Health and wellness comes in many forms and one type that is consistently missed is self-care. What I mean by self-care is taking care of your self mentally, physically and emotionally. Finding personal wellness through loving and healing yourself first and foremost is the key.
If you can reconcile your life by putting your own common good first, the positive effect on those around you is equally profound. If you have self-doubt, live an unhappy life and feel like you are not good enough, then it becomes impossible to help yourself and to affect others in a positive way.
I am going to keep this column's thoughts short and to the point on self-care. We live in such a chaotic world where we worry about so much unnecessary nonsense. The feeling that we need to stay in control of things out of our control takes us down a path of mental unwellness. These life demands weigh differently on each of us individually based on age and gender.
For women, it is true gentlemen, that they carry a disproportionate load of life's stresses by taking care of family, home, and finances leaving them feeling empty and often lonely. Ladies, it is equally valid that many men struggle quietly, feeling they aren't good enough among peers, jobs and taking care of the family.
All of these feelings lead to living inside our heads churning thoughts of "Am I good enough or appreciated" which then starts a cycle of poor self-care. For some, this leads to abusive behaviors such as drinking, drugs, becoming sedentary, poor nutrition, depression and chronic disease.
What's the answer to start changing our thoughts and feelings? First, it is important to understand you can put you first. Somewhere along the way, people have developed this idea that selfless acts and taking care of others are more important than taking care of yourself. Some notion that sacrifice and martyrdom come before self is ridiculous.
If you have children, elderly family or loved ones who need you, taking care of yourself so you can make a difference in their life is critical. Prolonged psychological stress, self-doubt and a poor mindset about yourself is the biggest enemy of your mental health. Here are a few ways you can start to shift your ways in mindful wellness that can sustain your feelings of loving yourself and knowing you are more than good enough for this crazy world.
1. Stop doubting yourself. The world you live in starts with thoughts in your head. You are in control of those thoughts. Stay positive and believe in who you are. Know you are a gift in this world. Thinking you are here for a purpose and you are a contributor is not BS, but a true aspect you need to celebrate in yourself.
2. Embrace other's happiness, work always to support the good of yourself and others. Negative feelings and actions are harmful to everyone, but it will be you that suffers the most from negativity. Mean, unhappy people live a miserable life, so do not be that person.
3. Physical movement is one of the very best weapons to equip and prepare your brain for life's stresses and doubts. Being active by doing regular exercises alters how your brain processes mood, focus acuity and self-repair mechanisms in the body. Brain cells located in the frontal cortex, temporal lobe, and hippocampus get a transformative effect from exercises. These cellular level changes increase neurotransmitters such as dopamine serotonin noradrenaline and overtime changes your brain's physiology. All these positive changes in your brain change how you perceive yourself, your worth and how to interact with others in significant ways.
4. Feeling lonely is honestly less about being alone and more about feeling under appreciated. Don't view yourself as lonesome, instead engage in meaningful activity with others. Don't exclude yourself, become a contributor as a method of feeding your wellbeing. You have so much to offer and that often gets lost in our thought process.
5. Eat from a whole healthy nutrition plan. Food and beverages can affect your mood, stress, anxiety and your overall health. I know I write a lot about nutrition, but please understand foods can change your brain and thought processes, either for good or bad.
We are what we think we are and if you can believe that, changing how your mind processes thought and how you think will improve your health and wellness. Be mindful, don't overthink and recognize that physical activity, nutrition, loving yourself and being positive in other people's lives will increase your self-worth and ensure that you are good enough.
A recognized health and wellness presenter, fitness trainer and now primal health coach in the Inland Northwest. Now in his eighth year of bringing health and wellness through his writing, teaching and coaching, Judd delivers his well-rounded message of mindfulness, nutrition and fitness to readers and clients alike.