I had a blog post once (in some now-long-gone blog) where I talked about the four foundations of health.
They were, in order of significance:
And, in that post, I mentioned that stress is the number one engine of health — either good or bad. I would say now that 50% of your health is determined by your stress levels. And even the best sleep, nutrition, and exercise won’t help you if you are over-stressed and overwhelmed in life.
The next 25% of your health is sleep. Sleep is where you repair. It is where you regain and rebuild your health. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then you aren’t able to build your health in the first place. Of course, if you’re stressed out then the quality of you sleep is poor, so that is why stress is such a big factor for good health.
The next 15% of your health is nutrition. Eating healthy can help you in major ways, but I’ve found — and this is just for myself, mind you — that if I’m stressed out and not sleeping enough, then I’m much less likely to be eating well. But if I’m not over-stressed, and I get enough sleep, then the nutrition tends to fall in place naturally. And, even so, if I don’t eat super healthy, but I’m happy and stress-free(ish) and well-rested, then my health is still over-all in a good state.
And finally the last 10% of your health is exercise. A lot of people put exercise first, but for me I find that a lot of exercise, but being stressed, tired, and eating poorly, actually makes my health worse. Exercise places additional stress on your body, so if you’re not in a position to be able to handle the work that exercise puts you through, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
Of course, these are just related to my own experiences. Everyone is different and these are the truths I’ve discovered for myself.
But of course, that begs the question: What is the best way to handle stress and get enough sleep? If those are 75% of my health, how do I need to live to make sure those are in place?
And then, once those are in place, what is the right way to approach nutrition and exercise?
Topics for a future blog post …
For now, I just wanted to remind myself of what I had written once, several years ago.