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Human health is a rather tricky subject. It doesn’t seem like it should be; after all, humankind has been studying the way that our bodies work for literally centuries– yet we somehow don’t seem to quite have everything figured out yet. While medicine has come a long way in that time, lay understanding of health is… not quite so developed.
If you want to ensure that 2018 is your healthiest year yet, then it’s worth thinking about the fundamentals; the core health facts and realities that you need to be aware of. Below is a collection of four key realities it’s important to accept about your health and how you manage it– and these apply to all ages and stages of life. Some might be obvious to you; others might be a surprise, but either way, we’re sure they will be beneficial.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the reality of modern health…
1) Nothing Works For Everyone
If all of your friends are raving about a new mattress, you might find yourself persuaded. You decide to buy, expecting you’re about to have the best night’s sleep ever, and get rid of your insomnia once and for all. It’s going to be amazing.
Then you try the mattress, and you realize… this isn’t amazing at all. In fact, it might be outright worse. You find yourself heading to Mattress-Guides.net in search of a replacement, your insomnia as bad as it ever was. What’s going on? Why are you not loving this mattress that everyone else is describing as life changing?
The above is a situation that many of us find ourselves in, and not just for mattresses. We have all tried makeup and beauty products that everyone else loved, and we found rather underwhelming. Similarly, you’ve probably recommended a product to a friend, who has then expressed complete bafflement over why you love said product so much.
So it’s important to remember the fundamental rule: nothing works for everyone, and this applies to anything to do with your management of your body and health. A healthy dose of scepticism is the best way to stop yourself being horribly disappointed when something doesn’t quite work as you expect.
2) Health Is Holistic
What would you think if someone told you they were going to therapy for a nagging neck pain?
You’d think they’d lost their mind. Why go to therapy for neck pain? Surely a physiotherapist would be more beneficial?
However, this person might understand a crucial element of healthcare: that all health is holistic. This person understands that they are incredibly stressed and suffering from excess anxiety. This is making them tense the muscles in their neck and damaging how they sleep. So while a physiotherapist would be helpful, they understand they have to get to the root case of the problem: their stress.
All health is like this; holistic, encompassing the entire picture. Mental, physical, and emotional health all interlink with one another. If you want to improve your health or cure an ailment, you have to be willing to focus on the surrounding issues and see what other problems might be at play.
3) Sleep Is Essential
This is a fundamental that needs repeating more than ever in the modern world. Few of us get a requisite amount of sleep; we prioritize ticking just one more item off our to-do list, or another episode of the latest TV show we’re binge watching. You probably do this too; everyone does; most of the country exists in a state of chronic sleep deprivation.
Yet sleep is crucial; it’s far more important to your health than how alert you feel the next day. Here’s a brief list of all the things that happen when you sleep:
- As Harvard.Edu explains, your brain solidifies memories when you’re sleeping.
- Your body runs repairs, so to speak. Infection fighting is more effective and any strains on your muscles are eased.
- Your body releases hormones that regulate growth, appetite, and your menstrual cycle.
Essentially, your body needs sleep in order to be able to function properly. There’s no doubt that busy modern lives can make sleep seem like a bit of a waste of time, but as the above show, it’s clearly not. If you want to be at your best and feel as healthy as possible, then getting enough sleep is essential.
How much sleep should you get? That’s subjective. Some people are perfectly healthy with six hours sleep per night, others need as many as nine. The best way to judge your natural level is to judge how much you sleep when you’re on vacation; when there’s no alarm blaring to wake you up first thing in the morning. Vacations give you an idea of what your natural sleep pattern is, which you can then try to mimic as closely as possible when you get home.
4) Talking is good
Whenever you are experiencing emotional distress, talking — or writing — is the best thing you can do to cope with it. If you don’t do this, and instead let the feelings percolate, then your cortisol stress levels are going to rocket. Then, you’re beginning to layer problems on top of problems, and before you know it, you don’t even know where the issue began.
Talking or writing about your feelings is paramount to good health, especially good mental and emotional health. You can see a therapist, keep a journal, even write a blog; whatever it takes for you to externalize your problems and worries, and allow you to get some clarity. Externalizing feelings is massively beneficial, and if you get into the habit of doing so, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to start.
The above may sound simple, but they are the foundations that underpin your entire attitude to your health and well-being. If you go into 2018 with these four principles firmly in mind, then you’ll be on track for one of the healthiest years of your life.