We all have so much to take care of in life. So much so that our priorities get compromised. When that happens it’s often our self-care that gets put on the back burner.
EVERYBODY DOES THIS. It’s just fine if it’s a short phase of a couple of weeks. Responsibilities ebb and flow. We miss some workouts or walks, skip meditations, miss important social gatherings, and/or eat things we know cause inflammation.
So what’s the most important aspect of self-care to maintain your health? Is it diet, exercise, sleep, or mental/emotional?
THE ANSWER IS YES! OK, I’m goofing with you here. But the reason I say “yes” to all of them is that they all have a profound effect on each other.
Consistent effort or lack of effort in one aspect of self-care affects your level of success with all of the others.
I will share what I think really is the MOST ESSENTIAL PART in a minute.
But first, you might have noticed that engaging in any self-care practice category increases the likelihood that you’ll engage in another if that is your intention.
And in contrast, stopping one of your chosen self-care practices reduces motivation to engage in other self-care.
Physiologically they all affect EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR BODY SYSTEMS (cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, lymph, nervous system etc.)
So for health, happiness, and longevity it really is important to keep at it with all aspects of self-care as consistently as possible. Regular exercise, healthy diet, consistent sleep, and self-cultivation practice (human connection, meditation, prayer, or counseling, etc.)
OK – HERE IT IS. After almost two decades of holistic health practice, I’m of the opinion that MENTAL/EMOTIONAL HEALTH HAS THE MOST INFLUENCE on your level of success in all of the other facets of self-care. And your overall health.
Any imbalance here makes the wheels come off the cart faster than any of the other self-care categories. You might have noticed this.
There’s kind of a GRACE PERIOD YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH if you miss your exercise routines or indulge in unhealthy food for several days. But several days of feeling anxiety, sadness, or anger can have a bigger, faster impact on your self-care game and health.
For a lot of us mental/emotional health is the most daunting to work on. Yet it’s actually the MOST IMMEDIATE AND ACCESSIBLE aspect of self-care.
Interestingly we can journal, meditate, pray, do breathing exercises, or reach out to a confidant at any time. It doesn’t require any equipment, financial investment, or significant time.
So what part of mental and psychological health has the biggest impact? Science shows that the BIGGEST INFLUENCE on our mental/emotional health and longevity is consistent, MEANINGFUL HUMAN CONNECTION.
There is a Harvard-based study on happiness that’s been going on for 85 years! They have determined that personal connections are the most important factor in determining happiness and longevity.
There is another well-known study you might know of called Blue Zones. Blue Zone scientists looked at how the world’s oldest populations live. They determined that lacking regular human connection can shave 8 years from our lives.
The conclusion in both studies was that consistent meaningful connection with other people was the BIGGEST DETERMINING FACTOR on our level of happiness, health, and longevity.
So making regular meaningful human connections a priority helps buoy our mental/emotional status and fosters more consistent self-care efforts. The end result is a higher probability of a happy, healthy, long life.
Not only that, it just makes life more fun, doesn’t it?
Let me know if you have any questions. As always, I’m truly grateful to you for letting me help you. I’m always here for you and your loved ones.
P.S. Initial consultations are always free of charge. New patients meet with me in person (or via video conference if preferred) to discuss their wellness goals and see if our services are a good fit. Click here to request a free consultation if you’re a new patient. For current patients Click here to schedule your next visit.