The most widely discussed topic in this age of technological dependence is wellbeing. It can be attained by having good health, both physically and mentally. You need to consciously improve both body and mind if you want to become the best version of yourself. Christian Fletcher, who is CEO of Atlanta based LifeBrite labs, believes that eating healthy is something that those who take their health seriously do subconsciously. You can’t fuel your body for physical activity with salt, fat, and sugar.
Similarly, for mental wellbeing, you need to approach life with a sense of calmness and peace. If you have not read about the Japanese concept of Ikigai – reasons for wellbeing, I would recommend researching it. In the book Ikigai – the Japanese secret of a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. There are summaries of interviews of the eldest members of the community in Okinawa – which is famous for its life expectancy. Some of the words of wisdom from those over 100 years of age and living a healthy life are:
- Don’t worry – The secret is not to worry and keep your heart young. Say hello to strangers and smile.
- Cultivate good habits – Go for a morning walk, eat a bit of everything, add variety to your meal, exercise daily, grow vegetables in your backyard, stay active not just because of your job but do what makes you happy.
- Nurture your friendships every day – Talk to people you love each day, organize get-togethers, drink tea, sing, dance, and enjoy life. Volunteer for community work in the areas which interest you.
- Live an unhurried life – Always remind yourself to slow down and relax. Avoid multitasking. Perform many tasks each day, but do one thing at a time, without getting overwhelmed.
It is super easy, right?
Working towards a healthy lifestyle is not so difficult, after all. We can easily attain it if we make small lifestyle changes. We also have the advantage of utilizing sports science. According to Christian Fletcher, a meal that has an equal amount of fruits, vegetables, grains and protein is a good baseline. By getting the essential vitamins and nutrients required for daily living and wellbeing, you’ll also feel more energized by eliminating chemical additives and fillers.
Ever wondered how athletes stay super-fit? You may say it’s their job to stay fit to perform, and I won’t disagree with that, however, you can learn a few basics from their eating habits. It would be best to start consciously, and in no time, it would be ingrained in your subconscious mind. After a while, you will be doing this without effort. It seems as though the CEO of LifeBrite labs is not just preaching but adhering to this philosophy. He is a chef that believes in cooking homemade meals.
Most nutritionists will tell you not to overeat at one sitting. It doesn’t matter how much you eat, but what and how well you eat. Guess what, those Centenarians from Island of eternal (almost) youth, Okinawa, also follow the same principles when it comes to snacking. They support the 80% rule, which states one should stop consuming as soon as you have reached 80% fulfillment. Also, eating multiple meals a day helps tremendously.
What about mental wellbeing?
You must have heard of the saying “A Healthy mind resides in a Healthy Body”. If you eat healthy, stay active and take care of your body, your mind will be healthy as well. The opposite is also true. If you are at peace with yourself and have a purpose in your life, your body will be less prone to sickness.
We have already gone through a few basic pointers above such as living an unhurried life, staying close to loved ones, doing community work and so on. Apart from these practical things, which we most often ignore but work wonderfully, we should focus on cultivating a habit of reading books. It’s almost a meditational activity.
Each one of us has something we love doing most. It may be fishing, gardening, hiking, cooking, singing, dancing, painting or writing. Be sure to do what you love and what makes you happy every day, even if it’s for 30 minutes. Yoga and meditation are proven to reduce stress and help find physical and mental balance.
I firmly believe that although we have become aware of the importance of mental health, the focus remains on physical health since that’s something easily visible. It’s about time we start taking care of both simultaneously.