Healthy habits and healthy lifestyle tips
There’s no doubt that we all want a healthy lifestyle that supports us to have healthy habits as we know that this supports our physical and mental wellbeing.
There are rising levels of mental and physical ill-health, including cardiovascular disease, lung disease and obesity. There is an increasing number of daily internet searches for a better way of living and this reflects that people are searching for answers.
Habits are something we can often feel we have no choice over – just like statistics, which seem to be beyond our influence – yet when we make a choice to support our health, it changes our habits.
The state of world health
Our life choices are therefore reflected in the statistics for world health and it can be seen the way we are living is not producing such good results:
- Cardiovascular (heart) disease is the number one cause of death globally; more people die annually from heart disease than from any other cause
- There were 4.1 million adults in the world diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and 8.2 million deaths from cancer
- There are 34 million people living with HIV
- Lung disease currently affects 64 million people worldwide, with total deaths projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years
- About 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity; around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions
- 350 million people suffer from depression in the world, making it a leading cause of disability worldwide
What would happen if we started to live in a way that supported good physical and mental health?
Developing better choices through the day can support living in a way that nurtures our good physical and mental health. Such choices can become routine and develop a supporting rhythm for us to take better care of ourselves and our health.
What is a rhythm?
A rhythm is the quality we are in as we live our day; it is making choices to build certain habits or routines into our life. We can make small choices that do have a big impact on our lives.
For example, what thoughts do we allow ourselves to have when we wake, when we shower, etc? What is going on? Is it constant criticism? Building a different rhythm can support us with our thoughts and so give us a different quality in ourselves.
How to build a rhythm
Your choices in your day start as soon as you open your eyes. A great idea is to choose to have a habit or daily ritual of focussing on your body on awakening, to feel what it’s like after a night’s sleep.
- You could choose to connect with yourself and your own breath to begin your day really connected with you: breathing gently and focussing on the tip of your nose to bring presence that you take into your day
- You can choose how you will get up from bed – do you throw the bedding back and throw or drag yourself out of bed, or do you move the sheets back with care, tenderness and sensitivity . . . and it’s good to remember that men are equally as tender and sensitive as women
- How much time you allow for a shower in the morning is another choice: do you rush or have you made the healthy choice to get up early enough to have time to be with yourself as you prepare for the day?
- You can continue building your rhythm throughout your whole day by focussing on the gentleness and sensitivity of the tips of your fingers, feeling your feet touch the floor, how gently we close a door and noticing the quality we are in when we get in and out of our cars
Every choice matters when we are building a rhythm to support great health, because every choice affects the quality of how you are.
For example: is your quality rushed and anxious, or steady and connected?
Every small choice builds into the quality of our rhythm
You can see that the small choices we make – from what time we wake, connecting with ourselves and having that as a point of reference in our body, to how we move, how we shower and dress, how we treat our body through the day, what thoughts we allow, what food and exercise we choose for ourselves – all add up to form the big picture.
Our quality and rhythm can support us to live one of two ways: in connection to our body, or in disconnection from our body.
The small choices we make from day-to-day can build a supportive rhythm. A healthy lifestyle that supports us to have a healthy rhythm supports our physical and mental wellbeing. The rising levels of mental and physical ill-health, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, lung disease and depression, are indicators that what we have done has not worked and that we do need to look at another way.