Ask most people what their idea of a healthy lifestyle is and they’ll probably start talking about nutrition, a healthy diet, regular exercise and so on. While those are indeed the foundation blocks for good health, there are many other ways we can have a positive impact on our own health, some more well-known than others.
Most people are aware that sleeping well is essential for good health. While many know this, there are a great number who don’t know how to sleep well. Perhaps nowadays, more than ever, we are more likely to lie in bed going over problems or plans in our minds, remaining tense and not allowing ourselves to sleep. It can be tempting to reach for the phone and post something on social media – perhaps another “#Can’t sleep” to go with the millions of similar messages being posted at the same time. The key here is not to have your phone, TV or anything like that available as a distraction. Leave your phone charging next to your keys overnight. Messages and emails can be checked at the appropriate time – in the morning. Relax your body and clear your mind. If you must think of something, picture yourself lying on a secluded beach, enjoying the breeze without a care in the world. Don’t focus on anything which will lead to a train of emotional thoughts developing. Learn how to systematically relax all of your muscle groups.
Oral health is very important for our overall health. Most people know to clean their teeth after every time they eat, although many overlook the advantages of using an electric toothbrush to keep them white. The build-up of plaque is not only dangerous for your teeth and gums, but poses a threat to your overall health, as it basically amounts to a build-up of unwanted bacteria in the mouth that your saliva hasn’t been able to deal with. That’s why it’s also important to regularly visit your dentist for cleaning and check-ups.
The stomach and the gut are the source of innumerable health complaints. The stomach is so important that it is often regarded as the second brain. Complications here can cause all kinds of seemingly unrelated symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, numbness and light-headedness in addition to more expected symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Stomach problems can cause mayhem with our immune system, nervous system and hormone levels. Smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, parasites, viruses, bad bacteria and a poor diet are to blame for most gastrointestinal complaints.
If you think you are feeling unwell due to stomach issues, cease smoking and stop drinking alcohol and caffeine. Test yourself for dairy and gluten allergies. Ensure your diet includes the right amount of vital vitamins and minerals. Eat probiotics to improve the quality of the flora in your stomach and to counter the bad bacteria in there. You can use antacids to reduce the damage being done to your stomach lining and to eliminate discomfort in the short-term, but long-term use may be counterproductive.
Another often ignored aspect of our wellbeing is our mental health. If the stomach is considered ‘the second brain’, then it’s fair to say that the brain is considered to be the first brain. As the control center of your body, you should treat it well. You may already be eating well, doing exercise, practicing good hygiene and sleeping soundly, but if your thoughts languish in negativity, you will only get negative outputs. It’s healthy to feel sad and angry from time to time, but if you don’t often feel other emotions you may benefit from rationalizing your thoughts. It can seem impossible to change your mood, but forcing yourself to smile and thinking about a reason to be happy, or something funny is like hurdling a fence. As soon as you do it, everything seems different and better. The best part is that now you’ve done it once, you know that you’ll be able to do it again.
Talking to others, setting yourself asks and completed them as well as getting enough natural sunlight are all useful ways to improve your mood and thinking. Remember, bottling everything up inside and dwelling on negative thoughts will make things worse, not better.