4 Top Tips to Being the Best You

We know that health is fundamental to life, but what is good health? The traditional model of health divides our mind and body into two parts and suggests that health can be defined as the absence of disease.  However, over the past few decades, there has been advances towards a new contemporary model of health which considers that our vulnerability to disease is influenced by many other factors like our attitudes, the food we eat, as well as social and cultural influences.

Thankfully, this new holistic approach to health and wellbeing is making its way into more and more doctor’s offices and medical professionals are looking at the whole person as well as their environment to optimise health and treatment.

What constitutes a good life, happiness, health and fulfilment are fundamental questions of humanity and as we begin to question the old model of health, we are seeking more information about what actually influences our overall health.

#1 The Food Factor

Poor quality food, not only limits our intake of nutrients, it also affects digestion, which affects our overall health.  Medical professionals are recognising the value of nutrition in conjunction with standard medical treatment.  Food contains important nutrients, has energetic qualities and has tastes that influence our organs glands and tissues.  Health professionals recommend a balanced diet that is comprised of equal amounts of protein and fats relative to carbohydrates.

#2 The Stress Response

Stress responses are necessary for survival.  Indeed, the fight or flight response served us well when we needed to survive a saber-tooth tiger attack in cave-man times, however our nervous system is designed to return to normal after such a response.  The problem with modern day stressors is that they don’t necessarily go away.  Chronic stress can affect our immune system, cause autoimmune reactions or inflammations, chronic disease such as hypertension, heart disease and hormone imbalances.   We need to give our bodies some time out to assist in the calming down for our bodies nerve system responses to stress, and we can do this with things like meditation, yoga, or a walk along the beach.

#3 Staying Connected

Humans are a social species and it has been considered that social interactions and support groups considerably reduce the effects of stress on our health and aids in recovery from disease.  Building and maintaining meaningful and nurturing connections is essential to our health and wellbeing.

#4 Having a Wellness Mindset

Psychological wellbeing is a component of the new holistic approach to health, with an emphasis on prevention of disease, rather than the treatment of the biological symptoms.  Having a wellness mindset enables us to make decisions and choices that contribute to our overall health.  When we are aware of ourselves as a whole being, instead of separating ourselves into parts, we can begin to look at our own health as a culmination of our daily choices, and then begin to make better choices, for ourselves and our families.

Resources:

Alonso, Y. (2004) The biopsychosocial model in medical research: the evolution of the health concept over the last 2 decades.  Patient Education and Counselling Vol 53, Issue 2.

Lewis, P. (2002). Integrative Holistic Health, Healing and Transformation: A guide for practitioners, consultants and administrators. Retrieved from http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.usc.edu.au:2048/ehost/detail/detail/bmxlYmtfXzQ0NjMxMF9fQU41?sid=ddc26a70-d667-46df-977a-fdf6543175a1@sessionmgr4008&vid=0#AN=446310&db=nlebk

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