Why a Balanced Lifestyle is Important
The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. - Euripides
Our lifestyle is the way we live. It is composed of a variety of elements and habits: what we eat, what we drink, our level of exercise, how well we sleep, how well we manage stress and adapt to stressful situations, our behaviour and how we interact with people, not forgetting our sense of belonging and purpose in life. It is also affected by how we think and how we see life in general; by our attitude and the choices we make when confronted with the vicissitudes of life.
A balanced lifestyle is the way in which we live and reflects that the different elements of our life are in the right amount and proportion. Adopting a balanced lifestyle is of primordial importance because it has immediate and long-term effects on our health and well-being. This is confirmed by many recent studies, which clearly show that conditions such as heart diseases, stroke, cancer, diabetes, as well as many other chronic diseases may be preventable and even reversible by changing our diet and adopting new attitudes and lifestyle.
A balanced lifestyle will have positive effects on our longevity as well. In his exceptional book, Defy Aging, Michael Brickey, PhD has reviewed and put together the conclusions of thousands of scientific studies and references about longevity. One of the important conclusions of this extensive review is this: “Researchers estimate that 30% of longevity is due to heredity and that 70% is the consequence of our beliefs, attitudes, coping skills and lifestyle”.
Adopting and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is our own responsibility. By maintaining a balanced lifestyle, we are increasing our chances of living a significantly longer, better, and happier life.
A balanced lifestyle is the corner stone of your well-being, and it encompasses elements such as developing and maintaining good physical health and fitness, maintaining a good level of energy and vitality, having the ability to express your creativity, enjoying emotional and psychological stability, entertaining harmonious relationships, feeling and expressing your love toward people and life, acquiring effective stress management strategies and coping skills, achieving financial stability, as well as developing a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
In order to be able to take meaningful actions and make effective changes to your lifestyle and improve your health and well-being significantly, it may be very useful to look at the different elements that define your lifestyle. This will allow you to set pertinent and reasonable goals and adopt more effective strategies specific to each element.
Lifestyle is often defined by the following six components:
These elements are all interrelated. We can say that we enjoy a truly balanced lifestyle when we are balanced with respect to all six components. Negligence or imbalance in any one of these affects all the others. The good news is that improvement in one element will also have a positive effect on all the others.