In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Everything we interact with influences us either physically, mentally, emotionally or socially. All these areas make up our overall health. Therefore, in the quest for healthy living, we should endeavor not just to focus on what we eat or don’t eat or how much we exercise or don’t exercise.
Following are three areas of your life that are affecting your health that you are overlooking.
The group dynamic has always presented a powerful force. This is why it has been said time and time again that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
According to a growing number studies the individuals you spend the most time with, do not just influence what you wear or what you do for fun for example but they also influence what health habits you pick up or drop.
One study for example that involved 12,000 people over a period of 32 years revealed that if you have a close friend who becomes obese, your chances of becoming obese increase by 171%.
Another study showed that if your significant other quits smoking, your chances of smoking decreases by 67%.
So what does that mean for you and your friends? Should you dump them and start afresh? Absolutely not!
Birds of a feather flock together. It’s cliché but its true. This type of influence goes both ways. You gravitate towards people who are like you. This means you can influence your friends to pick up more healthy habits by simply picking them up first yourself.
Clutter in your home
Your home should be your sanctuary. A place where you feel safe and secure, get rest and be restored. Clutter prevents that from happening by making your home feel more like a prison.
Clutter overloads and subsequently overwhelms our senses. It causes you to get out of flow and impacts our ability to not just move but to think as well. The negative impact of clutter on our well-being is referred to as the “clutter effect”
Clutter causes chaos. Chaos raises the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Stress causes you to adopt poor eating habits in a failed attempt to cope as you are in search of comfort that your home no longer provides. It also makes you more susceptible to illness and disease.
On a social and relational level, clutter keeps you from inviting friends over from leaving the house as you begin to obsess over whether your home is nest enough.
Your relationship with your spouse and any children also begins to suffer. A study by The National Institute of Mental Health revealed that children living in overly cluttered environments often have elevated levels of distress which results in them experiencing less happiness and having more difficulty making friends.
When it comes to spouses, Certified Professional Organizer Debbie Bowie said “Spouses of a cluttered person who are bothered by the condition of the environment express their discomfort in judgment, negative comments, name-calling, anger and irritability.” No marriage can thrive under such conditions.
The attitude you bring to your life has an impact on your health.
A negative attitude causes you to magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. You personalize bad outcomes as you always identify yourself as the source. When there is a hint of something going wrong, you always anticipate the worst. With a negative attitude, there is no middle ground. Things are either good or bad and your rather perfect or a failure.
Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said “Your outlook—having a sense of optimism and purpose—seems to be predictive of health outcomes.”
The Mayo Clinic reports that the benefits of positive thinking include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Health is wealth so learn to treasure it as prevention will always be better than a cure.