The Triple Take: How to Balance Your Mental, Emotional, and Physical Health

This is a community post written by one of our writers in residence.

In our fast-paced world, living a mindful life can seem almost impossible. And yet, we are constantly bombarded with exhortations to improve and suggestions for being our best selves. Should you sacrifice your health for work or sacrifice work for your health?

Fortunately, there’s a way out of this seemingly unsolvable equation. The key is to focus on a holistic approach to well-being, which can be achieved by paying attention to three key pillars: your mental, emotional, and physical health.

When your mental health suffers, your immune system and your ability to regulate your emotions can be affected. Similarly, poor emotional health can have a detrimental effect on your relationships, which can then in turn harm your mental health.

None of these three factors is more important than the other; they are all interconnected just like puzzle pieces that need to be put together to get a complete picture. This is why maintaining your overall well-being is contingent upon what I like to call the Triple Take.

Triple Take – Mental, Physical & Emotional Wellness

1. Mental Health: Prioritize Social Connections

Humans are fundamentally wired for social interactions. Research indicates that creating positive social interactions is not just something we naturally need, but is also essential to our well-being. Similar to our innate need for food and shelter, we are built to seek out other people’s company.

People who prioritize social connections tend to adopt healthier lifestyles including regular exercise and balanced diets. Moreover, they recover quicker from health challenges due to the help and support they receive from their social networks.

Social interactions also help combat feelings of loneliness, lowers the risk of mental disease, and provides a sense of purpose. Regularly participating in social events not only allows you to meet others who have similar interests but also helps improve your mental health.

Meaningful relationships provide a support system during difficult times and contribute to feelings of happiness and belonging. Knowing that you have people you can rely on during times of need can help increase your resilience.

For this pillar of well-being, take some time each week to connect with others, whether it’s over a cup of coffee with a colleague or a family visit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be physical interactions. A simple phone call or a video call can also help improve your well-being through social connection

2. Emotional Health: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool for promoting your physical, mental, and emotional health. There are a plethora of techniques to choose from: connecting with your body through breathwork, observing your thoughts through meditation, and many more. 

Mindfulness practices have been linked to increased vascular relaxation, which may result in a decrease in blood pressure. Additionally, a University of Wisconsin study found that mindfulness meditation leads to long-lasting improvements in immune system and brain function. Surprisingly, some researchers discovered that mindfulness practices like meditation could be an effective behavioral treatment for insomnia.

Another research also suggests that even ten minutes of meditation each day can help prevent your mind from wandering unnecessarily, especially if you are prone to anxious thoughts.

By engaging in mindfulness activities, you develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of your emotions, boosting your emotional resilience, and leaving you with greater inner peace. Keeping a journal, in particular, helps you develop a deep relationship with yourself.

For this pillar, take a few minutes to just be in the present moment – whether it’s in the morning or evening, or even throughout your day.

3. Physical Health: Engage in Regular Exercise

Exercise is essential as part of a holistic approach to achieving the best possible wellness. Consistent exercise has many physical benefits such as weight management, improved heart health, and increased energy levels. Regular exercise also promotes your sleep quality and reduces your risk of certain cancers.

Frequent physical activity is known to boost your mood and help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also positively impacts your decision-making and concentration. In fact, research shows that exercise may even be more effective than medicine to manage your mental health.

For this pillar of well-being, dedicate some time to exercise every week. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. Even a simple 20-minute walk can help you enjoy the health benefits of exercising.

Although it can be challenging to maintain our well-being with all the pressures of modern life, remember that some simple changes across the three pillars of well-being can have outsized impact on your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Take a few minutes every day to connect with your loved ones, practice mindfulness, and move your body. These seemingly simple acts can have a profound impact on your overall well-being.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness, so experiment to figure out what works best for you. Being intentional about your well-being is already a meaningful investment in yourself.

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