How Do You Define Healthy Living

By Amarachukwu Opkunobi

I picked up my phone to write this piece on the 19th day of January 2022. With what is remaining of the year 345 days and it will be over. You think that’s a lot to keep you delaying from what you had wanted to start doing from the first day of January, 2022? I guess you have put down new year resolution with the mindset of getting through with them before the year runs out. It is actually possible that you can get them all through the year.

But then, science teaches that all objects remain at rest till a force is applied to it. That’s to say, an object is set in motion only when a force is applied to it. Dear reader, this is just to remind you that, that resolution of yours will remain in an ordinary paper and never reached, if you do not apply a force.

Get to find the right force that suits your resolution and apply it rightly to it. Put a square peg in a square hole and a circle peg in a circle hole, that way, you’ll move a step to achieving that resolution.

One thing, I have always tried my best to inculcate in others the act being intentional about their actions, especially those ones that are propellers of their lives like the way you live each day, your mode of dressing, talking, drinking and what have you. So I want us to get to be intentional about our decisions, choices, friends we make and the food we eat. For this edition, let’s take a look at  healthy living.

Many of us have defined health as merely the absence of diseases which have narrowed our minds to believing that we are healthy only when we are void of a particular physiological malfunction.

Health in this concept, according to World Health Organization, encompasses all spheres of life as defined by them; Health is a complete social, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of diseases or infirmities.

Social well-being: Jenna Sinclair sees Social well-being as the sharing, developing, and sustaining meaningful relationships with others.

This allows you to feel authentic and valued, and provides a sense of connectedness and belonging. For example, when you work in a team over a period of months, or years, even remotely, you have an opportunity to get to know more about your colleagues than just their skills with a spreadsheet. Some become good acquaintances. You share glimpses of your personal lives and develop routines or inside jokes.They notice if you’re not there.

Some become friends. You have deeper conversations, about how you got to where you are, or about your hopes and aspirations for the future.

You likely see them on bad days when you can lend a hand and on great days when they return the favour.  Both of these types of relationships contribute to social well-being by bringing enjoyment and allowing you to be seen, appreciated, and valued for yourself.

Emotional well-being: Often times we conflict our emotional and mental state. There is actually a thin line between the two. Emotional well-being is the ability to safely express or manage your emotions, as well as generate positive emotions. It begins with awareness of what you are feeling.

However, many people struggle with emotional illiteracy. That is, they’re unable to label what they are feeling, and therefore unable to communicate it.

Taking time to engage with activities that generate positive emotion in you is as important as managing negative emotions. For example, research has pointed again and again to the power of gratitude for generating positive feelings. Make a practice of taking a pause every day to be grateful for three specific things.

Emotional well-being ties into social well-being because we can better form and sustain relationships with others when we are able to regulate our own emotions.

Negativity and unpredictable extremes make forming and keeping close relationships more difficult. At the same time, having meaningful relationships tends to make us feel better and is a good motivator for managing our emotions. Your relationship with others also tell so much of how healthy you are.

Physical well-being:

Physical well-being relates to your physical health including your sleep, hygiene, nutrition, and exercise. It is equally important to take care of your body and mind because they work together to determine your health and of course your physiological functioning.

You’ve likely experienced how restorative a full night’s rest can be to your body and mind, and much happier you are when keeping up with regular exercise. Monitoring caffeine, sugar, and alcohol intake, while increasing hydration, can greatly contribute to your peak states of physical well-being.

When we feel physically well, we are more open to others and to new ideas, people, and experiences. This openness is inviting, creating the opportunities for meaningful relationships to develop.

When we’re exhausted or low-energy, we tend to be more absorbed in ourselves, more likely to perceive threat from others, and just less willing to strike up a conversation or extend ourselves to try new things. When our physical well-being is low, our social well-being can suffer.

Mental well-being : According to World Health Organization, mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. It is an established fact that there is no health without mental health. Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

How far can you hold a constructiuve discuss? How good are you in harnessing your intellects to drive an idea. What is your mental thought about life. These things define your health. Your mental wellbeing puts you on a pedestal that proves who you are without having to say a word about it.

Spiritual well-being: Emily Smith wrote, ‘Spiritual wellness is being connected to something greater than yourself and having a set of values, principles, morals and beliefs that provide a sense of purpose and meaning to life, then using those principles to guide your actions’.

Emily Smith also added that Spiritual wellness has the power and capability to make our decisions and choices easier, ground us during periods of change and give us the resilience to survive with grace and inner peace in the face of adversity. Having a spiritual element in our lives may even help us heal when suffering from a physical or mental condition.

When striving to develop and practice your own spiritual wellness, it is best to find the technique and approach that works for you; similar to the other dimensions of wellness, there is no “one size fits all” approach. You may decide to take up any of the following, which ever that works for you: meditation or yoga, praying or taking part in organized religion, spending quiet time alone pondering the meaning of life, building awareness through journaling, serving your community, spending time in nature,  and appreciating music and the arts.

Don’t leave your life bare because you feel you are physically healthy. Getting the right standard for a healthy living is quite taskful but can be made easy. Each day, ensure that you monitor the above five parameters in measuring health in your life. Make it a daily routine. Don’t neglect any of the parameters as they all intertwine.