Defining good health beyond the physical

Last Modified: 1/14/2022

defining good health

This post was written by Johnathan Mayes, LMHC, clinical therapist, Park Center, Parkview Behavioral Health Institute.

It’s the new year, and people are embracing new beginnings. Some have hope, others might be nervous, but most are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions, improving themselves and making their health a priority. Whether it’s working out more or refraining from unhealthy foods, most resolutions are focused on the body. And, while this is important, good health should encompass more than just the physical.  

A moment of reflection

I want you to think about your health beyond those physical parameters. Instead, try applying your goals to the other aspects of your life. Examine the wellbeing of your marriage and relationships, as well as your mental, physical, professional, financial and spiritual health. Take a moment to reflect on the balance and health of these areas. Remember, a healthy life is more than just a healthy body.

Picture, if you will, a car. It has four tires, and each one needs to be full of air and without holes. If even one of your tires is flat, it doesn’t matter how great the other three are; you will experience a lot of friction and frustration while driving. Your life is similar. If someone has a fantastic career, is in excellent health and financially sound, but has poor relationships, they aren’t balanced, no matter how full the other areas of their life may be.

Going beyond the physical

So, how can you improve your overall health? I encourage you to spend some time thinking about each category above and set three goals, or intentions, for each one. After writing a few down, spend some time reflecting on the common theme of each goal.

In most cases, people usually have a common objective they want to accomplish reflected within their goals. Unfortunately, we don’t always take the time to notice this theme. For example, someone may want to stop and notice the good in their life, be more intentional with their kids or make an effort not to feel so rushed all the time. One theme that could emerge from these specific goals is the desire to slow down, find peace or be more mindful.

Once you find the common thread, write out the word or phrase that reflects that theme. It might be grace, peace, discipline, balance, etc. It’s essential to take this step because thinking about everything you want to accomplish can be overwhelming. But, narrowing things down and thinking about the one word that reflects the theme of your goals and intentions can be inspiring. It can give you a clear focus for the year. Having a defined path can be a powerful tool.

Final thoughts

So, while keeping your goals and theme in mind, let’s make this the best year yet, focusing on growth and improving your overall health.

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