These Doctors Still Make House Calls

1. Nutrition. Nourishing food strengthens both the body and the brain. Plant foods are rich in compounds and nutrients that lower stress and improve mental function and mood. Enjoy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Avoid junk food, saturated animal fat and trans-fats, sugary drinks, caffeine, and large amounts of refined sugar.   

2. Fresh Air and Exercise. Exercise, especially outdoor exercise in nature, improves head as well as heart health: it is critical to mental and physical health. It has been said that motion balances emotion. Exercise lowers stress, depression, and anxiety; it improves mood, well-being, and mental processing; it also increases learning power. It helps you improve physical health, reduce disease risk, and achieve a healthful weight. 

3. Rest. Our bodies are designed for mental, physical, and spiritual rest as well as action. It is important to plan times of recreation, relaxation, and reflection to minimize the depression that is linked to constant mental and physical strain. Also, regular early-to-bed sleep patterns rejuvenate the brain; help control stress hormone and blood sugar levels; reduce irritability, fatigue, and stress; and increase energy! 

4. Attitude. Someone once said that a bad attitude is like a flat tire—unless you change it, you won’t get very far. Studies show that a key factor in living a long, healthful life is a sense of meaning and purpose. Cultivate a thankful attitude, and check those negative thoughts! Make the choice to focus on solutions rather than problems, and look at difficulties and trials as opportunities for growth. 

5. Relationships. Cultivating healthy relationships is a lot like cultivating a garden: The more focused attention and care a garden gets, the more fruit it produces. In the same way, taking time to cultivate and maintain positive friendships and social
relationships bears the fruit of joy, empathy, and unselfishness. Taking time for healthful relationships creates opportunities for giving as well as receiving. 

6. Mental Fitness. Physical fitness requires determination, perseverance, and practice. Mental fitness does, too. You can give your brain a workout by engaging in challenging mental activities such as reading inspiring, challenging, and educational
books, working puzzles, playing a musical instrument, or learning new skills. Such activities increase the brain’s neuronal neighborhoods, creating new connections and increasing mental flexibility. 

7. Positive Choices. Extreme makeovers may work on TV home improvement programs, but remodeling a life is a process that takes place over time and with God’s help. Never underestimate the power of little, daily positive choices in overcoming
big, bad habits. Repetition and patience are the keys to crafting a healthy lifestyle. Successful people are not mistake free: they just refuse to give up! 

8. Spiritual Health. Spiritual health is at the center of a healthy lifestyle. It is making peace with God and allowing His plan, purpose, and power to guide your life. The Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is the Great Physician who came to establish
His kingdom of love, life, and freedom from bad habits deep within our hearts. 

Balance Magazine, Balanced Living Tracts