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What makes a healthy life?
When we think about what makes a healthy life, many of us are drawn to practices like eating healthy, engaging in regular exercise and reducing or cutting out tobacco and alcohol.
But did you know a healthy life goes beyond diet and fitness?
According to CatholicCare family relationship counsellor Prabha Srinivasan, a healthy life is knowing what your ‘values’ are and living a life that aligns with those values.
“A healthy life incorporates six elements: Physical, Safety, Belonging, Challenge, Self-Worth and Growth.
“Each element is important to our own sense of wellness and values and they often overlap each other.”
So, what makes a healthy life?
The physical element of a healthy life encompasses developing and maintaining healthy habits such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, regular check-ups, good night sleep, getting outdoors, relaxation, avoiding or reducing tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
“It’s about caring for your body now and into the future,” Prabha said.
The safety element focuses on the things that provide our own form of security such as shelter, income and a reduced threat of external danger.
The belonging element refers to our ability to form meaningful connections including:
- Our connections with friends and family and the wider community. Learning good communications skills to develop deeper relationships and a strong network of support.
- Our connection to nature. Being aware and appreciative of the little things, such as our environment and the impact we have on it.
- Our spiritual connection. Having a set of beliefs or values that provide a sense of meaning and purposes. The openness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence, to question everything and to appreciate the things which cannot be readily explained or understood.
The challenge element refers to the importance of trying something new.
Prabha said participating in a new activity, a situation or forming new relationships was crucial for maintaining the spice of life, stimulating creativity and improving our overall mood and wellbeing.
Self-worth element focuses on our confidence, independence, success and the gratitude of oneself.
“Self-Worth encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance and the ability to share feelings,” Prabha explained.
“It’s the ability to manage your emotions in a constructive way and feel positive and enthusiastic about your life.”
Growth recognises the personal satisfaction and enrichment in our goals.
Growing intellectually and maintaining curiosity gives us the ability to continue learning, growing and responding positively to intellectual challenges.
Prabha said acknowledging and practicing as many of the six elements to was key to maintaining a healthy life.
“Maintaining a healthy life is an ongoing journey,” Prabha said.
“The important thing to take away from this is to check in with your values and make sure you are still living the life that aligns with them.
“One of the best ways to work towards a healthier life, is to focus on three or four areas, instead of just one, to avoid burnout.”
If you are seeing help to find ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing, call us to arrange a time to speak with one of our friendly professionals. Contact us today.
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