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If you have read any of our previous articles, you will know that we include 9 life dimensions, or factors, that are in play in determining our overall health and well being, and are responsible for the Benefits From A Healthy Lifestyle of wellness. Most documented research includes 8 dimensions of life that play a factor in human health and wellness, as per the U.S. Department of Human Health Services review, and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) review.
However, we approach it a little differently. First off, while most research view the “Financial” and “Occupational” dimension as separate dimensions, we include financial and occupational as one life dimension, because in reality for most, unless one inherited a fortune, occupation determines financial. But, we also felt it was important to include both a “Genetics” dimension and a “Aging” dimension, making 9 total dimensions.
According to modern research, genetics, or certain traits or susceptibility to conditions or diseases can be inherited through genes, and are responsible for approximately an average 50 percent of what pre-determines your health, according to the NIH, particularly in discussing intelligence. Whereas, the other 50 percent is determined by environmental factors. Another 2015 meta analysis over 50-years on twins study published in Nature Genetics, found that heritability accounted for 49 percent of all traits and environmental influences for 51 percent.
The study essentially found that genes and the environment play an equal role in human development. Heredity and environment and the whole on-going debate of “Nurture versus Nature”, is what we’re talking about! An example of the nature versus nurture debate is a study out of Japan of the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, which determined how genetics and environmental factors affect the human brain, as reported in the March issue of Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
The research found that genetic influences played a major role in the left and right parietal and left temporal lobe of the brain, whereas environmental influences were dominant in other regions of the brain. We included Aging as a dimension or a strong factor because, after all, aging is part of all living things including humans. And, aging can actually begin early in life depending on behaviors, lifestyle choices, and influences by the other 8 dimensions, does it not?
Research has confirmed that aging is influenced by the other dimensions, as well as, poor behaviors and lifestyle choices, per an NIH study. Another study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery confirmed how environment and lifestyle choices influence the aging process.
So, in the bigger picture of things and to get a clearer understanding of all the things that influence life, we felt it was important to include the beginning of life (in the womb) and genes and their influence on life, and the end or aging and what influences aging, as dimensions or major factors of living. It’s important you understand that all the 9 dimensions are inter-related, dependent on, and should be in balance with each other, so that it’s possible to achieve and maintain an optimal healthy way of life.
According to Wikipedia,
Natural health, or naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of psydo-scientific practices branded as natural, non-invasive, and promoting ‘self-healing’.
Read more information from Wikipedia on natural healing here.
Health and well being is not just the absence of disease and illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). To emphasize the point again, good health and well being is a complex combination of all the 9 life dimensions (factors). In short, it is linked to happiness and life satisfaction, and a result of the 9 dimension being in balance with each other. And it can best be described simply as, is how do you feel about yourself and your life and how you live it. Let’s review the nine dimensions quickly.
The Nine Life Dimensions
- Social Dimension
- Physical Dimension
- Emotional Dimension
- Occupational Dimension
- Environmental Dimension
- Intellectual Dimension
- Spiritual Dimension
- Genetic Dimension
- Aging Dimension
Daily Factors That Influence Your 9 Dimensions and Health and Well Being Positively
- Happy intimate relationship with your spouse or partner, per an NIH study. All nine life dimensions, except genetics, are involved and affected positively, some more so than others, but all play a role. Website article: Love Is In the Heart
- Network of close friends (see study above). Primarily social, emotional, intellectual, aging, and physical affected positively more so, and others less so. Could involve occupational, if your close friends are also co-workers. Could involve environmental as well. Website article: Social Health Definition.
- Enjoyable and fulfilling job or career, per American Psychological Association (APA) research. Primarily social, emotional, intellectual, physical, environmental, aging, genetics, and occupational, are affected positively. Could involve spiritual, depending on how you relax and re-center yourself (meditation, deep breathing). Website article: Dream Job Search Here
- Enough money, per the NIH study(social-economical). Lack of money can negatively affect all the dimensions except genetics, but too much money can also affect all the dimensions negatively too. Money is relative, what is not enough money for one, can just as easily be more than enough for someone else. Website articles: Freedom From Debt Relief
- Regular and moderate exercise(****) see below) according to Mayo Clinic study. Without a doubt affects all the dimensions in a positive way.
- Sufficient regularly scheduled restful sleep (*** see below) per an NIH study. Effects all the dimensions positively.
- Spirituality, meditation, or religious belief. Has a positive bearing on all the dimensions, particularly meditation (NIH), Website article: Benefits With Meditation. yoga (NIH), praying (PLOS/ONE), deep breathing (NIH), and mindfulness exercise are effective (APA).
- Fun time and leisure time per NIH study. For the most part, will affect all the dimensions positively, even genetics is affected. Website article: How To Be Happy With Life
- Healthy self-esteem per Mayo Clinic study. Primarily social, emotional, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, aging, and genetics. Website article: Importance of Emotional Intelligence In Leadership
- Optimistic outlook and a positive attitude per John Hopkins study. Without question, all the dimensions are affected positively. Website article: Power In Positive Thinking
- Realistic and achievable goals per Science Daily study. Affects all dimensions positively. Conversely, unrealistic goals will affect all the dimensions in a harmful manner. Website article: Natural Remedies To Depression.
- Sense of purpose and meaning. per a Harvard Medical School study. Once again, all the dimensions are affected positively. Website article: What Is A Dream Job
- A sense of belonging per Mayo Clinic study. Absolutely all the dimensions are affected positively, even genetics. Website article: Why Social Health Is Important
- Ability to adjust and make changes per NIH study. All the dimensions are affected positively. Website: Managing For Stress.
- Live in a fair Democratic society per NIH study. All the dimensions are affected positively.
- Having a mindset of gratitude and appreciation per NIH study. Absolutely all nine dimensions affected positively. Website article: Benefits In Gratitude
- Volunteering for worthwhile causes per Mayo Clinic study. All dimensions affected positively. Website article: Importance For Emotional Intelligence In Leadership. Affects all the dimensions affected positively.
- Walk barefooted on the ground (earth). Transferring negative ions from the earth through you feet into the body is good for health. Positive effects on all dimensions. Website article:
- Go on an overnight camping trip per NIH study. Camping is one of the most meaningful activities for restoring your health and well being. All dimensions affected positively. Website articles: Camping Outdoors-Incredible Health Benefits and Best of Camping-Incredible Health Benefits Part 2.
- Take your dogs(s) for a walk. Dogs motivate walking and improved health in humans. Beneficial to all dimensions. Website article: Benefits In Having A Pet
- Sing a tune. per Science Daily. Singing, particularly in a group, brings mental health benefits. Beneficial to all dimensions. Website article: Benefits In Singing
- Play music you like per Harvard Medical study. Listening to music enhances mental health. Healthy to all dimensions. Website articles: Music Is For Therapy
- Go for a dip in the ocean per NIH study. Minerals and trace elements and other nutrients in sea water is good for health. Effects all dimensions are positive. Website article: By the Ocean Health
- Dance the night away. per Harvard Medical School study. Dancing activates the brain’s sensory and motor circuits. Great for all dimensions. Website articles: I Just Want To Dance
- Watch wild birds per Science Daily. Watching birds is great for mental health reducing anxiety and depression and all the other dimensional factors.
Website article: Wild Bird Watching
- Start a journal University of Rochester study. One of the ways to deal with any overwhelming emotion or stress is to find a healthy way to express yourself. This makes a journal a helpful tool in managing your mental health. Beneficial to all dimensions. Website article: Natural Remedies To Depression.
- Use your talents and gifts. per a Gallop Pole. Gallup’s data show that simply learning their strengths makes employees 7.8% more productive, and teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. Helpful to all dimensions. Website article: Explore Talent
- Pursue work or a career that is enjoyable and meaningful and satisfying, per Research Gate. Excellent for all dimensions. Website article: What Is A Dream Job
- Plant a garden or flowers. per Research Gate study. The study demonstrate the strength of evidence for the benefits of gardening and food growing for physical and mental health and wellbeing, and for dimensions. Website article: Natures Garden
- Be honest and truthful. per APA. Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health and other dimensions of life, according to a “Science of Honesty” study. Website article: Nothing But the Truth
- Use your creativity. per NIH study. Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts. Effective to all dimensions. Website article: How To Find A Action Plan-Find Your Creativity
- Take breaks from technology. per University of California-Berkeley. Great for all dimensions of life. All dimensions affected positively. Website article: Negative Effects From Technology
- Eat a nutrient-dense food diet (* see below). According to the study being able to identify nutrient-rich food patterns that are healthy, affordable, appealing, and adequate, but not excessive in energy, will benefit public health and all the dimensional factors of life. Once again, all the dimensions are affected in a positive way.
- Supplementing your diet with a natural Adaptogen Peruvian Maca (** see below) per NIH study. According to NIH study P Maca is a plant with great potential as an Adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases. Without doubt great for all life dimensions. Without question, all the dimensions affected positively.
As you can readily see, the above factors, or choices, or behaviors, have a huge positive, or could be a negative impact if you opt to not implement these choices or behaviors, on your overall health and well being. Practicing all the above outlined activities routinely, and maintaining certain attitudes, are the surest way to achieving and maintaining your overall health and well being.
The above practices should also drive home in a convincing way, how all the 9 dimensions are truly inter-related, dependent on, and must be in balance with each other. To be more specific, all aspects of your life are influenced, either by being enhanced, or being negatively effected by the choices you make.
As a quick example would be a great job or career that suits you, which provides not only money to live comfortably, but also provides purpose, fulfillment, enjoyment, attitude, gratitude, self-esteem, positive results, friendships, a sense of belonging, and a healthy intimate relationship, and a happy home.
Some activities or dimensions makeup for other lacking factors or dimension up to a point. As an example, a great marriage can compensate for the lack of good friends, while religious beliefs, may help a person comes to terms with physical illness or chronic disease. According to research like this NIH study, spiritual or compassionate care by healthcare providers involves serving the whole person, the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Such service is inherently a spiritual activity and is beneficial to patients dealing with chronic illness.
Money Is Not The Key
Money is linked to health and well being, because having sufficient money improves living conditions and increases social status. Worry about basic survival can substantially interfere with people’s ability to enjoy life and connect empathically with others. One 2010 Princeton University study found money is beneficial and makes one happy up to a point.
The research revealed that once income of around $75,000 was reached and individuals were living a comfortable less worrisome lifestyle, money was less important. Beyond that point, life circumstances were the major factors determining happiness. However, happiness may improve with more income, but not necessarily.
Another study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that moneys does matter, but less than most people think! Many people, particularly the ones who have never had much money, believe wealth is a fast track to happiness, and a great life. But, that’s far from the truth. As illustrated in the studies outlined above, it is the quality of your personal relationships, your sense of belonging, your healthy self-esteem, your optimistic outlook, and your sense of purpose and meaning, not your bank account, that has the biggest positive influence on your overall health and well being.
Believing that money is the key to happiness is a mistake in judgment, and because it’s a miscalculation, it can falsely affect or disappoint you, affecting you negatively in so many ways, and in turn, affect your health and well being. Let’s look at an example. By being misinformed and choosing to work all the time in order to obtain riches, not only your health would suffer because of chronic stress, but also your relationship with your intimate one and your family, your friends, would suffer. So would your leisure and enjoyment activities, and most likely all the other dimensions, as they would suffer too in some way.
The added stressors of working excessive hours will not only harms you physically, emotionally, and socially, but also reduces your life satisfaction. A Harvard Medical School study “Only the Overworked Die Young” confirmed that excessive work is bad for your health.
Research shows that people who pursue ‘extrinsic’ goals like money, or fame, or position, are more anxious, more depressed, and more dissatisfied, than people who value ‘intrinsic’ goals, like close relationships with love ones, close friends, and peers, according to a Penn State University study. And, the children of the rich and influential don’t seem to fair any better either.
According to an NIH study, children of influence have problems with substance use, anxiety, and depression. The study concluded that 2 factors, excessive pressures to achieve and isolation from parents (lack of love and affection), were the causes of affluent children’s problems.
Health And Well Being Can Be Elusive At Times
I know health and well being is very important to you, but sometimes maintaining it can get lost in the suffle of everyday-life. Am I right? And, once it gets away, it takes a huge effort to restore it, because it can get very complicated and confusing, particularly if there are depressive signs, understanding what actually was the root cause of the imbalance.
According to a NIH review, depression can be a serious mood disorder and it can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy your life. And, depression is not something you’ll usually just “snap out of”. It’ll take a lot of effort and assistance.
The best approach is incorporate as many of the behaviors outlined earlier and you’ll have a far better chance of maintaining a balance in your health and well being. One interesting psychological study in mental health discovered that, while 1 out of 4 respondents said he or she was depressed, only 1 in 5 in the same respondents said he or she was happy. It’s really not surprising, the rest of the respondents weren’t really sure because they were confused, and they fell somewhere in between happy and depressed.
- 58% hoped they could actually spend more time on improving their health and well being’
- 79% of parents with children less than eighteen years of age, hoped they could spend more time on improving their health and well being.
- 86% are prepared to spend money for products and services that enhance their feelings of health and well being.
So, it’s pretty obvious, health and well being, and the difficulty in understanding and maintaining it, is the feelings of a huge slice of the population.
Determining The Health and Well Being Of A Given Population
Officially measuring the health and well being in a certain population, and what each individual thinks about what is natural health, is very difficult because the interpretation is so subjective. It’s in the eye of the beholder, what he or she is experiencing and how he or she reacts to life, versus how someone else feels, largely depends on how you see it. Like the old saying goes, “One person’s problem, is another person’s challenge.”
Many researchers attempt to measure health and well being by living conditions. A typical approach is to count the number of individuals affected by a particular factor. Many factors used by researchers are, for the most part, based on these criteria:
- Have Cancer or a chronic disease, or the absence of illness and disease.
- Are single, married, widowed, or divorced.
- Exercise on a regular basis or mostly inactive.
- Smoking or non-smokers
- Drink adult beverages or non-drinkers.
- Are employed or unemployed.
- Are victim of crimes or non-victims
- Are unable to read or write, or literate (education)
- obesity (i.e., body mass index, although waist/height may work better as a predictor)
- high blood pressure
- birth weight and prematurity
- participation in screening (e.g., mammography, colorectal cancer screening)
- vaccination (e.g., childhood, pneumococcal, human papillomavirus)
- oral hygiene
- preventive interventions (e.g., seat belt use)
- exposure to environmental factors (e.g., violet A and ultraviolet B light)
Most of these are collected regularly through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) of the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Determining a population’s health and well being assists governments to decide on particular social policies. As an example, knowing the weekly income average, helps to set a ‘poverty line’, which determines social welfare reform, as per Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Results of research tend to differ depending on what was measured. One survey on young people may reveal eight out of every ten surveyed, reported feelings of being satisfied with their lives, including their work or careers, studies, and income, and another study may show five out of ten reported being satisfied.
As revealed above, a positive results in one survey can be contradicted by a previous study, which found that less than 50% are struggling with difficult problems, such as depression, or alcohol abuse. Health and well being is a nebulous concept that is really difficult to come up with absolutes with graphs, charts, and statistics, because in reality, how one person is affected by a certain factor, another person could have a completely different reaction to the same factor.
Take Immediate Action To Enjoy the Benefits From A Healthy lifestyle
It’s your choice, and it’s in your own hands, to choose to take action now that you have really learned what is natural health, and how to achieve and maintain it. Make the decision to secure your own overall health and well being, not only for yourself, but for all your love ones.
(*) Eating fresh, nutrient-dense, well balanced, certified organic, non-GMO (non-genetically modified) foods, such as lean grass-fed finished meats such as beef and bison, free-range pork, lamb, and free-range poultry including chicken, turkey and duck, cold-water, or wild-caught fish and seafood, fresh organic fruits, fresh organic vegetables, grass-fed diary butter and cheese, and organic whole-grains and complex carbs, organic raw nuts and seeds, grass-fed (cage-free) organic eggs, natural fermented foods , yogurt , kimchi; natural herbs and spices in a wide variety, healthy antioxidant drinks such as varieties of coffee , and green teas , Espresso (moderately); and for fun and dessert dark chocolate (not milk chocolate).
(**) For more in depth information on the incredible Adaptogen Peruvian Maca read these reviews:
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(***) Getting the minimum amount of seven hours of restful sleep can be a huge challenge for many of us. It’s been brought to my attention that there is a special blanket that will bring you into a state of total relaxation, allowing for totally restful beneficial sleep.
It’s called the GRAVITY BLANKET, for adults to reduce anxiety, stress, ADHD, Autism, and insomnia, promoting healthy, natural, and restful sleep. Check it out. To learn more about relaxing and getting healthy and restful sleep, including documentation, read this article, “Best Natural Sleep Remedies?”
Are you going to take action in order to reap the Benefits From A Healthy Lifestyle? I know you may have questions, so please ask them below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Any comments are also welcomed too.
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