Your best health formula is not scribbled in the pages of the latest diet book. It's actually within your soul.
Often, we look outside ourselves for new recipes or tag along with a friend to hot yoga class just because she's into it. You think, "She looks good! It should work for me too." Following the herd will only move your health needle so far.
Take one step back.
The route to your best health is revealed by looking within. Bring presence to your daily mantras, movements, and meals to see how things are working for you. For the next 4 weeks, pay attention to how your body reacts towards everything.
Let's start with what you eat. Nothing brings you closer to wellbeing than tuning into how you feel about your food intake. Keep a food journal to find patterns.
Questions to ask yourself while you eat and 2 hours after a meal:
1. Do I feel energetic or drained?
2. Do I feel strong or weak?
3. Do I feel full or hungry?
4. What is my mood?
Take note on what you discover. If a food makes you feel bloated, don't eat it often. If a food makes you feel more alive, up the consumption.
Everything works better when you move your body. Your mood is lifted, you get more done, and you walk with a confident strut.
Notice what exercises you lean towards. Dabble in the full menu of movement. There's weightlifting, HIIT training, walking, hiking, dancing, yoga, soul cycle, kayaking, marathon running, etc. Check in with yourself while you're moving and 1-2 hours later. For the next 4 weeks, keep an exercise log.
Questions to ask yourself during a workout and 2 hours after a workout:
1. Do I feel strong or weak?
2. Do I feel energized or zonked?
3. Do I feel confident or uncomfortable?
4. What is my mood?
Seek and you shall find movements you love. Learn your range. Maybe it's walking one day and biking the next. Have fun with it.
Beyond nutrition and exercise, your spiritual body needs TLC too. Try the practices that speak to your soul. They nudge you in the right direction.
Questions to ask yourself during a spiritual practice and 1 day after:
1. Does this make me feel lighter?
2. Do I feel less stressed?
3. Do I feel more connected and at peace with life?
4. Do I believe that everything is rigged in my favor?
5. What is my mood?
Spirituality bonds you with your higher power. It shifts you towards an inner knowing that all is working out. Regular spiritual practice grounds you. When life throws you a curveball, you can rest peacefully on your spiritual beliefs, knowing that life has your back.
Good friends have your back, too. Social activity is soul food. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Introverts are energized when alone, while extroverts feed off of the energy of a group. Find what energy level you are at and honor it. Experiment with how large concerts and one on one dinners feel to you.
Questions to ask yourself when with friends and after social activity:
1. Do I feel tired or inspired?
2. Do I feel celebrated or judged?
3. Do I feel like I can be myself 100% around this person?
True friendships are a source of inspiration. It's healthy to recognize when friends are buzzing at the same energetic frequency as you. If they don't add positivity to your life, spend less time with them. This isn't being mean. It's taking care of you. Remember, saying no to others is honoring yourself and that is beautiful.
Be mindful that social media has it's place. It doesn't matter how many followers or likes you have if you don't like yourself. Don't get lost in hours of scrolling aimlessly on Facebook if it makes you feel worse. Check in with your soul.
Questions to ask yourself while on social media and after you log off:
1. Do I feel better or worse?
2. Do I feel inspired or want to lash out about something?
3. Am I comparing myself to others?
Your answers to all of the above are seeds to what fills your soul. Social media is convenient to keep up with news and family. But, waking up and going to bed glued to the screen is not healthy. Take a 2-day screen cleanse on the weekend. Guess what? Being amongst the trees, mountains, and beaches will rejuvenate you more.
Go ahead. Donate (or burn) those diet books. Or, anything that isn't adding to your feel good factor. No one knows your body the way you do. Honestly, not even your doctor. Yes, they can advise you to get blood work and read the results. But, when something feels off, it is.
Your body speaks to you daily. Find the space and courage to be guided by the mystery of your intuition when it comes to your health. You won't make the wrong choice.