for a short time after my accident, which has made me very aware of my feelings towards things. I focus more on positivity, gratefulness, optimism, happiness, lightheartedness, and a good balance of being aware of what truly matters and what does not.

But even with all the above, I have come to realise that if you have no support or meaningful connection to others – either through community, family or friends – it’s difficult to sustain a healthy state of mind. That is the secret ingredient that ultimately drives, and helps achieve, health and happiness.

Living mindfully and in a contented way is essential if we are to get the energy and commitment we need to achieve health and wellbeing in the long term.

So find your pillars of health, and set off on your journey with a focus not on your health, but on your mindset towards being healthy.

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