How To Be Physically, Mentally, And Emotionally Healthy

In our teenage years, our twenties, and to a certain extent our thirties, we never really pay that much attention to our health. We are at our strongest during our youth. We feel invincible, so much so that we abuse our bodies by smoking, drinking alcohol, partying all night, not getting enough rest, working too much, eating junk food, and generally having no concern for our bodies.

Depending on the degree of abuse, we may feel the effects of our neglect as we creep into our forties, when our bodies would start to manifest some wear and tear. It’s a sad fact that the most effective motivation for us to quit bad habits is failing health—we quit smoking when it becomes hard to breathe, we quit drinking when we get liver problems, we eat healthier when we become obese.

Logic dictates that given their bad reputation, fatty, oily, and sugary foods should be avoided altogether, and we should just stick to green leafy vegetables and fruits if we want to be healthy. But it would certainly be a life that’s drab, if not lonely, if it’s one without the simple pleasures of soda, ice cream, donuts, steak, bacon, fried chicken, and all those other delicious grub that make life worth living.

The best thing to do is to find that sweet spot- enjoy these yummy foods in moderation. If you don’t enjoy these temptations, and you want to be a vegetarian, then your body will surely thank you.

In general, try to eat more veggies, more protein, more fiber, and less sweets, less carbohydrates, less junk food.

We live in an age when activities, both for work and for leisure, are done sitting down and facing a monitor screen. Whether it’s a smart TV, desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, these devices that now dominate our lives encourage sedentary lifestyles and as a result, we’ve all become prone to sickness and obesity.

Most of us working in an office environment really don’t have any choice, so counter the negative effects of this unhealthy desk-bound condition by doing as much incidental exercise as you can. Take long walks after work or during lunch break, choose the stairs over the elevator, and stretch vigorously on your bathroom breaks.

Much better if you can allot time for some workout in the gym. You can go after office hours and not be time pressured to finish your routine, though many say starting your day with exercise is the way to go. Either way is better than none.

The problem with hitting the gym to exercise is that you’re doing it for its own sake, and because of that, it will soon feel like a chore, which, in all honesty, it is.

For exercise not to be boring, it must be done as an incidental effect of another activity, the most obvious of which is some form of sports. When you play basketball, tennis, badminton, football, or any similar sports activity, you get the exercise you need and have fun with your friends at the same time.

We’ve all accepted that however dreadful it is, getting sick is a part of life that we occasionally experience. We can’t totally prevent sickness but we can take steps to avoid it. Just do what your parents told you to do: get enough rest, don’t skip meals, sleep eight hours a day, avoid getting caught in the rain, and take your vitamins. Do these and you can rest assured you’ve done solid steps to protect yourself.

Glaringly obvious but still worth mentioning: always practice safe sex to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases, especially A.I.D.S. There may now be management meds for H.I.V. and it’s not the killer disease it used to be, but surely you’ll agree it’s better if you don’t have it.

Beware of drug addiction. Your parents have probably warned you against it and gone through great lengths to demonize it, and you’d be wise to heed their advice. Heroin, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, bath salts, and other synthetic substances are all bad news and should be avoided at all costs. Even marijuana, which is now legal in some parts of the world, can be dangerous if taken excessively and irresponsibly.

Advice on alcohol: know your limits and drink moderately. Having an occasional beer with friends is okay, drinking whiskey every night by your lonesome is not.

Advice on tobacco smoking: just don’t.

Health generally refers to our physical condition, but keep in mind that it also involves our mental and emotional states.

Keep yourself mentally healthy by, again, finding that sweet spot: don’t overburden your brain by working too much or you will quickly burn out; on the other hand, don’t park it too long either or it will get rusty. There are no hard and fast rules as we’re all different, so it’s up to you to find your own sweet spot, your ideal work-life balance.

Our emotional state may be a little more challenging to manage, especially in our early adulthood. It’s hard because we can’t help what we feel. All those negative feelings that are bad for our health- sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, jealousy, insecurity, guilt- we don’t choose to feel them. Strictly speaking, we really can’t control our feelings. The best thing we can do is control the actions that our emotions compel us to do.

We can’t help feeling angry but we can stop ourselves from snapping at somebody. We can’t help feeling jealous but we can stop ourselves from picking a fight with our partner. We can’t help feeling sad but we can stop ourselves from slashing our wrists.

The trick is to keep in mind that feelings, like waves, come and go. We just have to consciously hold on to weather the wave and try our best not to get swept up by the current of our emotions.

There are always new advancements in medicine that keep prolonging our lifespans and improving our quality of life. Having an average life expectancy of a hundred years old is not a question of if but a question of when.

If ever you do reach a hundred years old, you’d still want to be up and about and not bed-ridden, feeling weak and old, right?

So take care of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally, not just when you’re old, but throughout your life.

The gift of health is the greatest blessing that you can give yourself.

Read more about how to properly handle your finances in Life Basic Strategy Guide 
Available on AmazonSmashwords, Apple Books and other leading eBookstores. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels