Living your best life is a worthy goal, but staying fit and healthy can be tricky. Modern people aren’t always in touch with the needs of their bodies and minds, due in large part the endless barrage of conveniences and luxuries. That means that improving your well-being will mean unlearning much of what modern living has taught you. Here’s what you need to know.

Your Diet

The role of the diet in a person’s well-being is no secret. What is more esoteric, however, is what constitutes a good diet. The role of a person’s diet is to provide the essential vitamins and nutrients for daily life, but processed food items trade nutrition in exchange for saving some time and money. Processed foods often extend their shelf lives with preservatives that are nutritionally useless, and they also tend to contain salt and sugar in excess for the sake of addictive flavor profiles. Cooking your own meals is far and away superior, because it allows you to curate the vitamins and nutrients that go into your diet. After answering a few basic nutritional questions, such as “Is oatmeal fattening?” you can develop a diet that best meets your needs. In this instance, oatmeal doesn’t contribute to weight in the way that carbs are associated with, because oats contain complex carbs that take longer to absorb into the body. Meanwhile, a processed (simple) carbohydrate like sugar is absorbed more quickly, letting more of the energy go to waste while contributing to weight gain.

Your Sleep Schedule

Sleep is another area in which modern people tend to suffer. There is immense pressure to make more use of your limited time by burning the candle at both ends, and this creates a health hazard. A poor sleeping schedule is bad for your body and your brain, and there are a few reasons why. First of all, the primary role of sleep seems to be providing a period of rest in which the body can recuperate more quickly and effectively, and the same seems to be true of the mind. This is why a rough night’s sleep will result in physical exhaustion as well as an inability to concentrate. Likewise, it would seem that a good night’s sleep is an important part of regulating memory, both in terms of keeping what’s deemed important, but also in terms of discarding irrelevant information that can make it more difficult to take in new information and hold on to what’s important.

Your Mental Health

While it has historically been misunderstood and demonized, mental health and mental illness are real factors in a person’s overall well-being. What’s more, your mental health and physical health play off of each other to a surprising degree, so the notion that mental illness is just in a person’s head is ludicrous. The effects of poor mental health are well documented, but mental health maintenance techniques are not, although that fact is slowly changing. The most important element of keeping your brain happy and healthy is mental stimulation. Boredom can seem like a trivial problem, and it can even inspire positive change, but a lack of mental stimulation can be incredibly detrimental if left alone for too long. People need variety and excitement, because a brain needs to stay engaged in order to stay in tip top shape, not unlike how the body needs physical exercise. The problem is that it’s necessary to develop routines, especially when it comes to work, so you’ll have to make up for that lack of engagement in your personal life. A great way to do so is by taking up a hobby. Hobbies tend to require and, therefore, develop skills, and that can be the workout your brain needs.

 

Taking care of yourself should be simple, and in many ways, it is. However, modern life can complicate this process by sending you conflicting signals. These tips can help you restructure your life for better mental and physical health in a world that makes living your best life counterintuitive.