As a wellness professionaI I am super-passionate about what I call four-dimensional wellbeing. I see many people who are driven to create the "perfect" body - working hard in the gym and in the kitchen with great exercise and nutrition practice - but feel continually worried about work or home life; anxious about social situations; overwhelmed with life's daily demands; dragging themselves in to a job that sucks at their soul, and so on. They may look great on the outside, but it might feel significantly different on the inside.
True wellbeing is when we develop and pay conscious attention to the four facets of wellbeing. Physical health (of course!) but also emotional resilience, mental sharpness and spiritual connection. I like to think of this as:
Strong Body ~ Kind Heart ~ Fierce Mind ~ Brave Spirit
When we have all four elements functioning at their optimum, that's when we feel the best, not just in our body but in our life.
Currently (and quite rightly) there is an ever-increasing emphasis on what we put in our bodies - sourcing the right foods and nutrients in the right quantities and preparing them in ever more elaborate ways. I am a massive fan of a good green juice but I do think this hyper-focus on diet can distract us from making an impact in the other three, equally important, areas of health. In my book The Busy Woman's Guide to High Energy Happiness I talk about junk food thoughts - a powerful concept where what we feed our mind is just as important as what we feed our body. The quality and quantity of the thoughts we choose to think is an even bigger determinant of how much joy and satisfaction there is in our life than anything else. I love working with my clients to raise the quality of their thoughts and to reduce overwhelm, resentment and worry, and exponentially increase joy, lightness and satisfaction in their lives.
Asking yourself good quality questions is a great way to instantly change the impact of your mental energy. Instead of getting stuck in a stressful loop of "I don't have enough time! I'm so behind! I'll never get it all done", it can make a huge difference to your day if you stop, take a breath and ask yourself "I have more than enough time for the things that are my true priorities. Now, what is the next thing I want to deliberately concentrate on?"
Raise the quality of the questions and statements that you feed your mind to raise the level of happiness and focus accessible in each moment.
When we get our mental, emotional and spiritual foundations solid and strong the interesting thing is the physical side becomes so much easier! Any kind of force or "must go" or "have to" around the right exercise and nutrition becomes so much more effortless, and an easy, flowing part of life. It's fitness by stealth! When we have the other three foundations in place it becomes an obvious choice to eat right and move physically; one is a natural by-product of the other.
If you are struggling to keep things consistent in the gym or the kitchen, expanding your focus to identify where you might be feeding your mind "junk food thoughts" in the other three areas of wellness - emotional, mental or physical - is a powerful place to start. Improve those foundational pieces and everything else will just click into place.