I don’t know if many of you read as many health related articles and studies as I do, but let me tell you: we are doomed. At least that is the feeling I get sometimes. The titles can read all doom and gloom and it would seem that we can do nothing right. From eating the wrong foods, breathing in the wrong chemicals, and even not standing enough, every aspect of our health is in danger. It can be overwhelming and cause you to feel like it is a hopeless cause because no matter what there is going to be something that you do that is going to kill you or compromise your health.
I started feeling this way when I really started to dig into making myself healthier. I wanted to make sure that I was doing everything right so that I could be the best and healthiest. I wanted to be eating all the right foods, doing all the right exercises, and so I turned to health research. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and value all research. It is what helps us learn more about ourselves and the world around us. Research helps us do better, but it can also be a double-edged sword. Any study that you find proving one thing, you will undoubtedly find a conflicting study proving something else. This is especially true with health research. So when I started in on finding the healthiest life possible, I got confused and overwhelmed. I was doing everything wrong it felt like and if I kept this up it would lead to a morbid end.
I began to worry about everything I did when it came to my health. Was I eating at the right time to get the optimal nutrition from my food? Was I exercising enough or too much? Did I sit down too often? Should I ever sit again? Were the cleaners I used in my house going to undo all the healthy eating I had been reading about? I second-guessed every choice I made, and fretted over if I would ever be able to do it right. Ironically enough, all that worrying about doing everything perfect is what led to me not being as healthy as possible.
Stress is one of the biggest health busters and it can wreak havoc over all areas of your life. It can affect sleep, which can then affect your hormones that help make food choices, which then affect your body, which in turn affects your physical activity. By stressing over all the research that I was taking in, I was doing the exactly the opposite of what I wanted.
I’ll tell you something I needed someone to tell me: you aren’t going to do it all perfectly. There is no way that you can eat every super food out there, perform all the most challenging exercises, eliminate every bad habit that is going to be the demise of your health. It is impossible and it is also ok. You can’t be perfectly healthy and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Rather than stress over all the things you have to do or suffer the consequences, focus on doing the best you can. Remember when your parents told you even if you got a bad grade on something as long as you gave it your all and did your best that was what mattered? The same applies to your health. Eat as best as you can, whether that is organic or conventional. Exercise in the way that works for you, whether that is doing CrossFit or yoga. Make as many healthy choices as you can, whether that is using all natural cleaners or walking more throughout the day. The little things will add up and you’ll live a healthier life by doing the best you can.
I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, and we aren’t meant to be. Don’t let all those studies and research get you down and make you hopeless. Don’t give up or worse, not start, just because it appears to be a lost cause. Making today better than yesterday is a healthy goal, and research says that’s a good thing!