The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for Your Physical, Psychological And Philosophical Health

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How do you rate your present state of health? There may be several aspects to consider, such as your physical, psychological and philosophical health.

We all want to care for our wellbeing, but sometimes we get wake up calls. You may carry a cold for months, feel emotionally exhausted, lose a sense of purpose or whatever.

Then it may be time to reassess our lives and work. Let’s explore how you can maintain the various aspects of your health.

Physical Health

On a scale 0 – 10, how do you rate your physical health?

Nowadays many people take more responsibility for their bodies. They exercise, eat better food and go for yearly check ups.

How do you maintain your health? Do you ever get warning signs? One person said:

“My wake up call came three years ago when climbing several flights of stairs.

“After the second flight I suddenly felt out of breath. This was something I had not been aware of before, probably because I normally took lifts.

“My professional life consisted of flying twice a week, eating unhealthy snacks and doing little exercise. There were two options.

“I could carry on with the same schedule, which would mean getter fatter. Or I could take care of my body. I chose the latter.

“This called for developing a sustainable lifestyle, rather than a crash programme. So I began running on weekends and slowly increased the exercise.

“During the day I grazed on regular healthy snacks, rather than eating heavy meals at lunch and the evening.

“Finally, I changed job. The flying had become a chore, with trips to the airport increasingly exhausting. Now I feel much better and actually have more energy.”

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Rate your physical health on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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Psychological Health

On a scale 0 – 10, how do you rate your psychological health?

Do you have a positive attitude? Do you have encouraging people around you? Do you have fulfilling work?

The key for many people is feeling in control. Being able to shape their future plays a key part in determining their psychological health. One person said:

“A great breakthrough for me came when learning about the concept of controlling the controllables.

“Whatever is happening around me, I need to focus on what I can control, even if it is simply choosing my attitude’

“This has given me a different perspective on life.”

Laurens van der Post, the South African writer, related a story about the importance of control when describing his time as a prisoner of war. One night he was informed he would be executed the next morning.

Gathering his courage, Laurens said he asked if he could choose the method of his death. He preferred to be shot, rather than beheaded, a request that was granted.

“Then something irrational occurred,” reported Laurens. “I felt a sudden rush of freedom, as if I was in charge.”

So how is your psychological health? Do you enjoy life? Do you have a sense of autonomy? Do you get enough stimulation? Are you able to recover from setbacks?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Rate your psychological health on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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Philosophical Health

On a scale 0 – 10, how do you rate your philosophical health?

Do you have a sense of purpose? Do you feel true to yourself? Do you have clear life goals? Do you do something each day to work towards your picture of success?

Everybody wants to enjoy a sense of meaning in life. Sometimes this comes from working to improve the quality of their lives, encouraging their children or making a positive difference in the world.

Sometimes it comes from serving something greater than themselves – be it following a faith, a calling, a tradition or whatever.

People like to see a connection between the actions they take each day and pursuing their overall purpose. Looking at your own life, how can you continue to make this link?

There are many things people can do to maintain their physical, psychological and philosophical health. You will, of course, do this in your own way.

If you wish, try tackling the final exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Rate your philosophical health on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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