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Our physical and mental health can either be our biggest asset or our biggest obstacle when it comes to business success.
Health issues, whether it be recurring headaches, digestive symptoms, fatigue, insomnia, or mood problems, can subtly affect how we perform in our business. We may miss out on networking or socializing opportunities, do the bare minimum to get by, or forget important details (I say this because I’ve experienced it myself). To add insult to injury, humans are by nature adaptive creatures. We adapt to just about anything, including symptoms. In my daily work with clients with chronic problems, I often hear statements like that overall I feel really healthy despite being in pain 24/7. Or is it okay for me to only poop twice a week. And my love, I’m a zombie until I drink my coffee in the morning. Entrepreneurs are driven and motivated by definition. This increases the tendency to ignore or ignore the symptoms or their effect on their performance. Awareness is the first step. Fortunately, health can be optimized and become your trusted partner by making a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
According to Institute of Functional Medicine, functional medicine “determines how and why disease occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each person.” For more information on root causes, check out my article Inflammation: friend or foe. Essentially, root causes are environmental factors that cause symptoms and health conditions. Improvements in these scores lead to long-term improvements in health, not just symptom relief. Functional medicine is also based on the concept that health is not just the absence of disease, but rather the flourishing of the mind, body and soul. According to these principles, the key to prosperity is prevention, early detection and the use of a root cause approach to deal with existing health problems.
Related: 8 Ways to Create an Environment for Employee Wellbeing
Any auto mechanic will tell you that regular maintenance on your car will ensure it will last over 100,000 miles. The human body is built the same way. First, look at things in your immediate environment such as diet, stress levels, relationships, sense of meaning and purpose in life, sleep and exercise. The goal here is to create an environment that prevents the occurrence of disease. The disease can manifest itself when any of them fails. It’s about deliberately prioritizing your health and being an active participant in your life and taking care of your body. While this formula will look slightly different for each person, the factors listed below determine the overall structure. For some people, this process will be intuitive. For others, overcoming challenges (in life or health) can put them on this path to prioritizing their health and well-being. Yet for others, getting advice from a professional ensures that they are doing what works best for them. body, and not just act on the basis of general provisions. The best part is that it’s never too late to start. Self-care and prevention is one of the most inspiring things we can do for ourselves and our business.
In addition, prevention is also related to settings. What does your work with blood look like? How about hormones? Do you have a genetic predisposition? The available data show that markers of certain diagnosable conditions can be measured years before the onset of symptoms. This study shows that the underlying mechanisms of autoimmune conditions (determined by the presence of antibodies programmed to attack healthy tissue) can take years to operate. Decades sometimes pass before a person develops symptoms or causes further investigation. Work with a healthcare professional and have regular laboratory tests (annually sufficient for preventive purposes). This will provide a useful comparative base and ensure that nothing boils below the surface. And if so, it can be detected at an early stage before it becomes clinical.
For a more personalized approach, functional medicine practitioners often use more specialized forms of laboratory testing. They are based on your unique needs and goals. The goal is not only to uncover the potential root cause(s) of any bothersome health issues, but also to identify areas where there is room for fine optimization. For example, a food sensitivity test can identify foods in your diet that cause inflammation. The organic acid test looks at nutrients and metabolic patterns that can affect cognition, energy, sleep, and overall well-being.
On the subject: Why your health is the key to your business success
Prevention in action
The following is a solid foundation of lifestyle factors to optimize when working towards optimal health and disease prevention:
- Nutrition: Organic, whole, minimally processed, low sugar, anti-inflammatory. Eating lots of brightly colored vegetables and wild-caught animal products. In addition, healthy fats such as avocado, olive and coconut oil provide the raw materials for optimal functioning. Conversely, processed foods rich in industrial oils and sugar can contribute to inflammation and metabolic disorders that rob your body of energy. Check out the Whole 30, Mediterranean, and Paleo diets for more information.
- Manage stress: Approximately 75 percent of all doctor visits are related to stress. Take up relaxing hobbies, long walks, yoga, meditation, and exercise. All have been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase serotonin, our calming brain chemical. One of the best ways to build resilience is to train your heart rate variability biofeedback. I mentioned this in one of my previous articles.
- How Much Do You Sleep?: Contrary to what many people think, no one can function optimally for long periods of time on 5-6 hours of sleep (re: adaptation). In fact, the brain is more active during sleep than during waking hours, managing many aspects of healing and recovery. Getting a healthy, calm seven to nine hours ensures that these processes are completed and that you are working on rest and recovery, not stress hormones.
- What does your exercise program look like?: Exercise doesn’t have to be done in the gym. It can be literally any kind of sustainable movement you enjoy – dancing, swimming, yoga, running, skating, cycling, skiing. The goal is to participate in regular, steady movements most days of the week.
- How connected are you with your friends and loved ones?: It’s huge. Isolation or a feeling of lack of love, connection and community. They affect our physiology as much as an infection or anything we can measure, if not more. In fact, research shows that people with terminal cancer who have a cohesive support system actually live longer than those who don’t. People are pack animals. Regular meetings and communication with friends and loved ones are as essential to our well-being as food and water.
- Do you feel that you honor your calling, your purposefulness?: Everyone dreams that their hobby becomes their career. For some people, this is reality. Although I understand that this will not be the case for everyone. However, being actively involved in your passion – whether it’s travel, ferret breeding, knitting, cooking, basket weaving – is like food for your soul. Lack of a sense of purpose, or worse, a sense of purpose but suppression of it, slowly poisons the soul. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, following and respecting your passion brings a deep sense of joy and gratitude. Two emotions that literally change our genetic expression to promote health, not dysfunction.
It may seem like another item on your to-do list is cooking healthy food or making time for exercise. But health is really a profitable investment. Also, being healthy is not the same as being perfect. It’s about connecting to what your core health feels like. Do not settle down and be in tune with your body so that you know what to do to maintain this state most of the time. It’s about using the power of your physical and mental health to work for you, not against you. If you are reading this article, then you are already a pioneer. By following the usual way of life and taking care of yourself, you will be invincible.
Related: Already Stressed in 2022? These 3 Body-Based Solutions Can Help Reduce Your Anxiety.