I am constantly thinking of how can ketOntrack make a difference and add more value to our clients but to an extend to the wellness space. And even though I stand behind keto, low-carb, fasting, sleep, biochacking for having great benefits to the quality of our lives, at the end they are tools which we want to have at our disposal and use at the right time and place. If you think of it there so much more to health than nutrition and what we eat.
So let me invite you this time to travel with me in the world of self-awareness and real health. This is a travel within you. Your beliefs, priorities, your fears and strengths.
Take a moment and go back in time and remember your friends and families, achievements, love, success. Browser quickly through them like an album of memories, a big list of moment which all come together to one single feeling…I am happy, or I am having a good life. How does that feel? Fulfilling right?
But for most of us, life is running at a pace that we might not be able to keep-up with everything that is going-on. And we are not creating those memories or we are not taking the time to process them.
Sleep is a great example of this. One of the reasons sleep is so so crucial is that the REM part of sleep is connected with memory consolidation and creativity. This is the phase where our brain takes the time to process and store everything that happened that day! If you regularly don’t sleep you lose that window and you suffer not only from tiredness but also from loss of memories.
Imagine you are a very successful person, let’s say a director, and you are always rushing from one project to another. You deliver, your bosses are satisfied with you, but you never had time to invite your team out to celebrate and thank them for their work. Travel a few years forward now. How do you remember the people you worked with and the times during those projects? Let me take a wild guess. You don’t remember any of it. Because besides the success of deliverying those projects there were no strong memories created. Memories are associated with people and time.
I don’t know if you had this experience but I always find it very exciting when chatting with elderly people who tell for hours stories upon stories and remember every detail but also the exact year of that story! I wonder if the past generations maybe knew how to celebrate and create those memories better than us?!
Time to come back to our time, let’s bring it back to health!
Why is all this important? Because taking the time to check-in with yourself, reflect, and consolidate how you are feeling today, what are your priorities is the first but ultimate hack on your journey to health.
The hack of being self-aware is how we achieve real health (or deep health). This means being healthy in many domains of the human experience. It’s not only about how you look or perform. It’s also about how you think, respond, solve problems, and deal with the world around you. I’m talking physical health, mental health, emotional health, existential health, relational-social health, and environmental health.
These domains of real health aren’t separate. They’re strongly connected and form a model called the biopsychosocial model. Imagine you are injured, Will this affect your mood? Hell ya! Maybe even your ability to be social and more.
When we have real health, we’re able to grow, adapt, evolve, and even excel as human beings. We’re no longer surviving, we’re thriving but we have a sense of purpose. We’re not just a hollow frame, we’re a person with depth, soul, purpose, connection, meaning, and mojo. As with most things, the point is not try to reach the ideal in every domain of health.
We just recognize that health lives in multiple areas of life, and strive for a relative balance between the domains.
Real health has many dimensions
Real health comes from a balanced diet of fresh, whole foods. It comes from sufficient exercise combined with genuine rest. It comes from clean air and clean water. It comes from real human connection and sincere emotional expression. And it comes from living with purpose and joy, and using your life as an expression of these things. Our lives are multi-dimensional and this is the same for our health. Not just body fat percentage and blood work, but also factors like how people think, feel, live, and connect to others.
Healthy eating and lifestyle practices affect every aspect of our well-being. And every dimension of real health affects our eating and lifestyle practices. You might have noticed that people with supportive families, strong connections at their gyms, or welcoming fitness communities (such as running or cycling groups) are more likely to show up for their workouts. Or that people with a clear purpose, self-stories that foster healthy activities, or the willingness to change are more likely to stay motivated and succeed. Every dimension of real health influences eating and exercise behaviors.
Let’s go back for a moment to being the director. Put yourself in his/her shoes. Imagine working long hours at your high-stress job. Are you sitting at a desk for many hours? How does this affect you?
- How is your physical health? Do you have and back or neck pain? Are yout getting proper sleep?
- How is your emotional health? Are you feeling anxious and stressed, answering emails late at night?
- How is your relational health? Are you arguing with your partner about working too much?
- How is your environmental health? Are you spending most of your time in a low light room, with takeout food?
- How is your existential health? Are you in the midst of a midlife crisis?
The dimensions of health
Although nutrition is always on the fore front, to get your life back on track means to address real health. Let’s see how this looks like.
Physical health: “How do you feel physically?”
Food quality, exercise, mobility/pain, and overall recovery are part of your physical health. For instance, maybe you say “ I am freaking exhausted because I work 12-hour shifts. My knees hurt from lots of standing on the job. I have no energy to cook, and so I eat fast-food.”
Emotional health: “How are you doing emotionally?”
How do you feel emotionally on a day-to-day basis can impact everything from your nutrition habits to their relationships with others. Ask yourself “How did I deal with that?” Is there anything I would like to change?
Mental health: “What happened last time you were presented with a big challenge?”
This area is mostly about how well your mind is working. How is your ability to problem-solve, focus, prioritize, and put things in perspective.
Reflect about how you usually handle such situations. Search for gaps in organization and mental clarity: “How do I keep track of all the things I have to get done in any given day?”, and assess your creativity by asking “Where and when do I have the best ideas?”
Existential health: “Why do you want to make changes to your health?”
Existential health refers to having a deeper “why,” or feeling like our actions have meaning. When we have a strong sense of ourselves and what we’re here to do, we feel worthwhile. Valuing ourselves then affects how we treat our minds, our bodies, and the people around us.
People find meaning in roles as varied as being the best parent they can be or making the world a better place through their work. The important thing is that you find meaning in something. Understanding motivations, or what’s driving the desire to change, is also important.
Look for overall purpose: “What’s driving me, here? Or ask “What’s not driving me?”
Relational health: “Who in your life is supporting you in this health journey?”
Social support is incredibly important to success in a health journey. Note down who the peolpe that support you are. This question may help you realize to whom you can turn in case you need support. Also ask yourself: “What do I need from the people I’m close to in order to succeed?”
Environmental health: “How do your surroundings affect your health?”
Everything from the food in your house to the weather in your city to the political atmosphere in your country is part of your environment. Being and feeling safe, secure, and supported by your environment enables you to make better choices for your health. We can’t always control some elements of our environment so it is best to focus on the things we can control wherever possible.
Check-in with yourself
If you want to get an idea of how you feel today, we have created simple set of questions which you can fill-out in no more than a minute! Try it out. You can also download and print the wheel of health. It is an easy way to keep a regular check of how you feel.
I hope this post inspires you to take a deep look into your life, your inner thoughts and wants. And hope you agree that becoming healthy will not only happen by going keto. for example. But on the other hand improving in one dimension will also help improve others. We pull a lever in one dimension, and gears in other dimensions will also move.
Real health is about exploring you innerself, being honest and open. When all dimensions of health are in sync you are healthy. This is called real health.