Sunday, August 18, 2013

Health is Wealth

What is wealth? The word "wealth" can quickly trigger images of money, cars, savings and bonds, and whatever else can be accumulated with currency. But how often does the word "health" pop into someone's mind when thinking about the meaning of wealth? These two words do rhyme, and that is often the extent of the similarities seen between them. But health is wealth!

Think about what helps you get through life each day, supports you while you're earning a living, and gets you through challenges. Your body helps you do all of this! Picture yourself with healthy energy levels, managed stress, good sleep, smooth digestion, glowing skin, a strong body, and a spring in your step. Does that picture remind you of wealth? A worn down or neglected body, however, often feels like the opposite of wealth.

Taking care of health on a physical and mental-emotional level makes you feel rich in a way that money can't do alone. Whether you're pursuing money or your dreams, your health is the foundation upon which all of these goals are built. When you're healthy, you actually have more energy and motivation available to make money in a healthy way too. Supporting your body and mind helps you not only do what you want in life, but it also helps you appreciate and enjoy this journey more fully.

What happens when you don't support your health? Without health, can you truly feel wealthy no matter what you possess? The only person who knows that answer is you. Quality of life is boosted when you value health as an important and indispensable source of wealth. Health makes wealth feel more balanced and in line with who you are as an individual.

How can you earn more health? First, it's important to realize that health is not separate from the other things you do in life to achieve wealth. It's an essential part of it. There might be areas of your health that feel neglected, and if so what are they? Imagine metaphorically putting "money" toward these areas so they get the attention and care that they deserve. Whether it involves getting more rest, reducing stress, increasing energy, losing weight, or any other health measure, learn to see these changes as valuable---just like you would view money itself.

Next, be honest about the influences that may be draining your health. No one likes losing money or watching it trickle away uselessly. It's more satisfying to use money toward things that you really want and that feel valuable to you. Learn to see your body and health in the same way. You don't want to see your energy drained through accumulated and ignored stress, careless lifestyle habits, or bottled up thoughts and emotions. If you're noticing a drain, find a way to address that hole so you can start to rebuild your health and energy levels again.

Finally, recognize areas of your life you that focus on excessively at the expense of your health. If you're a student, it's great to get good grades. If you're working, it feels good to make money and shoot for promotions. If you're taking care of your family, it's satisfying to see everyone happy. All of these roles are important, but they can also rapidly take over who you are and how you approach your health. Don't let these roles define your health for you. Practice balancing your health with your life.

It can be challenging to support health while trying to keep up with so many other activities in life. That's okay, your attempts don't have to be perfect. They do have to be honest, though. While you're working toward money or other goals, don't forget to build your health at the same time. Health goes hand in hand with wealth. This week, ask yourself how you can feel more wealthy toward your health.

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