Have you dreamed of becoming healthy and whole? Have you grown weary of the bad habits that keep getting in your way, or are you just trying to forge a new path in life? Whether you’re trying to get in shape, change your attitude, or move forward to overcome challenges, the most effective route to becoming the person you want to be involves all of your mind, your body, and your spirit.

When we don’t feel good, we often forget that the connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit is the key to getting better. If we feel bad about ourselves because of the way our body appears, it isn’t just about better nutrition and exercise. It’s about learning how to think about ourselves and appreciate what we see in the mirror. It’s about thinking about how God sees us and what He wants for us.

Your physical health is an important part of living a long, healthy life. So is your mental health. If you’re beset by anxiety and depression, it’s much harder to achieve your goals and become the person you want to be. And without considering your spirit, all of those things are much more difficult. Whether you find solace and strength in prayer or some form of mindful exercise, the important thing is do include that in pursuing your goals and to take intentional steps, one at a time.

If you’re truly ready to become healthy and whole, keep these three ideas in mind:

1. Think about what you think about. Listen to the things you’re saying to yourself, particularly those you know are incorrect or potentially harmful. When you find yourself veering into unproductive territory, press pause and bring yourself back to where you want to be. It can also be helpful to establish daily intentions for yourself. It’s much easier to achieve a daily goal, and each goal you fulfill makes it easier to succeed at the next.

2. Take care of your body. Eating right and avoiding unhealthy food is something everyone understands. But it’s just as important to make sure you stay properly hydrated. Your body is mostly water, and when you start to run low, it doesn’t work as well. Regular movement is important, as is paying attention to how you breathe. Take breaks frequently for brief deep breathing exercises and you’ll be surprised at how much better you start feeling. Pausing hourly to roll your shoulders and focus on your breath is a great way to start.

3. Monitor your heart. I’m not talking about checking your pulse (although that’s important). What I mean is noticing and managing your emotions. Pay attention to who you spend your time with, making sure they’re people who make you feel better and more confident. Also be careful about what you watch and read. There’s no need to waste time with things that make you feel bad or unworthy. And limit the amount of time you spend reviewing media and (especially) social media. It’s better to spend your life living than spend it reading about what other people do.

If you’d like some help overcoming your own challenges with becoming healthy and whole, it’s available. Care to Change has several professionals who can help you find the balance that’s right for you and show you practical ways to feel better. Just call or email us to set a time to talk.

Ginger Boyce worked in clinical research before deciding to teach trauma sensitive yoga and movement as a way to help with mental health challenges. She is available to do private sessions, group or family sessions and corporate stress reduction sessions as well.