The biopsychosocial Model refers to the use of psychological and social principles to address human wellness and health (study.com). When making a transition to a better lifestyle, you must add your biopsychosocial components into the mix if you want a change of lifestyle.
The Four Factors in the biopsychosocial model (BPS) refer to your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions about your experiences, and your environment. A change of lifestyle suggests that significant interactions among the three disciplines will affect why and how distress or illness occurs (Physiopedia).
THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL COMPONENTS
Biological: (genetics, brain chemistry, and brain damage)
Social: (life trauma, early life experiences and stressors and family relationships)
Psychological: (how we interpret events as signifying something negative about ourselves).
The importance of the BSP approach is that it looks at all of the possible biological, psychological, and social influences affecting a person’s overall health and well-being. Oftentimes, people overlook one of these factors and wonder why there is an imbalance in one part or another of their life.
For example, my own lack of knowledge about healthy food choices started in my early childhood. Due to lack of resources, my parents resorted to buying foods with high sugar and fat content, so I was prone to being overweight as a result. It was not until my thirties that I realized I had to change my lifestyle. My medical team was my biggest blessings.
CONSULT WITH YOUR MEDICAL TEAM
As a result, I am way healthier and happier than I have ever been. Now let’s dive into how to change to a better lifestyle. Your first stop is to consult with your primary health care team. This can be your nutritionist, Registered Dietician, physician, or nurse practician. They all have access to your family history, pertinent medical records, and other resources.
Check with your medical team. They have limitless resources. Also, medical centers and hospitals usually offer free nutrition classes. A well-balanced diet provides all the energy you need to keep active throughout the day. You need nutrients for growth and repair of your fiber, cells, and muscles of your body. Here’s a few more tips:
- Find what works for you
- Come up with a Mantra
- Find a hobby Something that sparks your joy
- Make incremental changes one day at a time
Once you have the green light to transition to a healthier lifestyle, you are good to go full-speed ahead. Let’s get this party started. The first step is to change your mindset from an unhealthy, junk-food mindset to a nutritional, body and mind-building mindset, That’s right. You are going to REBUILD your body and mind from the inside out.
COMPONENTS OF A HEALTHY MINDSET
Let’s get into the components of a healthy mindset, starting with a nutritional balance. You don’t want to jump in without having all your lifestyle bases covered. Start where you are at. Get the scope on nutrition.
Your body and mind need certain nutrients to stay in a healthy homeostasis. Getting a daily dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, is the key to balanced nutrition. Getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is quintessential.
IMPORTANCE OF MACRONUTRIENTS
There are three key nutrients we need for balance. These are the primary macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates fuel your body with immediate energy. Protein provides amino acids, which are essential for building muscle, skin, blood, and important structures of the brain and nervous system. Nourishment is key for healthy bodies.
This is how I was introduced to a healthier lifestyle. Moving on to the next key factor to a healthy lifestyle – physical activity.
Yeah. I know you don’t have time to exercise and it’s boring. Well, let’s change this mindset and do some reverse engineering. Physical exercise will help optimize your health. Exercise reduces your chances of developing heart disease, high blood glucose and cholesterol and other chronic diseases.
Doing 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can do wonders for your blood pressure, heart health, mental health, and your overall fitness. In the long run it improves the overall quality of your life. Exercise also reduces your stress levels. There are a plethora of exercise equipment. The stair stepper is pretty awesome. It does the trick for me.
Stress is a part of life. However, too much stress places extra wear and tear on the body. The good news is that we can divert stress in several ways. For example, here a few things that relieve stress:
- Get enough quality sleep
- Drink lots of water
- Stay hydrated (8 glasses/day)
- Stop smoking (protect lungs)
- Reduce alcohol intake
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
Give yourself time to adjust to a healthier lifestyle. Rome was not built in a day. Adopt a mindful attitude. Invest in a Journal book to keep a record of your progress. Write down your strengths and weaknesses and be prepared for the ups and downs of the transition. Here are a few suggestions:
- Identify your triggers
- What can you do when you have cravings?
- Understand what causes your emotional eating?
- Journal about your feelings after eating high caloric, processed foods.
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN OF ACTION?
There will be challenges ahead. Be ready ahead of time to punch these challenges I the face. First, be mindful of triggers. If certain people or certain foods trigger you, avoid them at all costs. Second, swap out the negative with something positive. Take a moment to do Yoga or Tao Chi or do deep breathing exercises. You can also go for a walk, walk barefoot on the beach, or take a long bike ride. Here are other intangible things to do for your self-care moments:
- Let go of the past
- Stay focused on present
- Learn from unhealthy experiences.
- Come up with a mantra (I am confident and cool)
- Acknowledge your shortcomings
An attitude of gratitude is when you make the conscious habit of expressing appreciation on a regular basis for big or small things alike. Gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. It helps create positive emotions, improves overall health and builds strong relationships. There are so many thing to be grateful for such as:
- Thankfulness to be alive
- Clean water to drink
- Family connections
- Food, clothing, shelter
- Sense of well-being
STAY CONNECTED WITH FRIENDS
As humans, we are wired for connections with family, friends, co-workers, and with the greater community. Connections allow you to benefit from the help you receive from others. At the same time, you can offer support to others when they need it. Connections can leverage and build symbiotic relationships. Maslow’s Hierarchy shed light on connects many years ago.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy, besides food, water, and safety, love and connection are the most important human needs we must fulfill. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships, intimacy, to connect with others, and to be integrated in a group. When these needs are met, our overall well-being improves, as we live a more fulfilled life. Connected humans also form lifestyle habits.
MAKE HABITS YOU CAN KEEP
- Set actionable goals
- Build on each success
- Adopt new habits slowly
- Set realistic and achievable SMART goals
- Create Daily activities related to goals
TRANSITIONING TO A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE
Transitioning to a happier, healthier lifestyle is more than meets the eye. It is a conscious choice to turn over a new chapter in our lives. Although the health and fitness industry has taken the world by storm, there is still a substantial portion of the population who struggle with health conditions that affect their life in a negative way. I was one of those people who had to make a lifestyle change.
ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE?
There are so many benefits to a healthy lifestyle. For starters, you lower the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. In addition, it increases happiness and the feelings of self-worth. Being physically active, eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting adequate amounts of water, connecting with family and friends, and getting enough sleep increases your chances of a long, happy life.
Are you taking stock of the quality of your life? Can you check all the healthy lifestyle components? Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk about the strengths and weaknesses you deal with daily. My goal is to make sure you are meeting your goals and are living your best life. Leave a quick comment in the space provided below and I will do my level best to help you out.