Updated: Mar 3
Is working out on a regular basis and eating healthy really enough to maintain your health?
I have learned (or maybe discovered is a more accurate word) in my studies about health, wellness and being emotionally free that health is based on 9 pillars.
This idea has changed the way I started to look at my own levels of health and it has become a part of the base idea of my performance coaching:
the '3-5-9' set up 3 keys 5 principles 9 pillars
Let's start with the bottom of this set up (just because I like to turn things around!), and see what the 9 pillars exactly are: - healthy relationships - happy professional life - creative expression - spiritual connection - good finances - healthy sex life - good environment - healthy mind - healthy body
A lot of people think that if they work out on a regular basis, eat right 80% of the time, and sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, they are doing all they can to stay healthy and keep their energy levels boosted. These are good habits to have, however, even if you do all of that you might feel that you're still ill more often than before, you're tired, unfocused, you have little energy, you under perform or feel unbalanced. This is because there is more to it... When you neglect just one of the 9 pillars, your stress levels will increase, and your balance will be disturbed. This is because these pillars are our basic human physical and emotional necessities, and they need to work together to gift us with optimum health. A little disturbance from time to time isn't a disaster, but long-term neglect or imbalance in even one of the aspects is comparable to eating nothing but McDonald's for 3 months while constantly sitting on the couch, indoors, watching the latest celebrity news and screaming at your partner. Ok, that is a strange combination of 'unhealthy' habits, and I don't know where my mind got this from, but you catch my drift right?
Let’s explore a bit deeper.
The relationship you have with your partner, family, friends, colleagues, etc. will hugely affect your well-being. Research shows that strong partnerships can help us to avoid illness, motivate us to improve our habits and even make us live longer, because they act as a support system. On the other hand, weak relationships increase our stress levels and can even weaken our immune system.
Knowing this we can think about a number of different factors that relationships can influence like weight, stress, sleep, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, heart health, and even alcohol use.
Happy professional life
Just imagine spending a big part of your life doing something you don’t like. Find something you love and then do it for the rest of your life… or for as long as it makes you happy! And even if your situation is such that because of financial reasons, you can (hopefully temporarily) not do a job you enjoy, set your mindset to seeing the good things it brings to your life.
Creativity is unique to each person and expressed in original ways, and without it everything would look the same. It makes life infinitely interesting, fulfilling, and not feeding your creative side will block the free flow of energy throughout your body.
Spiritual practice will reduce your stress levels. It will open your mind to wider views, you will look outside of the box and it will open new possibilities, so you can live a fuller life.
Money doesn't buy happiness? It doesn't, but enough of it sure makes life easier. And having your finances sorted out gives you peace of mind and vice versa - keeping unwanted stress out of your life will make room for possibilities to fill your bank account.
Healthy sex life
When sexuality is healthy it is a small, integral factor in the person’s life and intimate relationship. Healthy sexuality has a 15 – 20% role of energizing the relationship and reinforcing feelings of desire and desirability. However, dysfunctional, conflictual, and especially avoidant sexuality has a powerful negative role. It then becomes very important to maintain or restore the positivity of the 15 – 20% .
Living in a clean and healthy environment is important for obvious reasons. But do you know how much polluted air and ground, dirty water, but also things like rush hour on the public transport and high cost of living affect your well-being? Connect with the simple things and go out in nature as often as you can to de-stress, let your hair down and re-boot.
Mental fitness is as important as physical fitness. You should also exercise your brain. There are different techniques you can use like brain balancing, study methods and even physical exercises that make the 2 hemispheres of the brain work together. A very simple example of the latter is walking. When you walk you will use the opposite leg and arm in one part of the movement which can improve the balance between both sides of your brain!
And very much like working with a trainer to guide you through a physical exercise programme, find help from a therapist or a coach to work on the challenges you face in life.
A healthy body takes care of your day-to-day well-being and how well you will age. Maintaining fitness promotes efficient circulation, digestion and musculoskeletal strength. This allows you to live an active life, and a healthy immune system helps you fight off disease which will increase longevity.
As mentioned before, imbalance in one or more of the 9 pillars can easily occur. The most important thing is to be aware of it when this is the case, so you can do the work to restore the balance.