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Health is multidimensional

Health is multi dimensional, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, mental. This is why we cannot tell if someone is healthy by the way they look.

There have been many discussions on social media lately around "what healthy looks like", and the reality is if we attempt to try and define it by appearance or size or even if we include blood tests results too, we are taking a reductionist view, and this can be dangerous.

Because health involves so much more than our physical bodies.

Health includes our physical emotional, spiritual, social and mental health working in balance as system. If one part of that system is not working well, it impacts the other parts.

Our brains and our gut experience bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system.

Loneliness increases risk of premature death by 25% [Rico-Uribe, 2018]

Being profoundly grateful; engaging in complete acceptance; and having a strong sense of assuredness improves quality of life [Victor Counted 2018]

Socioeconomic disadvantage is a risk factor for disease (Kivimaki, 2020)

It is all connected. 

So, no we cannot tell what someone's health is by their physical appearance because health is multifactorial.

I understand it is easy to get caught up in the importance of physical health, because that is where we are taught to notice symptoms and it is easiest to measure changes in; but physical health becomes less important if it is at the detriment of mental, social, emotional + mental health.

We need to look after the whole system.

Here are some gentle ideas:

- include two different types of vegetables with lunch and dinner.

- write a letter or do something kind for someone else

- rest

- arrange a call with friends, family or a local support group

- walk in nature

- use the feelings wheel [] to name your emotions. This does not mean you have to sit with them if this feels unsafe.

- join in with an online training class

- watch a youtube video on something new or a skill you want to know more about

- reduce caffeine intake

- watch a rom com

- include a probiotic food or supplement in your daily diet

- take a hot shower

- gratitude journal