A Hope & Healing Counseling & Ibunkun Training Collaboration
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Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI) is designed to assist men on their journey to becoming healthy holistically. Holistic health is about caring for the whole person — providing for your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social needs. It's rooted in the understanding that all these aspects affect your overall health and being unwell in one aspect affects you in others. When it comes to holistic health we are looking beyond the physical body and are addressing physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and mental health.
Our physical health is what most people think about when they think of health. This is mostly because it is the physical body that often shows us physical signs and symptoms of either optimal or sub-optimal health. These physical signs and symptoms are also more easy to track and measure, versus other non-physical signs and symptoms that can feel more abstract.
When it comes to supporting your physical health there are few key practices that everyone can benefit from and can make a huge difference on your overall well-being:
Sleep for 8 hours each night. This will allow your body to truly rest and repair from the day.
Eat a nutrient dense diet that is high in plant-based foods and organic/pastured animal products.
Maintain a balanced blood sugar by eating meals and snacks that contain fat, carbohydrates, and protein every 3-4 hours.
Move your body for 30 minutes each day. While every person’s exercise routine will be different, everyone can benefit from at least 30 minutes of movement each day.
Limit processed foods and hydrogenated oils which are highly inflammatory and can increase risk of chronic disease.
While often overlooked, our emotional health is just as important as our physical health — especially because our emotional health can affect our physical health if it is not prioritized.
Ways you can support your emotional health:
Seek out therapy when needed. Therapy is an essential part of supporting our emotional health and should be utilized whenever necessary.
Practice mindfulness and stress reduction habits that can help you better manage life’s daily stressors.
Keep a journal to record you thoughts and feelings. Use your journal to record what you are grateful for as it can help bring positivity into times of stress.
Do not smoke, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Research has shown that the happiest people on earth have deep connections with their friends, family, and community. This is often why religion is connected with happiness as it can provide a deep sense of community and support, no matter what faith a person chooses.
Ways that you can support your social health:
Make time for in-person connection. While technology has allowed for us to feel connected more, research has shown that virtual connection still does not provide us with the same level of happiness as in-person connection does.
Get involved in your local community. Whether this is through your church, local volunteer organizations, clubs, or programs at your kids school — getting involved in your local community is one of the best ways you can support your social health and improve happiness.
Set boundaries with people in your life that may increase stress or bring about toxic energy. Also do not be afraid to walk away from friendships and relationships that are negatively affecting
Spiritual wellness does not necessarily mean that you need to become religious, although the two often have overlapping practices and principles. Instead your spiritual health should focus on how you are connecting with your inner soul, and the greater world around you.
Ways you can support your spiritual health:
Spend time in nature
Spend a few minutes each day meditating
If you are religious, take the time to practice your faith
The last aspect of holistic health is our mental health, which often overlaps with both our emotional and physical health. The big distinction between our mental and emotional health though is that while our emotional health refers mostly to our daily mood and emotions, our mental health refers to our cognitive abilities that affect how our brain functions.
Ways that you can support your mental health:
Always keep your mind active by seeking out learning opportunities and problem-solving practices that challenge your brain.
Consume nutrient dense foods that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that will help reduce overall inflammation and support cognitive function.
Avoid excessive drinking, smoking, and consuming recreational drugs.
Improve gut health with gut healing foods like bone broth and prebiotic and probiotic rich foods. Since the brain is directly connected to the gut a healthy gut is essential for a healthy mind.