In a previous letter I shared 9 categories, which I believe, should be addressed if you want to thrive.
To recap here they are again:
These categories are not silos that function independently. They often overlap in a systemic way and influence your physical and mental health, as well as the quality and duration of your life.
Over the next 8 weeks I will briefly look at each category and give you some basic tips and ideas that you should look at to ensure you have the foundation in place to thrive.
This week we take a closer look at lifestyle.
What is lifestyle - not just another fad?
A simple definition of the word 'lifestyle' is the way in which a person lives. Your lifestyle is really made up of your daily habits.
Habits in turn can be defined as a set of automatic, unconscious thoughts, emotions and behaviours acquired through repetition over time.
Your lifestyle has a tremendous impact on your health. So big that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set aside an entire category for disease caused by lifestyle.
You guesed it, it’s called Lifestyle Related Disease, and can be defined as disease linked to one’s lifestyle. They are generally caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating, alcohol, smoking and other substances.
This can collectively lead to cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, strokes etc), type 2 diabetes
, respiritory disease, neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Motor-neuron disease etc) and different types of cancers.
According to the WHO 71% of all deaths globally are lifestyle related.
That is 41 million people each year dying due to “habit-related disease”
. This is a massive number. And the reality is that a large number of these deaths could be prevented by, you guessed it again… changes in habits or lifestyle.
Taking responsibility for your habits will already move you in the right direction.
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Prevention is better (easier, less painfull and cheaper) than cure
The question is do you have optimal habits in place for your life? These inlude:
Exercise or phsycial activity
Moderate alcohol use
The reality of this is that most people know this. I know this is not news to you. However the statisics reveal that most people may not have the best habits in place.
But change is so hard - unless you know this…
Many people know what to do, yet they still don’t do it. This is due to the fact that many have great difficulty in changing their behaviour from bad habits to good.
Why do most people find it so hard to change?
Well a habit is when you have done something so many times, that your body (unconsciously) knows how to do “it” better than your mind (conscious). Your conscious mind is bypassed when the action is performed.
95% of who you are as an adult is a combination of a memorised set of behaviours, emotional responses, unconscious habits, hardwired attitudes, beliefs and perceptions that function like the software of a computer program. Your emotional experiences over your lifetime have given you this frame of mind.
The reason why most people cannot change is because they focus on the behaviour and they don’t realise that true transformation lies in changing their software, their beliefs and frames of mind.
But that is the topic for next week…