I am a firm believer that what we internalise, both physically and psychologically, impacts all aspects of our being. From the type of media we consume, to the air we breathe in, to the food we enjoy. You are what you eat as they say!
It is important to acknowledge these factors when trying to improve our health and wellbeing. Not only so that we can engage in positive, healthy behaviours to reach our health goals, but also to recognise where we may have been going wrong.
There are many things that we are exposed to, that are just simply out of our control. But I think it’s important to recognise the decisions we make when it comes to what we surround ourselves with. In this post I want to go over a few points that I want you, dear reader, to consider…
Critical Messages from Others
Is there someone in your life that always has something negative to say about you? Do you feel drained after being around that person? It might be hard to admit, but you may be in a toxic relationship.
By no means am I attempting to blame someone from being blind to the toxicity of certain relationships. It can be very difficult to recognise when we are stuck with an abusive partner, or to know when an unsupportive friend is really just trying to bring us down.
However, if you find yourself ruminating on these negative, critical messages of yourself, it might be time to reevaluate the relationships you are holding onto. You deserve to be surrounded by people that care for you, and want to uplift you. Holding onto these negative messages about ourself can take a massive toll on your mental health, and can quickly develop into serious mental health issues.
We cannot always control this, especially if we are dependent on another person financially. But of those relationships you do have control over, either you need to address this with them, or make a conscious decision to no longer maintain the relationship.
Getting a Balanced, Whole-Food Diet
Much can be said about the variety of macro- and micronutrients we ought to be consuming on a regular basis. I’ll spare you going into too much detail, but a few quick tips to consider:
- The More Colour the Better: When putting a meal together, a good rule of thumb is to use different coloured fruits and vegetables. Not only does this make the meal more visually appealing, but different colours typically signify different levels of micronutrients. For example, red foods are typically high in antioxidants.
- Avoid Overly Processed Foods: The closer you can get to a whole-food diet the better. By avoiding processed foods you are avoiding alot of the unhealthy additives they contain, like high amounts of sugars, trans-fats, and salt. These very processed foods are also not that great for your gut health, which is increasingly becoming an important
- Sugar and Mental Health: Not only bad for your physical health, sugar is increasingly being linked to poor emotional regulation, and mental health issues; depression in particular. If not coming from natural sources, it is probably best to avoid sugar where you can. [For any practitioners out there, a good book I’ve read on the matter comes from Dr. Jim Byrne (2018) titled Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching for the Whole Person.]
Sources of Information and Entertainment
Physically consuming something is obviously going to have an effect on your overall wellbeing. But what is not all that obvious is how the types of media we consume can also impact us.
Now I’m not about to say that violent video games are going to turn you into a crazy serial killer. There is no substantiative evidence to support that claim. But what I will say is we should recognise that where we source our information and entertainment shapes our perspectives of the word, and ourselves.
By making a conscious effort to find media that is informational, helps you grow as a person, and challenges the things you may be ignorant about, it can help you transform into a much healthier person. Sure, still enjoy your edgy memes, but maybe balance that out with a youtube tutorial on how to cook a healthy meal, ok?
What else do you think we should be conscious of when making decisions about our health? Is there anything you use to internalise that you recognised was unhealthy? Please share in the comments below so we can help each other to live happier and healthier…