In a holistic view of health, self-improvement is not just about what we do for ourselves, but what we do in general. Our activity plays a role in all levels of our health. Physical activities obviously will have a direct effect on our physical fitness, but they will also influence our general emotional and even spiritual well-being. Not necessarily as obviously, non-physical activities will similarly influence everything, even our physical health … even if only indirectly.
In terms of my personal growth, my activity has been much less physical than may be ideal, but I still have been very active, and I am seeing improvement. I have been focused on forwarding some of dreams, which often (at the moment at least) has me sitting long hours in front of a computer screen. Not the most healthy of activities in some ways, but we adapt.
I don’t get a lot of formal exercise these days, for several reasons. The primary one is I really don’t LIKE routine exercise. But still my fitness improves. How do I manage it? This is what works for me …
- Chew slower and longer.
- Don’t have seconds.
- Make sure I eat because I am truly hungry, not just bored (or emotionally disturbed).
- Mostly eat what I NEED, not what I WANT.
- That said, feed any cravings so they get satisfied quickly, instead of growing.
- Stretch frequently, even if only small stretches.
- Walk and play with the dog frequently (I have to admit having a needy dog has some benefits).
- Don’t use “crutches”. In other words, make EVERY movement work for me. For instance, don’t use a railing to walk up and down stairs if I don’t need it.
- Focus on form and correctness of action. Am I sitting with a healthy posture? Walking? Are my movements conducive to a healthy body or potentially destructive in the long run?
SPIRITUAL / EMOTIONAL HEALTH
- Focus fully on what I am doing NOW (all of the above helps this focus).
- Remember that we define our own meaning in life.
- Don’t take things so seriously. Find the bright side. If I can’t find it, I create it.
- Negativity happens. Don’t focus on it. Let it pass through.
Improving our health does not require grand gestures. I just requires living consciously and well. Exercise programs and diets may speed up the process, but they will basically have only temporary results unless our habits change as we do them. It is often the small changes that are the most telling, for if we can consitently shift these … the whole pattern will change as well. Essentially, self-awareness is as important as hard work. Both are required for true healthy living.