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The Most Valuable Asset In Our Lives That Most People Overlook

The Most Valuable Asset In Our Lives That Most People Overlook

How closely have you been looking at your own health? Human beings have an innate ability to tell themselves little white lies, to listen to the noise inside their minds rather than the quieter voice deep within. We choose not to listen when we have our fourth or fifth beer. We look away from our waistlines when ordering fast food.

But what is the cost of overlooking our health? And to what degree should we really be treating our bodies as temples if we also want to have fun? What we are missing is the understanding of how good we feel when our health is in order, and how much it resonates with every single aspect of our lives. When we feel good, we look good. When our inner health is in alignment, our minds are healthy too. We are open to the positives in life, and we are ready for the challenges.

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When we are young, it is all too easy to feel invincible and to think that we will always be free of care when it comes to our health. But those who are smart will pay attention to their bodies and reap the benefits in later years.

You get out what you put in

Chinese herbalist Chung Lin once said that we shouldn’t treat the things we ingest as “good” or “bad,” merely as “strong” or “weak.” Things such as alcohol or fatty foods are considered strong, so we should only have a little. Fruit and veg are considered weak, so we can consume more.

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The lack of processed food, chemicals, pollution, and other environmental factors was sufficiently lower some decades ago. When humans had less exposure to these things, it mattered less that they smoked or drank. The food was what we now call organic and the air was cleaner. In general, even if a person did smoke, it was not adding to an already-polluted system.

Nowadays, there are so many preservatives and chemicals in everything that we have to actively search to lead an organic and unprocessed existence. Body types vary and some people can tolerate much more abuse to their system than others. Some people have healthier organs to begin with. Yet on a whole, the person who realises early that they need to take care of their body and be conscious of what goes into it is the person who will get the most out of life.

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Rock Stars vs Health Stars

“Live fast, die young,” was the motto — is the motto — of many young stars. Youth is wasted on the young, so they say. So who are some good examples of people who have seen the error of their ways, perhaps in the nick of time?

Movie star and singer Jennifer Hudson lost 80 pounds after joining Weight Watchers and dramatically reducing her food intake. “I throw the pancakes across the room!” she confessed to Yahoo! Style, regarding her way of approaching things that aren’t good for her. “I don’t let the food intimidate me. If it’s too much, I just get rid of it, but I make sure to watch what I put in my body.”

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Singer Lana Del Rey was an alcoholic at the age of 14 but managed to clean up her act and become sober by the age of 18, enabling a maturity beyond her years and a successful career that has persisted into her 30s. “I was a big drinker at the time,” says Del Rey. “I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on ‘Born To Die’ is about these wilderness years.”

Nutrition is a form of education, and we should always be encouraged to listen to our bodies and what they are telling us. Living fast and dying young may seem glamorous in the throes of youth, but it’s those who understand what’s important and prioritize health that get the most out of life in the end.

Helpful Tips!

  • Try to eat fruit and vegetables with every meal, or try mostly veg on your plate.
  • Learn about nutrients and what foods are good for you.
  • Exercise a little bit every day.
  • Find things that make you laugh.
  • Exercise positivity — be mindful of negative thoughts.
  • Keep “strong” foods to a minimum.
  • Find your healthy balance between what you love to do and what is good for you.
  • Listen to your body and what makes it feel good!

Featured photo credit: Pablo via pablo.buffer.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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