Healthy Living Principles

If you look around you at the people who are successful in life, you can probably identify some common traits among them. One feature I have found that has been part of the successful people I know is the ability to turn certain principles of success into habits.

Success principles apply to everything we do in life whether it be our careers, relationships with others, or even wellness. So, identifying the laws that can keep you well, and making those habits is a great way to have true welfare be part of your life.

Total wellness requires that we focus on physical, emotional, and spiritual health. As you might imagine, these three areas are inter-related, and often, being out of balance in one, can negatively affect another. Think about how depression can lead to over-eating, which in turn will lead to obesity.

As we all know, habits are hard to break, whether they be good or bad. Any activity that you can commit to practice for 30 days can quickly become a habit. So, if you are going to develop habits, you might as well develop good ones!

You'd be surprised how approaching life from a principled perspective as it relates to wellness will positively impact everything else you do too. So, to get you started, here are the 10 principles we feel are most important to achieving total wellness:

1) Drink Water - Water is entirely the most important nutrient we consume each day since it is essential for everything our bodies do. Water makes it possible for our cells to get nutrients, to keep our blood flowing, to cleanse waste product from our bodies.

Conventional wisdom used to be that our bodies require 8 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but recent studies have shown that the typical person may need almost twice that amount depending on their body weight and activity level. Here is a formula that will allow you to determine your daily needs:

Multiply your weight by .04 and then multiply that figure by 2. The resulting value is the number of 8-ounce glasses of water your body needs to remain healthy.

While drinking water is vital, it is also essential to be drinking pure water. The water we drink is continuously treated with chemicals that find their way into our bodies through the foods we eat, and when we drink water, and the more you can minimise the intake of these foreign substances, the healthier you will be. Consider investing in a high-quality water filtration system. You can get a counter-top or under-the-sink model for about $500.00, and frankly, that could be the best gift you give your family. Using a high-quality filter will allow you to reduce the cost of pure water to a small fraction of what we pay for bottled water, which many times are just filtered water.

2) Breathe Deeply - Like water, air is essential to life. Also like water, air exchange removes waste (carbon dioxide) from our bodies. Deep breathing, in addition to facilitating a continuous and abundant supply of oxygen, can also energise you and relieve stress. Great times to focus on your breathing include while you're commuting, during a break at the office, or even while you're watching your favourite television show. If you are in a convenient place, it's a great idea to combine breathing with a good stretching routine.

3) Sleep Peacefully - Quality sleep in necessary to give your body the opportunity repair and rejuvenate itself. This cycle is essential to total wellness, and we often underestimate it. Sleep deprivation inhibits the body's ability to repair itself, to produce the chemicals it needs to nourish and rejuvenate, and also interferes with your ability to function emotionally.

Quality sleep begins with keeping your bedroom free of clutter. Don't use it for activities other than rest. In other words, do your reading, your homework, and your television watching somewhere else. This will condition your brain that when you enter the bedroom, it can expect rest!

Be sure the windows are well covered so that sunrise doesn't interrupt your complete sleep cycle prematurely. While the thought of waking up to sunrise is appealing aesthetically, it's not necessarily what your body needs.

4) Eat nutritiously - We could talk about this one forever. Food, of course, provides your body with the nutrients it needs to manufacture all the substances that are necessary for proper bodily functions and health. Food is the most potent drug we take!

Unfortunately, the foods we eat just don't contain all the nutrients necessary to total wellness, even when we are eating healthy diets. Our agricultural practices have led us to produce foods that in some instances don't contain half the nutrients they once did. This is why good diet must include proper nutritional supplements. However, be careful not to rely on just any supplements. You should avoid synthetic vitamins and food supplements, and choose whole food supplement products instead. Synthetics directly don't provide the same level of potency that nature's own compilation does.

5) Be Active - Sedentary lifestyles are leading us to more and more wellness deficiencies, contributing to obesity, and otherwise, negatively affecting the ability to remain healthy. The body needs activity to keep the heart healthy, to prevent bones from becoming weak, and to stimulate growth. So, balance the amount of time you spend sitting at the computer or television, with some yard work, or even a walk with a friend or family member. Being consistent about regular physical activity will do more for you than you know.

6) Be Giving and Forgiving -
Our emotional health is tied to minimising stress and experiencing emotionally rewarding moments. Both of these goals can be maximised by being giving and being willing to forgive. It takes a lot more energy to harbour anger than it does to forgive and move on. It also makes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile!

Make it a point to seek out opportunities to do something special for someone, and your reward will be better mental health, and the satisfaction of knowing you did your part. Find someone who has upset you, and whether they know, they did or not, forgive them for it (you can do this without telling them if they don't know they hurt you). Be willing to let go of anger, and stress will rarely affect you.

7) Engage in personal development - Personal development strengthens us with confidence to be able to do the things we are called on to do in life. It prepares us to enjoy life's daily events and to feel that we contribute something to ourselves and to those around us. Personal development can be merely reading an inspirational book, taking a self-improvement course, or anything that enriches you in your feelings about yourself or your interaction with others.

Some people find developing a relationship with God to be enriching, inspiring, and satisfying spiritually. But, whatever does it for you, take time out to meet the spiritual cravings that you experience.

Make these principles habits, and you will be well on your way to total wellness and enjoyment of your life and the people around you. Be sure to share these principles with others so they can experience total wellness too!

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