Torres column: Your health contributes to your happiness
I love writing and sharing my knowledge with others. I just enjoy teaching and helping others to be healthier, reach their goals and by the end find real happiness.
I have no trouble talking about nutrition or eating habits. However, I think the hardest part of a speech is making people interested in the information and helping them change their life. So what I often do is remind people why they were born. Many of us forget why we’re here: The real reason we are born is to be happy. Many forget because they are too busy searching for happiness. So when people understand how important their health is in achieving true happiness, they are interested in the topic.
Here I’m suggesting that you take a moment and think about why you do what you do. The reality is that you do everything you do because you think it will contribute to your happiness. Sometimes you will make the wrong decision and adopt bad habits, thinking that they will contribute to your real happiness. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. All humans do the same thing. However, the more you know about the truth, the more aware you are about the choices you make.
Let me tell you about my experience. I made many wrong decisions in my past by adopting bad habits that I thought would make me happy. I used to smoke, drink, party, etc. However, I had a hole in my heart that I couldn’t mend no matter how much I practiced these negative habits. I thought I was happy because I rationalized and justified my acts. Sometimes I thought “Everyone does it,” “It feels good,” “Life is short,” and so on. Until one day, my life changed. I asked the right quality question, and quality questions lead to quality answers, and quality answers lead to quality actions, and quality actions lead to quality results, and quality results lead to a high quality life.
Well, I found that the human being needs to go through a series of zones to be happy. Here is where exercise and eating healthily make sense. Otherwise, it is difficult for people to adopt these behaviors. For many, the effort that they need to put into exercise is perceived as pain. Remember that we do things searching for happiness, and many people keep happiness separate from pain.
Anyway, here I’m sharing with you what I realized people such as Abraham Maslow, Tony Robbins, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan and others have being following to find true happiness. So far these zones have worked for me. I hope it makes sense to you:
Body Zone: Here we need to take care of the body by exercising and feeding it the right foods. This zone is the base we need to be able to perform better in the next seven zones. According to psychologists people can get stuck at this level with vices like greed, laziness, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc. Any physical problems force us to devote priority attention to this zone.
Emotional Zone: Once the body is healthy and happy, we need to feel at peace, without fear, anger or fright. In the emotional area we seek to attain the fundamental spiritual balance.
Approving Zone: With the body and mind in peace, we begin to think about being accepted, admired and loved by others. We all need a level of approval, and here is where we share similar habits with our peers.
Material Zone: Once we’ve found a minimum level of approval, we start our search for goods, safety and economic stability. Philosophers says that many people get trapped in this area. Greed and desire for power become a vice.
Learning Zone: Here we understand that we must grow and mature each day. We enjoy reading, listening, speaking, researching, studying and drawing conclusions.
Creative Zone: We enter this superior zone when we’re writing, painting, composing music, building models, weaving, designing, etc.
Service Zone: Love is experienced in this zone. We venture into this area when we choose to put ourselves second and put the needs of others first. When we think of the needs of others, we extend a hand to the helpless, listen to the lonely, comfort the afflicted, teach for free, take care of our loved ones and create happiness in others.
Mission Zone: This peak in life implies the awareness of having been created with a special purpose. People living in this area are capable of transcending and leave a trail of love and service wherever they go.
I can explain each zone deeply, but I’ll be writing a book. My point is that eating healthily is part of our happiness, and sometimes we put this positive behavior on the side and give priority to other negative behaviors.
Start eating healthily and exercising, and your body and mind will thank you, and you will find more joy in life.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently.” His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.