Taking a moment to pause and reflect is a great habit to include in your routine. As our comprehension of health evolves and we learn to understand that our health includes our mental and emotional state as well as our physical and nutritional habits, it is important for each of us to survey our wellness holistically, to ensure we are headed in the right direction in our entirety.
To understand your health and wellness, means asking yourself a range of questions on topics that society is only just beginning to understand; It wasn’t too long ago that health and wellness focused exclusively on nutrition and exercise and on a societal level, weight loss was the only concrete measure of our health. As a result of this, or maybe because of this, we have endured almost a century of diet crazes, dangerous FADS and expensive exercise classes over-promising on their results without explaining the commitment required from their attendees. Thankfully, the UK’s health and fitness industry has come a long way since this. Although there is still a long way to go with many ‘qualified’ fitness trainers and organisations still overlooking fundamental aspects of health and wellness, the health and fitness industry is now beginning to acknowledge that there is so much more to understanding our personal health.
Being healthy still includes exercising and eating nutritional food but those measures alone are not enough to ensure our overall wellness. Our bodies are a series of complex integrated systems that do not stand alone. Science has opened the door to a greater understanding of the importance of stress management, hormonal balance, depth of sleep, food choices, and mental and emotional health. Singular approaches to health do not work. So it is important that we ask ourselves questions from multiple angles to determine if we are in balance, and therefore, truly well.
To help you to understand your current wellbeing, ask yourself these 5 wellness questions…
1) DO YOU EVER STOP AND TAKE A MOMENT TO REFLECT?
Do you ever just stop what you are doing and take a breath. To take a moment to notice what emotions you are feeling? To acknowledge the thoughts you are thinking? To see where your energy level is? To check that your posture is good? How many times can you honestly say that you are truly in the moment and really enjoying the task you are doing?
Do you ever stop to ask yourself, are you doing what you want to be doing at this very moment?
In our fast paced day-to-day regime of “doing”, it is easy to forget to check in with ourselves. Our minds are hardwired to create routines and habitual behaviors that we grow up with and continue to cement into our daily lives and before we realise what has happened, we are living the same routine, day after day after day, completely oblivious to the repetition of our routine as we mindlessly perform our tasks without a second thought to any dreams or aspirations we have about what we really want to be doing. This state of mind is a perfect stage to get lost in as you continue in a loop while your to-do list, doubts and anxieties dictate your life and blind you to the fact that you do have choices and every morning when you wake up, you choose what you do with your day.
Each time you stop and reflect, it allows you that moment to remind yourself that you do have choices. We all have choices. Some choices are easier to make than others, such as where you would like to go on holiday as opposed to whether to leave your 9 to 5 job to pursue your real passion as a career?
By stopping periodically to take a moment to yourself, to look at what you are doing versus what you want to be doing, you will find yourself better placed to identify what it is that you really want to be doing with your days and what you want out of your life overall. By mindfully invoking these pauses and encouraging your curiosity, eventually as your realisation grows, you will start to take steps towards realising your dreams.
This process does not happen easily and it requires you to remain mindful. This is why we practice mindfulness and integrate it as a foundational principle in our LIFE Fit Programme
2) ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AT THIS VERY MOMENT?
The word happiness is often associated with fleeting moments of pleasure. It is often a misunderstood emotion believed to be felt because of the actions of another towards us. The problem with this is that, if you have placed the responsibility of your happiness in the hands of another to fulfill, not only have you unfairly burdened someone with something that is not theirs to carry but you will ultimately be chasing a feeling that will never truly be quenched.
We have been led to believe that happiness is something to chase and that we will find happiness through materialistic objects. That we will be happy if we buy that perfect new outfit, or own that little sports car, or once we have lost some weight or moved into the dream house. It is the classic ‘the grass is always greener’ syndrome. The fact is, the grass will be greener on the side that is tended to the most. No amount of items purchased, or weight lossed will change the person we are within and until you are truly happy with yourself and who you are, you will not find happiness through any other attempts.
We all understand how good it feels to do something that helps another person feel good but this is not to be confused with thinking that any one person can make any other person happy. You are not responsible for anybody else’s happiness and nobody else is responsible for yours. Happiness is something that only you can create within you.
Once you have accepted your past, are confident and joyful with who you are now and are excited about who you are growing into then you will start to feel happiness within you. You will learn that you are not reliant on anybody else for happiness and you will understand that while a sports car may be nice to have, your happiness doesn’t depend on it because you are already happy with yourself and this is the only place where happiness can be found.
This can be a long, confusing and sometimes painful journey to take and this is why we incorporate it in our LIFE Fit Programme
3) DOES YOUR ENERGY-IN MATCH YOUR ENERGY-OUT?
Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery. Every day, you perform actions that both charge your energy and drain your energy. Eating nutritional food at the right times, drinking enough water throughout the day, having a regular exercise regime, moving periodically throughout the day and getting enough sleep each night are all fundamental elements for your health and wellness.
Your brain and your body are constantly working, even while you sleep, they are using energy; lots of energy. Your energy comes from good food sources and your energy levels will be at their optimum if you are being fuelled with complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats at the correct quantities.
Your energy is used by the activities you perform throughout the day. The more active you are, the more energy you use.
This sounds like a simple calculation to live by but it is very common to get the balance between energy-in and energy-out completely wrong, in either direction. Whether you are taking in too much energy by eating too much compared to the activity level you perform each day or not taking in enough energy by not eating enough while trying to complete high daily activity levels, either imbalance can be devastating on your health both physically and mentally.
Energy when discussed in this context is measured in calories. Food and drink contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the amount of each will determine how many calories are in that food or drink. Your body uses the energy from the food you feed it to function and to perform the tasks you ask of it. The more active you are, the more calories you will use. So to put simply, if you eat more calories than you use each day, you will gain body fat. This overtime can lead to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. On the flip-side, if you are not consuming enough calories to support the activities you are performing each day, you will lose body fat. This too can lead to health issues if continued over a period of time.
Both methods are used when trying to gain weight or lose weight and when done under controlled limitations, this is not necessarily a concern. The problems arise when these methods are used obsessively by someone desperately seeking a certain body image or mindlessly by someone who is unaware of the consequences of their eating versus activity levels and therefore continues with this energy-in versus energy-out imbalance, completely unaware that this could well be the reason for any physical or mental ill-health they are suffering with.
To find your balance with your energy-in versus energy-out can be tricky and will vary from person to person. It is a vitally important aspect of your overall health and this is why this is a fundamental aspect within the LIFE Fit Programme.
4) ARE YOU WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF?
Do you have a plan for your future? This could be anything that is important to you. Whether you want to learn a new skill, visit a new country, retire and travel the world, build your own house in the country, learn to meditate every day, master a headstand or run a marathon, it is a very good idea to harvest and nurture these dreams. It is all too easy to allow each day to pass by in a flurry of repetitive tasks and before you know it the weeks, months and years have passed by and you are no closer to achieving your dream. If you have any goals and dreams it is important to put a plan in place to help you to achieve them.
Without a plan, how are you to know how to get to where you want to go and if you don’t know how to get to where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Any goal is achieved successfully with a series of small, incremental steps. Each step, no matter how small or seemingly trivial, will be a step closer to your goal. Learn how to achieve your goals by reading 6 Steps on How To Create Real Change
If you do not have any goals that you are currently pursuing, perhaps now is a good time to review your passions. Write yourself a list of 5 things that you would love to do each day. Then write yourself a list of 5 things that you do everyday. Now compare the two lists. If the lists do not match, perhaps now is a good time to review what it is that you want from your life and start making a plan to see that you get there.
These are not necessarily easy steps to follow, especially as we live our lives through busy days of home, work, social and family commitments. As John Lennon said “life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” This is why we incorporate goal setting, planning and actioning into our LIFE Fit Programme
5) DO YOU FEEL ABLE TO ASK FOR HELP?
Asking for help can often be the bravest thing you can do? It can also be the one thing you do that could accelerate you to progress further than you had even imagined.
Sometimes the smartest way of getting to where you want to go is by asking someone who knows how to get there. This isn’t a sign of weakness, it is an acknowledgement of your own growth and the recognition that someone can assist in your development without diminishing your efforts.
We each have our strengths and weaknesses and the world is a better place for it as it allows people to grow by both sharing and accepting knowledge, skills, passions and expertise with and from others.
We have a wealth of knowledge, passion and expertise at LIFE Fit and love nothing more than sharing this with as many people as we can. If you feel you would benefit from this, there is a quick form below to make it even easier for you to get in touch with us. Simply complete the form and we will be in touch with you, ready to help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.