I have reflected on many lifestyle factors that I believe to be important for healthy development and optimal living, and the following five are ones I feel are most important. These are physical health, relationships/family, global awareness/cultural adeptness, career-focus, and learning/education.
I value physical health as important goal. I think that being physically healthy allows an individual to have a sound mind as well. When you are physically healthy, your body is in homeostasis and all body systems are working together well. Being physically healthy means not just an absence of illness, but the optimal working of all internal parts. This is something each individual needs to work at, because exercise and diet are a big part of staying healthy as well as regular doctor check-ups. A person needs to stay informed about what health maintenance plans are best for his or her unique body requirements and needs to consult with a trusted medical professional to make decisions that will keep him or her on track. Of course, there are some health factors that we can do nothing about, as some physical conditions are genetic, but as an informed consumer, each individual can make decisions that will optimize his or her health as much as possible. It is also important to remember how mental health affects physical health through such things as stress and emotion instability (Chapter 9). The mind is a powerful tool in maintaining overall health and well-being.
I try to maintain my physical and mental health by consciously exercising and engaging in activity with my daughter. We are careful about what we eat and get regular doctor checkups. We also try to get enough sleep and keep stress levels down as much as possible.
I value relationships with family and friends as another important feature for healthy development. Human beings do not live in isolation of each other (Chapter 10). We need to socialize to maintain our mental well-being and support each other through both good and bad times. We need to learn at a young age to empathize with others and think about the needs of others, as well as our own needs. Having people in our lives that we care about helps us to see the bigger picture and that we are not in this scary world alone. I believe that, at the end of our lives, we will look back on our relationships with others and say that this was the most important reason for existing on this earth.
I have only my wife and child here in North Dakota with me while I am going to school. My sister and her husband are in Texas, and we try to stay in close contact. I have a few friends here, but the majority of my social network is back in my home country of Nepal. I am in contact with them on a regular basis through Facebook but have not seen them face-to-face since 2009. Although I would prefer face-to-face contact, being able to connect with them through social media is better than nothing. I hope to return for a visit to Nepal in 2014.
I also believe that being globally aware in our diverse world is an important factor, especially for upcoming generations. In the past, people did not look beyond their own family or their own little community to see what was happening in the world. Because people around the globe are realizing how interconnected we are with everyone else, it is more important than ever to pay attention to world events and do what we can to make the world a better place for everyone who lives on it. What happens in one part of the world now impacts people living in many other parts, for example, global warming, war, or economic crisis. This understanding of the world around us and a concern for humanity fit well with the higher levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy (Ch.8),
I try to stay in touch with world events through the news and feel that I am well-informed about events taking place. This is especially true because I grew up in a country that is significantly different than