The Importance of Investing in Your Health
What comes to mind when you hear the word investment? For some, it might revolve around financial topics. However, an investment in your health doesn’t necessarily require spending any out of pocket money and can give you lifelong benefits that can’t be replicated.
To further discuss the importance of investing in your health, it is essential to understand how health is measured. We can start by breaking it down into two categories— mental health and physical health. Mental health and physical health are intertwined in the sense that without prioritizing your mental wellbeing, it is difficult to then promote your overall physical health and vice versa. Your mental and physical health impacts the present and future. The importance of investing in your health is invaluable if you want to live a long and happy life with those you care about. Here are some tips to get you started:
Arguably, mental health is one of the most important investments you can make in your life. Your mental wellbeing sets the tone for how you can progress and grow. Without having a stable state of mind, it is nearly impossible to fulfill any other needs you or the people that depend on you may have. Your mental health dictates your behaviors and emotions so it goes without saying that prioritizing your needs is instrumental in promoting your overall wellbeing. Because it is so important to invest in your mental health, it is essential to understand ways to prioritize your mental wellbeing.
Focus on yourself
It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling guilty for putting your needs at the forefront of your life. Remember that taking time to focus on you isn’t selfish, instead, it is a necessity for you to be able to be your best self. To focus on yourself, it can help to prioritize achieving mental clarity. With so many distractions throughout the day, it can be difficult to take time to focus on the most important aspect of your life— your mental health. Mental clarity can help you to focus on important tasks you may have and therefore reduce your stress levels.
Did you know that your posture can improve your mental clarity? It could be beneficial to look into the ways that your posture affects your overall mental health and wellness because many don’t even realize that their posture could be the reason behind both physical and emotional difficulties they are facing.
Understand your stressors
There may be times when you feel overwhelmed and can’t pinpoint your feelings to a specific event that occurred. This can sometimes be because of overwhelming stressors in your life that you internalize without even realizing that they are bothering you. Here are some examples of major stressors and how to take control of them.
The burden of financial issues can be a major cause for anxiety and overarching concern showing that financial stress is closely related to your mental wellbeing. It is easy to have ruminating thoughts about whether or not you have enough of a savings account to get by or if your family would be adequately protected if you were not able to financially support them. If these are thoughts that you often have, it can help to devise a plan to regain control of your pecuniary matters.
When creating a financial plan, make sure that you focus on your specific needs and find ways to be proactive about achieving financial security. Making sure that your family and loved ones are financially protected is a great way to secure peace of mind and eliminate some overarching stress you may have about unexpected future events. For example, purchasing a life insurance policy that best fits your needs is a great way to eliminate worry you may have about whether or not your family would be protected in an unforeseen situation. The best type of policy is going to vary depending on individual circumstances, so lean on your partner or family members for support in determining the logistics—like naming a beneficiary. And you can leave it to professionals to help you figure out how much coverage you actually need.
Time management pressure:
Another overarching stressor you may have in your life is time management. It often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day between juggling your career, allocating enough time to spend with family and friends and still making time for hobbies and leisurely activities. While it is easy to sometimes take on too much at one time, it is important to be mindful of the tasks that you agree to so that you’re not setting yourself up for more stress and anxiety about meeting deadlines.
One way to alleviate time management pressure that you may have is by prioritizing organization and scheduling to ensure that you are allocating enough time to get tasks done while also giving you enough opportunity to do things that you enjoy. One way to do this is to create lists that organize your tasks from the most important to the least important. Studies show that those who make to-do lists are more likely to stick to them and therefore have better time management skills and are more productive.
Major life changes
While stress is hard to measure and can sometimes be subjective, there are life events that can cause the most anxiety. Some major life changes such as job loss, divorce, and death of a loved one are causes for all encompassing stress that can affect your day to day life. Even happy events such as a wedding, a new job or promotion, or a new baby can cause a large amount of tension because you are not used to adapting to a new routine that usually accompanies such a big change.
When you are going through a major life change, remember that your brain needs time to adjust. It is normal to feel anxious, stressed, happy, sad or a combination of all. Your feelings are valid and your body will inevitably need time to adjust so while it is tempting to try to continue your routine the way you normally would, try to give yourself some allocated time to decompress. If you feel that you are particularly struggling, try to find people to talk to that can help walk you through this stressful time.
Setting goals and then accomplishing these goals is advantageous for your mental wellbeing. Think of a time that you may have hit a goal that you had been working towards for a while. Those feelings of pride and fulfillment are a great way to boost your frame of mind and can give you more confidence. Experts have looked at the ways in which goal setting and planning can promote overall happiness and the statistics are hard to ignore. For example, those who are pursuing a goal are 19 percent more likely to feel satisfied with their lives.
Being mindful of your physical health is extremely important in promoting your overall wellbeing. Prioritizing physical health has so many benefits such as an improved mood, clearer thinking, memory retention, less risk of disease and illness and more energy. Poor health habits can cause stress making it hard to perform well in all other aspects of your life. This can become a vicious cycle because unhealthy habits can cause stress but then this stress can lead to even bigger health problems. This is why it is so crucial to prioritize your physical health so that you can have more mental clarity. Here are some ways to invest in your physical health.
Have a nutritious diet
While weight loss has been a common justification behind eating healthy, it is important to remember that there are so many other more important reasons for maintaining a healthy diet other than hitting a certain goal weight. Eating proper foods that fuel your body have many other added health benefits. For example, eating a nutrient-rich diet can drastically increase your energy and therefore boost your productivity and mood.
It is also important to be mindful of the fact that eating foods that are more nourishing and have better health properties will help you to feel full longer than eating foods high in fat, sugar and oil. While junk food can be a nice treat sometimes, snacks such as chips and candy bars are high in empty calories which will cause an unnecessary spike in your blood sugar levels and then make you crash and feel hungry soon after you consume them. Feeling hungry can lead to irritability and fatigue making it difficult to feel motivated.
Physical health doesn’t necessarily equate to working out five times a week or being able to run a marathon. Experts have discussed the negative health implications of being sedentary for the majority of the day. Did you know that the average American sits for 12 hours a day? This is an extremely long time to be inactive and can lead to poor circulation, weight gain, and an increased risk of diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In most cases, the majority of the day is spent at work sitting at a desk, so finding ways to practice better posture and increase mobility while you’re in the office can be a good place to start.
Sometimes it seems like the only way to achieve physical health is to go to the gym and workout for a set amount of time. While there are obvious benefits to having a strict workout schedule, that is not easily attainable for some so instead of feeling discouraged, try to get creative about ways to be mobile throughout the day. Additionally, look into simple life changes that you can make such as purchasing a standing desk for your office space, investing in products to improve your posture, making it a priority to take a walk every night, or make time on weekends to find activities that promote mobility.
Get enough sleep
Your sleep habits have a significant impact on your overall health profile so it is important to make it a point to try and get enough sleep every night. When you get enough sleep, you are more likely to be productive and concentrated throughout the day. This is because during your sleep cycle, your brain recovers from all the processing it had to do throughout the day and also re-energizes the cells in your body. Without adequate sleep, there is a heightened risk of health issues such as heart disease, lower immunity, weight gain and high blood pressure.
Did you know that in some cases, sleep issues can be traced back to problems with posture? If your spine is not aligned during the night it can sometimes be the cause for waking up with back or neck pain. Since it can be difficult to be mindful of your posture when you are sleeping, it could be beneficial to look into ways to maintain healthy body positioning throughout the night to help you get a better night’s rest.
Increase your water intake
A quick way to start promoting better health habits is to increase the amount of water you drink throughout the day. The studies on the correlation between drinking enough water and your overall health are significant and hard to ignore. For instance, water helps in digestion, eliminating waste from your body, it protects your organs and joints and regulates your body temperature. If you find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day, there are other ways that you can increase your water intake such as infusing fruit in your water bottle or eating foods that are high in water.
Since mental and physical health are intertwined, try to take steps towards investing in both pieces of your overall health profile. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to make major changes all at once. Every little change you make towards investing in your health counts and is an achievement to be celebrated!