** Article first published on MarthaStewart.com and has been altered**
What is healthy living? We all have our own definition of what constitutes as healthy - drinking 6-8 glasses of water, eating more vegetables and/or exercising 3 times a week. And rightly so. We are all built differently, have different interests and have a varied outlook on life, which is why our lifestyles differ from one another. But there is one common denominator when it comes to healthy living - balance.
Following a strict diet that deprives us of certain foods or exercising in a way that depletes our energy are ways to feel out of balance. When we are not in tune with our bodies it causes us to thrive in some aspects of our life but suffer in others. When it comes to living a more balanced life, I like to take on a more holistic approach. Holistic living offers a way to balance your life in all areas - health, relationships and spirituality - to achieve a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lifestyle.
Here are 4 areas of your life you need to address to live a more balanced lifestyle on your own terms:
Mind - Did you know that positive thinking boosts your health? When you engage in positive self-talk and approach situations with optimism, you will see more possibilities in your life, and when you see more possibilities, you feel more confident, adopt healthy habits and take better care of yourself. To keep positive, try keeping a gratitude journal, set some time to meditate, and participate in fun activities.
Body - Fuel your body with nutritious food. Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, eat clean whole foods, eat in good company, and give yourself permission to indulge in the occasional treat. Remember to always keep moving, whether it's by playing a sport, taking a stroll or attending a barre class. Listen to your body and do something that you enjoy that doesn’t feel like a chore. Certain exercise regimes are not for everyone, so choose something you will look forward to. When you find yourself wanting to sink our teeth into a cheeseburger or are on the verge of skipping out on your run, ask yourself: Is your decision coming from a place of love? The answer should be one of self-love, not self-sabotage.
Spirit - Being self aware and mindful of your actions will help you feel more in tune with your body. The more in tune you are with your body, the more you’ll notice the signs it's giving you. You will know how to fuel your body to feel your best and stay energized throughout the day. Your body is constantly giving you cues. It’s time to tune in.
Emotional - If you are fighting a battle with your inner self or holding a grudge, it’s time to release it. Release the past, ask for forgiveness and forgive. We all make mistakes, we are all human and we need to allow ourselves to move on.
When it comes to living a balanced lifestyle, take responsibility for your own well-being and achieve optimal health by adopting positive habits that fit your needs and lifestyle. You know yourself the best, so fuel your life with good food, good company and good intentions.