Physical lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, rest, personal habits and environmental factors can adversely affect your health. If you can discover your physical stressors and what triggers them, you can maintain a state of health and well-being.
How is your body doing? What are your strengths and stressors?
A better house, a better paycheck, a better position, a higher social status – our lists of wants are endless. And so is the rush of doing all that’s required to meet these goals. In all this juggle, is your health taking a backseat?
The key factors in maintaining optimum physical health are diet, exercise, rest & relaxation, personal habits (smoking/ alcohol) and sociability & laughter. Here are some guidelines and questions to get you thinking.
- Consuming more fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts regulates the production of adrenaline and boosts immunity. (A simple rule of thumb is to eat a ‘rainbow diet’ i.e. try and get all the seven colours of the rainbow on your plate, during every meal).
- Question: What colours are usually missing from your diet?
- Consuming foods with a low GI or Glycemic Index (less than 55) regulates sugar levels in the blood; this stabilizes our moods and energy. Here’s an interesting discussion on low glycemic index foods.
- Question: How GI-friendly is your diet?
- Drinking 2 litres (8 normal size glasses) of water daily, in addition to all its other benefits, also improves neural activity and regulates the production of various hormones.
- Question: How much water do you have on a typical day?
- 20 minutes of aerobic exercise counters and neutralizes the previous 24 hours of adrenalisation. (An additional 10 min aerobic exercise protects against the next 12 hours of adrenalisation.)
- Question: How much aerobic exercise do you get in a normal week?
Rest & Relaxation
- 7-8 hours of sleep is optimum, both for rest and repair at the muscular and cellular level.
- Question: How much sleep do you get routinely?
- Deep sleep (brain waves at Delta state) is important for the long term health and repair of the brain itself.
- Question: Do you enjoy deep, restful sleep?
- 30 minutes in a meditative state provides the same benefits as 6 hours normal sleep
- Question: Do you practice restful awareness (meditation, Tai-chi, yoga etc.)?
Sociability & Laughter
- Spending 60 minutes once a week with close friends in a purely social (non-work related) setting produces high levels of endorphins
- Question: How much time do you spend socialising with close friends every week?
- 20 minutes of ‘belly-laughs’ every day give us a significant rush of endorphins. (This explains the global popularity of laughter-clubs!)
- Question: Are you getting your share of belly laughs?
Personal Habits – Smoking/ Alcohol
Be it socialising at workplace or party, people think sharing a smoke or a drink can ease things. Gradually the occasional smoke or drink tends to become a habit which can severely affect your health. While diseases are the obvious fallout of such lifestyle habits, they also hamper quality of life in different ways:
- Low energy levels
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain
- Question: What does your smoking/ alcohol profile look like?
- Review your key lifestyle factors. What are you primary physical stressors? What changes/ improvements can you make?
- How often are you ‘high’ on the adrenalin rush? How addicted are you to its buzz?
- What are your strategies to release the ‘feel-good’ endorphins in your body?
- How do you balance the negative effects of your physical stressors with calm and tranquility?
The Holistic Health Questionnaire (HHQ) will help you understand your stressors. To take the free test, please email Anamika at anamika.chakravarty@
More from this series
|Title||About the article|
|Uncovering Physical Stressors||The key factors in maintaining optimum physical health are diet, exercise, rest & relaxation, personal habits (smoking/ alcohol) and sociability & laughter.|
|Uncovering Mental Stressors||Our mind is in constant chatter, with a series of voices saying this, that or the other. Limiting beliefs and negative self talk are a major source of mental stress, which eats away at our immunity.|
|Uncovering Emotional Stressors||In this article we will explore where negative emotions come from and how they can be managed.|
|Uncovering Spiritual Stressors||Sometimes our physical, mental, emotional and systemic levels may not reveal what is really going on, at least, not enough to explain the manifestation of a life-threatening disease like cancer. In many such cases, the stressor may lie in the spiritual aspect of our selves, which we have to delve into.|
|Uncovering Relational Stressors||We are all part of a system: family, workplaces, societies, etc. The quality of our relationships determine the health of the systems we live in, and the health of the system plays a big role in our own health.|