How Your Health Affects Your Success

Monday, September 15 2014

Do you take time out of each day to take care of yourself? Hopefully yes. For many of us it can be hard to find time to head to the gym, go out for a run, or even just take a stroll with our partner or kids to the park, let alone find quality “me” time every day. But have you ever stopped to think about what you might actually accomplish if you achieved a healthy body and mind? Your health is a balance of four pillars that you need to work on consistently every day: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

How well do you take care of your health pillars? A healthy lifestyle is not just about exercise, but rather is a question of finding a healthy balance in all aspects of one’s life, providing you with the stability, energy and focus to achieve your person and professional goals.

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20140915-fta-woman-runnerNot sure how being healthy will help you at work? Numerous studies have shown that healthy and happy employees are more effective and productive at work, so that means your business (or team) will be more competitive and profitable. It’s good business!

We’ve put together some basic tips you can follow in your everyday life to improve your overall health in each of the main areas.

As we mentioned before, there are four main areas that make for a healthy life:

Physical health: Exercising or playing sports is an effective way to not only improve your physical health, but also helps to develop your decision-making abilities, your ability to confront and overcome stress, and in the case of team sports, work better and more effectively on a team. Physical exercise also improves your mood and helps you to sleep better, meaning that you will concentrate better at work the next day.

Emotional health: We already mentioned how being physically active can help you to better manage stress. So how exactly does it help? When your body is under physical stress, your brain is usually thinking “why am I doing this? I need to stop now.” But every time you push past that thought and keep going (as long as it’s not actual pain you’re feeling), you’re further developing your ability to persevere in the face of adversity. Most athletes will talk about “the mental game” and how important it is to winning. So when you’re stressed at work or your boss is yelling at you, being able to visualize your goal beyond that moment will allow you to push through your day and get through a tough spot. This is also the area where interpersonal relationships with friends, family and co-workers are vital.

Spiritual health: Whether you are religious or not, having a sense of greater connectedness with ourselves and others is an important part of being a healthy and productive member of society. It’s what allows us to develop empathy and compassion for ourselves and others and come to peace with the many aspects of our lives that we cannot control.

Mental health: Your mental health, as different from your emotional health, refers to your cognitive health. Being able to mentally process new situations, find solutions to problems, and recognize patterns among other various cognitive abilities that we use constantly in our personal and professional lives. This area is about your ability to learn and adapt throughout our lives.

5 Things Successful People Do Before They Get to Work

Exercise: You don’t have to become a 6am gym rat, but scheduling some physical activity – a run, a gym class, a couple of yoga flows – before going into the office will jump-start your body and your brain and you might find yourself relying less on that giant coffee to get you going in the morning.

Planning & strategizing: The early hours of the morning are often one of the few times you have to sit down and plan what you want to get accomplished that day. Write out one strategic thing you can get done as well as your To-Do list and set aside at least 1 hour dedicated to working on that important task. No interruptions!

Eat a healthy breakfast: We all know the saying “You are what you eat.” So if you skip or eat an unhealthy breakfast how do you expect to perform well during the day? If you mix water with your gasoline your car won’t run, right? Water is not healthy for a car engine, so why would you expect your body and mind to run well on anything except proper fuel. And the better the car, the higher octane of gas it needs.

Meditate: The early hours of the morning are a great to time to think, meditate and reflect, and imagine and plan the future. It also allows you to work through certain ideas and thus put them aside for the rest of the day so that you can concentrate on the task at hand later on.

Take on challenges: Ok, so maybe this isn’t before you get to work, but you’re at your freshest first thing in the morning. It’s when you have the most mental energy (especially if you’ve eaten a healthy breakfast!) so this is an ideal time to tackle your most complicated problems and work through possible solutions. This does not mean the tasks you least like to do, but those that require the most mental effort. Draining “busy-work”, as much as you might not like doing it, is not the kind of work you need to waste your best mental effort on.

Remember, a healthy mind and body will allow you to be both a happier and healthier person as well as a more successful professional, bringing you closer to your career goals!

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