The adage "health is wealth" is there for a reason.
And after so much reading since I've become a financial consultant, I've determined that there are six different aspects of health.
And to spice things up a bit, I decided to do a series of videos to explain these six aspects of health in detail.
This series matters to me as I’m in the business of helping people live life by design, not by default.
And a key role in doing so is risk management.
Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and controlling threats to our clients’ capital and earnings. I help my clients manage their risks – especially threats to their capital and earnings.
This brings us to the number #1 income generator for most people - themselves.
It is us who pay for the mortgage, pay for the car loan, etc. But when asked what their biggest asset is, most people forget to include themselves.
And if I want to protect this asset, we can’t leave health out of the picture. In my opinion, there are six main aspects of personal health.
And to take care of ourselves, we can’t leave these six health aspects out of the picture.
Different Types of Health
In my opinion, there are six main aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, mental and financial.
I think it’s important we remind ourselves that good health doesn’t mean the absence of problems. What we want is to achieve an optimal state of health so that we can all live our best life ever.
Mental and physical health are probably the two most frequently discussed types of health, especially with the pandemic. Social, spiritual, emotional, and financial health also contribute to overall health. Medical experts have linked these to lower stress levels and improved mental and physical well-being.
People with better financial health, for example, may worry less about finances and have the means to buy fresh food more regularly. Those with good spiritual health may feel a sense of calm and purpose that fuels good mental health. It is important to approach “health” as a whole, rather than as a series of separate factors. All types of health are linked, and people should aim for overall well-being and balance as the keys to good health.
1. Physical Health
'If You Have a Body, You're an Athlete' - Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman
We all know that regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest contribute to good health. But knowing is not enough, we must apply. Personally, when the alarm rings each morning, the temptation to snooze the alarm is extremely alluring. But here’s what I think – if I get my workout done first thing in the morning, no matter how bad the day was, I think I’ve accomplished something for myself. And that’s what inspires me to stick to my workouts (at least most of the time).
Also, when we are in good physical health, we are likely to function at our peak.
How to preserve good physical health?
Avoid heavy episodic drinking or any other harmful substances
Create White Space (blocks of open time) in between the scheduled events of your day. It is a wonderful place to appreciate the end results of the hard work you do
2. Mental Health
Mental and physical health are probably the two most frequently discussed types of health, especially with the pandemic.
Generally, good mental health is characterised by a person's ability to fulfil key functions and activities, including the capacity to learn, feel, express, and manage a range of emotions, and the ability to form and maintain good relationships. Mental health also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
And here’s a reminder: It’s ok to receive help or treatment to maintain the balance, when necessary.
I started seeing a therapist at the beginning of last year. I needed help processing some of the emotions I was feeling and knew that therapy would provide that safe space for me to do so. I’m still seeing my therapist – every fortnight and it’s been an awesome journey so far. I feel a lot more grounded, at peace and confident in how I approach life in general.
If you’re also exploring this area, do know that there are different modalities and I encourage you to check out your options before deciding on one. If there’s one tip I can offer when choosing a therapist, please choose someone you feel comfortable with.
Good mental health looks like this:
Ability to enjoy life
Ability to bounce back after difficult experiences and adapt to adversity
Ability to balance different elements of life, such as family and finances
Feeling safe and secure
Achieving their full potential
3. Emotional Health
Emotional health is one aspect of mental health. They are closely related and a part of each other.
Here are three key indicators of good emotional health:
Emotional stability – where one is often observed to be even tempered
Resilience – referring to the ability to cope with stresses of daily life
Optimism – feeling positive and purposeful about life in general
If you feel like this is an aspect of health you would like to work on, you can start off by checking in with your emotional hygiene.
Emotional hygiene is the practice of allowing ourselves to feel the depth of whatever emotion is present for us. This means giving us the space and time to process. Because only then, we can understand what our emotions are telling us.
For example, I have learnt that anger is a messenger for overstepped boundaries. It took me a long time to understand this because growing up, I was told that anger is bad, and I am in the wrong whenever I get angry.
Instead, whenever I feel anger now, I ask myself:
What do I value?
What must be protected and restored?
Then I take action to regain the balance.
May we have the courage to begin breaking patterns that no longer serve us. I hope you will give yourself permission to do so.
4. Spiritual Health
Spiritual wellness acknowledges our search for deeper meaning in life. When we're spiritually healthy, we feel more connected to those around us. We have greater clarity in making everyday choices, and our actions become more aligned with our beliefs and values.
There are many ways to experience spirituality. For some people, this might involve the belief in a higher power or a specific religious practice. For others, it may be experiencing a sense of inter-connectedness with the rest of humanity and nature.
Here’s how I practice spiritually:
Spending time in nature. It’s as if nature cleanses my soul. And just this year, I got to try forest bathing. It was amazing.
Focusing on others. Be it coaching, mentoring or simply being there for someone – this gives me a sense of purpose.
Practicing gratitude. For me, this is how I remember what is important and what brings me the greatest happiness.
I hope you’ll find some time this week to embark on a little spiritual wellness for yourself.
5. Social Health
Think about how good you feel after spending time with friends or a conversation with a stranger on your way to work that left you feeling happier than you would think.
People and relationships are the medicine for our social health. As we grow, social ties start building their place in our lives. We become a part of different communities around us like school, hobbies, work, etc. These positive relations help us to build a support system, making us healthier.
Good social health looks like this:
Adapting to social situations
Staying true to yourself in all situations
Balancing your social and personal time
Being engaged with others in your community
The ability to develop and maintain friendships
Creating boundaries in friendships and relationships
Having a supportive network of family and friends
However, the pandemic has led some to suffer from social malnutrition, especially during the earlier days of circuit breakers. Even with social distancing, people’s in-person social interactions were inherently limited, which may narrow their sense of social connection.
If you’re looking to rebuild your social health, here are three tips for you:
Get connected. This could be with strangers or people you’ve let slip away over the years.
Be proactive. Share your feelings, ask for help when in need, listen to others with an open mind and a kind heart. And more importantly, stay away from people who do not respect you or your boundaries.
Develop activities that can be enjoyed with your loved ones – this may include exercising together, visiting places of interest or preparing a meal.
Do try them out and I hope you’ll have fun improving this aspect of your health!
Bonus tips on preserving social health:
Brighten your outlook
Find a stress reliever to reduce stress
Spend time with people who are important to you
6. Financial Health
What does it mean to be financially healthy? While there are standardised tests for measuring other aspects of health, is there one for our financial health?
Being financially healthy means being economically secure enough to handle both expected and unexpected expenses. Someone who is financially healthy can afford to pay essential bills, has ample savings for an emergency and can afford their debt obligations.
Thus, factors like steady income, low debt-to-income ratio, and consistent retirement investments are indicators of strong financial health.
Here are 3 timeless strategies that can help you on your journey to financial wellness:
Review your budgets and ensure you are on track to your goals
Avoid pursuing fast money or quick gains
Work with someone who can hold you accountable
And as with most other aspects of health, frequent review and attention are needed. We can’t improve what we don’t measure. Regular check-ups help us track our progress and identify areas we should work on.
Let’s remind ourselves that good health is not merely the absence of problems. Instead, good health suggests an optimal state where we can all live our best life ever.
What are your thoughts on the above aspects of health?
I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed creating the Reels, videos and this blog post.