1) Good Quality And Quantity Of Sleep & Healthy, Loving, Close Relationships
I find it hard to pick between sleep and good relationships as the most important element to health & happiness, because they’re both of a similar nature. They’re similar because if they’re in place, they make everything else a hell of lot easier. In other words if you have stress factors in life but sleep really well, you are in a much better position to tackle those challenges, and the same goes for if you have close family & friends around you to support you in times of need. Whereas, if you don’t get good sleep and are in damaging relationships or are socially isolated, challenges feel much more difficult to get through. Also, there are some scary facts about how lack of sleep literally DESTROYS your health! Read Matthew Walker’s ‘Why We Sleep’, if you’re interested. Same goes for trauma & neglect in a close relationship – for this subject I’d suggest reading up about the “neurobiology” of love, and googling a great couple therapist called Stan Tatkin.
2) Good Breathing Patterns
Next, I’ve placed good breathing patterns over eating and nutrition. Why? Well, if you can breathe efficiently then it’s a good sign your nervous system / whole physiological system is in a good state, which means you’ll be better at digesting and assimilating food. It doesn’t matter how good your nutrition is if your body is in a no good state to process that food and benefit from it. A healthy nervous system and organs that function well are much preferable to good eating injected into a system that’s a total mess!
3) Good Nutrition And Healthy A Relationship With Food
In terms of food, it’s more important how you eat than what you eat. You can have a super “clean” diet but simultaneously have an eating disorder, which will be terrible for your overall health! So I like to include our relationship with food under general nutrition, because this relationship is all about how we NOURISH ourselves. Our eating habits can be linked to a lot of other mental and emotional factors in our lives, and reflect a lot about our inner-selves. Of course eating “clean”, healthy food is great, it’s just if we can add it to a mentally “clean” attitude towards our food then we’d be onto a winning combo, for sure!
4) Good Movement / Sports / Exercise
Last of all, the ability to move well. I prefer to think in those terms instead of simply “exercising”. Moving well is more important than spending 30 minutes on the dreadmill every day going absolutely nowhere fast. What does moving well mean? It means good coordination, accuracy, reactions, mobility, & body awareness etc – basically a much more holistic look at fitness. Sports often hone these skills naturally, as they test our speed, power and reactions through a variety of movements. But if you aren’t into sports there are plenty of other ways you can challenge yourself in the gym and at home that are, to be honest, a lot more fun than simply running on a stationary piece of equipment! Moving also just makes us feel good as beings which are also animal in nature. Think about how miserable animals are when they’re locked up in a space that’s too small for them. They hate it! They want to be able to explore freely. We have the same drives, and there’s a host of feel good stuff that chemically happens in our bodies and brains when we exercise!
I always take these health factors into account when working with my clients, and it usually becomes quickly evident which of these areas are lacking and thus need to be prioritised. If you are struggling with ill health, negative relationships, or just general unhappiness, a combination of holistic medicine, yoga therapy and some kind of movement-based training could potentially help a lot! I know these things have totally transformed my life. I’m always happy for a casual chat with anyone who wants to find out a bit more. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on IG @biawellbeing if you have any questions, or would like to get started and book a holistic health assessment.