By Megan Block
Think Healthy to Be Healthy
A healthy lifestyle isn’t just about working out and eating well. Living healthy and happy starts with a strong, positive mental outlook. Mental and physical health go hand in hand, and many people struggle with their self-concept and self-worth. When people don’t feel good about themselves, they can go to the extremes of eating way too much or not eating at all. A healthy lifestyle is about balance.
What if you could wake up every day with a smile on your face, thankful for what the day has to offer and ready to get after it? We all have the ability to make that happen. We too often focus on projects at work, other people’s problems and trivialities such as current fads, celebrities, etc. Putting attention toward other people and things distracts our minds from focusing on ourselves. This is where the problem lies. We have to pay better attention to our minds and bodies to stay healthy, to feel joy and to enjoy a true appreciation for life.
“People who have an optimistic mind-set may be more likely to engage in healthy behaviours because they perceive them as helpful in achieving their goals,” says Elizabeth Landau of CNN. If you’re happy and positive about life and experiences, you’re more likely to embrace a lifestyle that includes healthy behaviours. So, what can you do to boost your mental health and foster an optimistic mind-set?
- Smile more. Smiling is the ultimate sign of happiness. Psychologists say that even a forced smile is better than no smile. Smiling is proven to instantly lift your spirits. So, “Say cheese!”
- Change your tone. If you find yourself having negative thoughts or dreading certain situations, turn it around. Make a list of the positive things that you have to look forward to. Find the good in every situation — it’s in there somewhere!
- Take responsibility. So often people blame their personal problems on other people or circumstances. You have the ability to change and to make your life into whatever you want it to be. Don’t ever forget that. Stop merely getting by and start living!
- Be grateful. When the going gets tough, keep going. If I ever catch myself feeling down about something, I take a step back and think about all of the wonderful blessings in my life. The list is never ending! It’s very important to be thankful for everything we have. It reminds us that what we have isn’t so bad after all.
- Surround yourself with positive people. I remember at school, parents and teachers would say: “You are who you hang out with.” They were right! How can you be a positive, upbeat go-getter if you are hanging out with people who waste away their day in front of the TV? Join a gym or try a new class! Surround yourself with positive individuals who inspire you to love your life and yourself.
- Get help. Seeing a therapist or a counsellor is often frowned upon in our society. I find this unfortunate. Therapists and counsellors are professionally trained to help each of us find the light inside, to love ourselves and to enjoy our lives to the fullest. There should be no shame in doing whatever it takes to be the best version of ourselves.
How do you stay happy and enjoy life to the fullest? Share your tips in the comments section below!