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by caring for our health
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HOME>>  HABIT #8 Practice caring for our health
Sometimes we take for granted that our minds and bodies are closely connected.  When we feel good physically, we are much more likely to feel good mentally and vise versa.  We have more energy, motivation, and stamina when we take proper care of our bodies.  Our self-esteem is improved when we feel good about our bodies and like the way we look.  To a great extent, our daily choices are a major contributing factor to our physical and mental health.  Our thought life, perspective, and attitudes play a major role in our mental health as we have seen in previous sections of the The 9 Habits of Happy People Workshop.  Our minds and bodies respond to the way we care for them through proper nutrition, exercise, stress management, rest, and relaxation.  We have the opportunity to treat our bodies with proper respect, enhance how they perform and look, and be happy with this amazing body we live in.  We also have the opportunity to take good care of our minds by guarding our thought life,  improving our outlook, changing negative patterns, and increasing our own overall happiness.
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Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 
~World Health Organization, 1948
Happiness lies, first of all, in health.  
~George William Curtis
body for life
Take care of yourself.  Good health is everyone's major source of wealth.  Without it, happiness is almost impossible. 
~Author Unknown
According to research, our mental health contributes more to our physical health than any other factors such as diet and exercise.  This is no way minimizes their importance; rather, it reminds us that our mental health is of vital importance to our overall health and happiness.  

<< Go to 9 Habits of Happy People for tools, activities, resources,
      insights, and inspiration on caring for our mental health. 
Taking care of our bodies is an important responsibility.  What we eat, the amount of sleep we get, and how we manage stress all affect how well our bodies and minds function.  We have one body for life.  If we neglect or abuse our bodies, we suffer unpleasant consequences.  With proper care, the quality of our lives improves because we feel better, we are healthier, and we look our best.  

Provided below is information about caring for our bodies.  As we learn more about how to have a healthy lifestyle, we can make better choices in caring for our bodies.

In April 2005, USDA released the MyPyramid food guidance system. Along with the new MyPyramid symbol, the system provides many options to help Americans make healthy food choices and to be active every day.

Click here for a customized food guide

Click here for MyPyramid Mini Poster 

Click here for MyPyramid for Kids Poster 

Source: USDA,

Just imagine for a moment what life would be like if each individual on earth were allowed to own just one automobile per lifetime.  Do you think you would be more motivated to take better care of your vehicle—getting routine tune-ups and oil changes, rotating tires, keeping it clean, and so forth?  Some of us might have a very different attitude about it altogether.  We might take our responsibility to care for it more seriously.  And we would most likely appreciate and cherish it much more.

Fortunately, most of us are not limited to owning just one vehicle per lifetime so we don’t have to be overly concerned with proper maintenance and care.  But, how about our bodies?  We can’t trade them in for another model.  And some parts can’t be replaced.  When something goes wrong we do what we can to fix it.  We own it for life.  And it’s up to us to take proper care of what we have.  The truth is, however, many people neglect proper nutrition and diet.  They don’t exercise consistently.  And they don’t make relaxation a priority.   So their bodies get run down.  They become more susceptible to illness.  They get tired and end up having to work harder to keep themselves going.  

Most would agree that they could do a better job in taking care of themselves.  Oftentimes they know what needs to be done.  There is a lot we can do to be our best—to look our best and to feel our best.  When we take steps to take care of ourselves physically it also affects our mental and emotional well-being. Our body and mind works together.  Our energy is increased as we make positive changes in improving our health.  And our attitude and self-esteem is improved as we like the changes we see and feel.
So what is it that keeps people from taking better care of their bodies?  For one, it is hard work.  Making it a disciplined lifestyle takes motivation and commitment.  But it can be done if you will take it one day at a time. 

Following are some tips to help you develop a healthier lifestyle:
Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.  ~George Bernard Shaw
Begin with short-term goals.  Be realistic in your expectations.  Small changes over time result in big changes in the long run.  Be patient and learn to appreciate and celebrate small victories.
Picture yourself the way you would want to be.  If it is a possibility then it’s a matter of doing what needs to be done.  Start by believing you can do it.  Having faith that it can happen is essential.  It keeps you going when you want to give up.

Find an accountability partner. Having someone to whom you can report how you are doing keeps you motivated.  This person can help keep you on track and remind you of the progress you’re making when you don’t see it.  A partner who shares your goals and will join you in achieving them can be especially helpful.  

Establish a routine and be consistent.  A new habit can take about six weeks to become a part of your lifestyle.  If you have a setback, don’t give up.  Get back on track as soon as possible.  Begin again by setting goals, visualizing your success, believing for it and taking action.
Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight.  Whether or not you begin today, three months from now will still come. You can be that much closer to your goals.  You can be the best you can be if you make it a priority.  How important is your body to you?  Are you satisfied with how you are caring for it?  How could your life be better if you were to make some changes?   You have one body for life.  What you do with it now will have lasting results.  
Training & Nutrition Insider Secrets for a Lean-Body, by Mike Geary (a $17.99 value):  This ebook, created by Certified Nutrition Specialist & Certified Personal Trainer, Mike Geary, details over 27 specific metabolism-boosting secrets that you can use to strip off your stubborn body fat faster and easier.  Contains unique workout methods and nutritional strategies to slash body fat and take your body to a whole new level of leanness.

Click here for free download [pdf]
Training & Nutrition: Insider Secrets for a Lean-Body
   How to Be Happy and Well Rather Than Sad and Sick by William J. Cromie 
   Happy Moments 'Protect the Heart' by BBC News

Article - Managing Stress by Krystal Kuehn

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HABIT #8  The Body and Mind Connection  
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