“For bodily exercise profiteth little.” – 1 Timothy 4:8
Healthy living requires balance. Being complete in one aspect of living doesn’t make up for the damage sustained in other areas. What good is a healthy body with a sick mind calling the shots? What good is a clear mind with a twisted heart guiding it toward self-destruction?
Three things are necessary in all aspects of living before a person can be considered healthy: consistent exercise, proper diet, and sufficient rest.
Exercise: Muscles need to be used. The only way to get stronger is to work hard. Completing small tasks only makes you strong enough to complete other small tasks. Think about what you wish to accomplish so you can know how strong you need to be.
Diet: We are what we eat. Everyone has their own idea as to what counts as consumable. Think of the overall value of what you put into your body. Be the gatekeeper for your stomach and don’t take bribes.
Rest: Bodies are not meant to work nonstop. Neglecting good rest will negate all the work your exercise and diet has accomplished. A relaxed body can do much more than a stressed body can. Make your sleep count and also learn to relax during the day.
Exercise: Brains need challenge. They become weak when they have no problems to solve. People often neglect their brain exercises because they would rather know stuff than figure things out. A strong brain enjoys learning and not just knowing.
Diet: Information feeds the brain. However, information doesn’t last forever in the human mind. Memories fade away without reminders. Make sure the information you consume is high quality and not common garbage.
Rest: Sometimes the brain needs to wind down. It needs to take in something easy to process that nurtures meaningful thought without it being work. Watching a good movie can accomplish this or maybe doing some study into a subject just for fun. All work and no play makes your brain inefficient.
Exercise: Not much emotional strength comes from handling only the simple situations. Complex feelings become manageable when we are honest about our reactions concerning tough matters. Denial makes us emotionally weak.
Diet: Emotional maturity means you constructively use many different emotions. Focusing on just the pleasant and sweet emotions starves the heart. A variety of feelings are needed. Let the sorrow flow once in a while. Rage in euphoric bliss when the mood strikes. Handle these feelings well and they won’t control you so easily.
Rest: Focusing on just one feeling isn’t healthy. Sadness for too long becomes despair. Happiness in excess obscures judgment. Let emotions run their course for an appropriate amount of time so you can return to them refreshed.
Exercise: Being casual all the time keeps you from forming meaningful relationships with people. More complex relationships require hard work and offer more reward. Relationships are developed by spending quality time with people. A little time spent makes acquaintances. Spending a lot of time makes friends. Devote all your time and you’ve made yourself a family.
Diet: Accepting only one type of people makes for a bland social life. Associate with as many different personality types as you can. Form relationships with both men and women. Don’t limit yourself to any one age group or race. The varied backgrounds and cultures from multiple people will spice up your life.
Rest: Spending some time alone is necessary for your health. You have to get away from people now and then to maintain your individuality. Living for others all the time leaves you with no life of your own. Don’t forget you also need to form a positive relationship with yourself.
Exercise: Think of your spirit as a character in a story. Every good character has an adventure to go on. Find an adventure worthy of your spirit. Your story gets better if you go on the best adventures.
Diet: A spirit thrives on inspiration. Inspiration comes when a connection is made between you and another soul. You can find inspiration anywhere something is made with love. It can be through art, literature, music, or performance. You may even find inspiration in the seemingly mundane.
Rest: The soul longs for peace. Both inner and outer conflict destroys any rest the soul hopes to enjoy. Peace is found when our conflicts are resolved. Be sure to resolve conflicts with love and not hate. Hatred can never bring peace. Being able to love freely is the sign of a healthy soul.