Have you ever wondered. . . .
WHY you’re ravenous when you are bored?
WHY there are days that you totally forget to eat?
WHY you turn to your favorite foods when you are sad, or mad, or had a bad day?
What if I told you there is more to being healthy than what you put on your plate? I want to introduce you to a concept called Primary Food, and it is more important than what you put on your plate when it comes to living a healthy life.
Primary food encompasses the various parts of our life that make us feel whole – relationships, career, physical activity, spirituality, etc. . . If we are lacking in an area, odds are we feel the impact and maybe even try to fill the void with food.
Studies show the impact of happiness on our health. So how do we become happy? What areas of our lives contribute to our overall happiness?
There are 12 areas of primary food that can have a huge impact.
The concept of primary food comes from the idea that “we hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment.” – Josh Rosenthal –
HOW BALANCED ARE YOU?
Read the descriptions below of each of the 12 Primary Foods and rate yourself from 1 to 5. One being dissatisfied and Five being the most satisfied.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” – Maya Angelou
Don’t let comfort overrule happiness. If you do not like something, change it. This goes for your career. You may love your job, but hate the hours, people, environment, etc. Remember there are always options – address your peers, change jobs, change careers, positively impact your environment. Taking control may not seem easy, but in compared to your daily happiness and health. . . it will always be worth it.
Are you constantly learning something new? Being educated, feeling smart, and staying current is something simple everyone can do. Learning is a way to enrich your life and others that surround you.
Health is something that can mean different things to different people. The definition is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. If your health is out of whack then odds are you have other struggles related to your health needs. Maintaining health creates balance in the other areas of life.
Physical activity is great for your body, metabolism, helps regulate hormones, prevent diseases, and increases libido – so get moving! Outside of the physical benefits, the social and emotional benefits are outstanding – the endorphin rush, increased self-esteem, mental fortitude, and confidence are just a few.
Home cooking is more than cooking food at home. It is about the love, sweat, and hopefully not tears into the food you prepare. It allows you to express yourself and nourish your body through food and share it with friends and family.
Your home environment is very important to your overall happiness. Everyone has different preferences and some prefer a clean house and others love a loud house bustling of family. It also deals with the relationships in the house. Do you really feel at home and feel you can express yourself as yourself within your own walls or are you still putting on a face?
The relationships you have in your life can shape your life and provide meaning and value. Do you make sure you are doing everything in your control to foster meaningful relationships in your life? What else could you be doing?
Being social, having hobbies, sharing experiences with others is another way to add value to your life. Everyone’s social life looks completely different. What matters is doing something you are interested in with friends or family
Joy is not something that happens to us; it is a choice. Positive thinking and positive practices like gratefulness are simple ways to add joy to your everyday life. Here is one of my favorite mottos that encompass our option to be positive: – “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L means First Attempt In Learning. End is not the end, in fact E.N.D means Effort Never Dies. If you get a no as an answer, remember N.O. means Next Opportunity.”
For many, spirituality is related to religion and that is great. For others, spirituality is a practice that grounds you, things like meditating. Spirituality is very important for reflection, gratefulness, and the time and space to be your real you.
You do not have to be creative to have creativity. Creativity simply means the freedom to think outside the box and create your own interpretation of things. This can be through your work, family, dance, art, music, etc..
Finances have the ability to add or remove stress in your life. Finances ebb and flow as your lifestyle changes. The important part about finances is to be accountable and responsible for your finances. You do not have to be debt free to unload stress. Having a manageable system in place can be just as freeing.
PUT INTO PRACTICE
Now that you have identified your strong and weak areas, what are you planning on doing to work on your weak areas? Focus on one area of the circle of life at a time with the intent of creating new habits that are sustainable and reinforce what you want out of life.