Simplify the Complex Chaos of Health and Wellness Information
We have more health and wellness information at our fingertips today than we have ever had access to before. It is overwhelming and confusing. This information overload may actually be detrimental to our quest for wellness. Not knowing where to start or what to follow could inhibit people from creating the sustainable changes they need to be healthier.
Don’t get me wrong, it is important to be aware of GMOs and how different exercises impact the body. But for the person who needs to start and create healthy habits that stick, these details shouldn’t be the focus.
So, let’s simplify things. Like seriously, S-I-M-P-L-E.
Most people know what they need to improve in order to have the health they want for whatever reason they want it. You could probably list them without even peeking at the list below. Whatever ideas you come up with will likely fit in these four key actions for healthy living.
- Eat Better
- Move More
- Reduce Stress
- Improve Sleep
If you aren’t currently implementing these but want to, let’s stop over-complicating what it means to “eat better,” “move more,” “reduce stress,” and “improve sleep”.
We need to implement the basics of these wellness areas in a sustainable manner before we get into the nitty gritty of sugar in coffee, probiotics, varying workouts, adopting a certain eating approach, or any of the other popular advice easily accessible on the internet. Without these four simple concepts, much of the more complex health information won’t even matter.
These are the simple basics. And they have simple guidelines. And you can seriously keep it this simple when you implement them in your life.
Let’s approach these in a simple manner. (Yes, I know that’s a whole lot of “simple,” but I’m driving home a point.)
Spoiler alert ahead. I am going to debunk the myths you may think or have read and then give you the true guiding principle for each of the four basic habits. If you keep going back to these truths, no matter what, you’ll be living healthy. Some of these may seem super obvious. But sometimes we ignore the obvious because we can’t believe it can be that simple.
1. Eat Better
Spoiler Alert: There is no perfect “diet.” Diet is a horrible word to use, but whatever you call it --nutrition plan or eating approach--none of them produce instant results.
Guiding Principle: Eat a variety of real, whole food. This applies whether you want to be a vegan or go paleo. Bottom line - eat real, really real, whole foods. It is the source. No ingredients label. First, you will probably start to feel better and your mood will improve. Second, you will notice your weight drop, but that may take a little time. Remember, this is about having an overall healthy lifestyle, not just weight loss.
2. Move More
Spoiler Alert: There is also no perfect workout that instantly cures all. And you can’t out-move horrible eating.
Guiding Principle: Get into the habit of increasing your activity. Some movement is better than none. Find what you enjoy, start in small amounts, and do it consistently. Then work to increase the time, frequency, and intensity over time. Your heart, mind, body, brain, hormones, everything will thank you. You were made to move and be active.
3. Reduce Stress
Spoiler Alert: Stress reducing methods don’t have to be excessive, time consuming, or unusual practices to be effective.
Guiding Principle: Intentionally find moments to break away from the non-stop rush, never-ending busyness, always going, and stress inducing activities that consume your every waking minute. Find small things you can do to decrease stress and re-energize yourself. Alcohol or violence are not good answers. You could work on a hobby, write or journal, take five minutes of quiet time, or read a real book for some examples.
4. Improve Sleep
Spoiler Alert: Consistently poor quality sleep has big short and long term impacts on your health. That time for the body to rest and repair is too important to not make a priority.
Guiding Principle: Focus on improving the quality of sleep if increasing the quantity isn’t possible. Sleeping shorter but having more quality sleep is better than longer sleep that is of poor quality. Use simple practices to improve your sleep quality. Consider what may be preventing you from getting good sleep and try to reduce that impact. Is it staying up too late looking at your phone? Try not to bring your phone to bed with you and read or journal instead. Do noises or lights wake you up? Try sleeping with a fan or white noise and use black-out curtains.
I am not delusional. I fully realize implementing these simple things can still be a struggle. Creating sustainable habits is challenging. It often seems like a lot of work, too time consuming, or even like it isn’t worth the effort. The truth is, we encounter lots of obstacles to good health and wellness, but that is for a post for another time. A complicated and confusing plan should not be one of those obstacles.
But here is the good news!! Here at 7Core Wellness, we use our Master Healthy Habits Method to help our clients overcome the challenges they face when creating healthy habits. Our clients are successful at creating healthy lifestyles in their busy, over-scheduled lives because we help them stay focused on these simple, guiding principles. For more on this approach, see our article 3 Non-Negotiables for Reaching (Im)Possible Goals.
I know I can’t handle many more complications in my life, so I need simple strategies for making sustainable changes that improve my health. I’d guess you do, too. So remember, eat better, move more, reduce stress, and improve sleep. When all the confusing and complicated information about wellness starts to swirl around your head, just go back to these four basic principles and you’ll stay on the path to becoming your best self! What will your first step be?
Still feel like you need more help achieving your healthy habits?
To your best health and wellness,