What is the healthiest way to live? This has been a question that has plagued people for centuries. Some say that it is through clean living and eating healthy foods. Others argue that maintaining good mental health is essential to a healthy lifestyle. We believe all of these are essential, along with many other components, and we group this all into one philosophy: salutogenesis.
In this article, we are going to discuss what salutogenesis is exactly, the benefits it provides, and how you can implement it successfully.
1. What is salutogenesis and how can it improve your life?
According to Marriam-webster, salutogenesis is “an approach to human health that examines the factors contributing to the promotion and maintenance of physical and mental well-being rather than disease with particular emphasis on the coping mechanisms of individuals which help preserve health despite stressful conditions.” The basic idea behind salutogenesis is that instead of trying to fix things when they go wrong (pathogenesis), you focus on creating a healthy environment that encourages good health. It’s kind of like the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Unfortunately, this is the complete opposite philosophy of modern medicine. Although medicine is fantastic in emergency situations, our medical system is failing when it comes to increasing health outcomes. Therefore, it’s up to you to take responsibility for your own health and do what’s right for you, despite what your doctor may say.
2. How to create a positive environment for yourself
According to this philosophy, the best way to achieve good health is by creating and nurturing a positive environment for yourself. This can mean anything from surrounding yourself with supportive people to finding activities that make you happy. A healthy environment isn’t solely your surroundings, however. It’s also your physical body. Therefore, it’s essential to take the steps to creating a positive environment within your body as well. This can mean eating a proper diet, getting adequate exercise, having a proper recovery routine, and of course, receiving chiropractic care to make sure your nervous system is functioning optimally.
Taking care of your mental and physical health should be non-negotiable. Without the two, nothing else is truly obtainable. They are vital for you to be able to find meaning in your life and live in line with your values. When you have a positive environment, you’re more likely to be happy and healthy. So, if you’re looking for a new way to improve your health, give salutogenesis a try!
3. The benefits of living a salutogenic lifestyle
Living a salutogenic lifestyle has many benefits, including:
improved mental and physical health
increased happiness and satisfaction with life
greater meaning and purpose in life
improved work-life balance
Decrease in psychopathological symptomatology, as well as other symptoms relating to anxiety and depression
Reduction in disease prevalence
Improvements in perceived health
Greater well-being and perceived quality of life
Reduction in stress
Reduction in pain-related symptomatology
Higher psychological, physical and social well-being
4. Tips for implementing salutogenesis into your life
If you’re interested in living a salutogenic lifestyle, there are a few things you can do to get started:
Find supportive people: Spend time with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself. They say that you are a sum of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Therefore, if those people are not supportive, speak negatively, or talk down to you, then that will have a negative impact on your physical and social well-being.
Find activities that make you happy: Do things that make you feel good, such as spending time outdoors, reading, or doing a hobby you enjoy. By spending time doing things you love, you increase the amount of dopamine released in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for movement, coordination, and feelings of pleasure and reward. Therefore, by focusing on the things you love, as well as surrounding yourself with people you love, you will feel and function better.
Take care of your mental and physical health: Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and find ways to manage stress. Food is your body’s fuel. You need fuel it correctly for it to function at its best. You wouldn’t put diesel fuel in your gasoline powered car would you? Exercise is essential to your health for many reasons. It helps control body weight, improves your cardiovascular system, increases energy, relieves stress and improves sleep. Getting adequate sleep is essential because this is when our bodies heal. It helps repair wear and tear from the day, as well as organizes our thoughts and emotions. Do your best to improve these four areas of your life and I promise you will notice a positive change!
Find meaning in your life: Live in line with your values. First, you must discover what those values truly are. It’s so common that we get forced into doing things we don’t want to do, or being someone we don’t want to be. If you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like simply because it pays the bills, or because you’re afraid to make a change, you are only hurting your mental and physical health. If you constantly subordinate to others, and do things for them to “be nice,” then you are also hurting yourself. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to do what YOU want. Don’t worry about people judging you. Be yourself.
The idea behind salutogenesis is that instead of trying to fix things when they go wrong, you focus on creating a healthy environment that encourages good health. By environment, we mean both your surroundings and your physical body. By focusing on the things that help increase our health, both mentally and physically, you theoretically won’t have to worry about disease. And if something does go wrong, your body is better equipped to deal with it. So now that you know a different philosophy of health, let us ask you again. What is the healthiest way to live?
If you have any questions, or want to see how chiropractic care can help click here!