What is Balanced Health?
Most of us have heard that we should get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet: Lose the weight, stay in shape, and eat our vegetables, etc., etc. It’s good advice to take care of our body, but is this balanced health? Not entirely. A balanced lifestyle not only focuses on our physical and nutritional health (healthy food, exercise, sleep), it recognizes the Mental/Emotional, Social, and Spirituals needs and their impact on our overall health.
5 Key Components to Balanced Health
Mental-Emotional health relates to how we feel, and how our emotional needs are met. It deals with how we are satisfied mentally. Continuously learning, being aware of our emotions, and having a positive outlook on life helps our emotional, mental health.
Social health has to do with our relationships. As relational beings, we need to connect with others and create companionship. Dysfunctional and unresolved conflict in our existing relationships, dealing with loneliness, and lack of community are some things that can affect social health.
Physical health focuses on our physical fitness and the condition of our physical body. Getting adequate rest, having a healthy environment and living space, and taking proper care of injuries are some examples of taking care of physical health.
Chemical health is what we put in and on our bodies, as well as how our body reacts to substances. This includes our nutrition, being aware of allergies and food intolerances, as well as reducing the use of harmful substances (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and certain pharmaceutical chemicals.
Spiritual health deals with our connection to our values and actions, and a sense of greater purpose. It is time spent in reflection on our values and spiritual relationships. Engaging in prayer, quiet time, and connection with God gives a sense of direction, harmony, and peace in our lives.
By balancing these five areas of our overall health, we can achieve a healthy balanced lifestyle, but letting any one of the areas slide can negatively impact the rest of your health! Someone who struggles with being out of shape or obesity may have social insecurities related to their weight or appearance, find themselves with less energy to physical activities, and are 25% more susceptible to mood disorders such as depression (Everyday Health). Those who struggle with emotional, mental depression suffer in their physical health due to lack of appetite and a lack of desire to take care of themselves. They also will suffer in their social health as they isolate themselves from others. Without spiritual purpose or direction, life can feel like chaos, leading to addictions, not eating well, and emotional volatility.
On the other hand, working on any area of our health helps the other three components as well. Working out creates chemicals called endorphins that make us feel happy, and it creates the discipline that gives us a sense of accomplishment. Spending quality time with friends allows us to physically and mentally relax from the stresses of work and life. Having trust in God and taking quite time to reflect on Him takes off the emotional and mental pressure to have all the answers, and can even provide community through religious gatherings.
Here at the Alpha Spine Center, we know how wellness goes beyond the physical care we provide, and our doctors are always willing to address the emotional, social, and spiritual impacts on your health. It is important for us to bring awareness to these different areas of overall health so that you can continue to live a healthy balanced lifestyle and retake charge of your life as we help you with all of your spinal health needs.
Thompson, Dennis. “Depression and Obesity.” EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 15 July 2011, www.everydayhealth.com/depression/depression-and-obesity.aspx.
“Wellness: Seven Dimensions of Wellness.” Wellness: Seven Dimensions of Wellness, University of California, Riverside, wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html.