Living a healthy life means making lifestyle choices that support your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Managing your health can be challenging at times; while one facet of your wellness demands more attention than others, you may end up struggling to maintain a good balance in other areas. To be of sound body, mind, and spirit, it’s important to pay attention to all aspects of health—your mental, emotional, and spiritual sides all play a role in your physical welfare, and vice versa. A state of optimal well-being means more than just the absence of disease or disorder; it also means having the resources to cope with problems and circumstances beyond your control and recover from difficult or troubling situations. This intersection between health and behavior can help you prevent or at least delay chronic illness, and steer you to make better decisions about your well-being.
How to Live a Healthy Life
What Is Health Psychology?
Health psychology, developed in the late 1970s, is its own domain of inquiry. A health psychologist, also called a medical psychologist, helps individuals explore the link between emotions and physical health. The health psychologist also helps physicians and medical professionals understand the emotional effects of a patient’s illness or disease. These experts practice in such areas of health as chronic pain management, oncology, physical rehabilitation, addiction treatment, and eating disorders, among others. Health psychologists can be found in clinics, hospitals, private practice, and public health agencies. Some also work in corporate settings to promote health and wellness among employees, engaging in workplace policies and decision-making.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is not being selfish. A person must care for and maintain the self for optimal well-being. It seems like a no-brainer. However, one person’s form of care may not work for another person. Every individual must custom-fit the care needed. Some people require less sleep, others require more. For example, some swear by a quick daily nap, others stay up all night after an afternoon siesta. Likewise, Some people swear by practicing meditation, while others spend time at the gym. Other practices are givens, such as eating a well-balanced diet. Here is a general list of what self-care includes.
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get the sleep the body requires
- Exercise or some physical activity (this can mean a daily walk, pulling weeds in the garden, or high-intensity interval training—whatever works)
- Visit the doctor annually
- Meditate or deploy some form of relaxation to reduce stress
- Avoid excessive use of tech devices