Health Triangle

Learn how to Use the Triangle Sides
to Balance Your Life

By adopting the simple concept of the Health Triangle, you can rein in your life. The Health Triangle devotes one of each three sides to a health characteristic - physical, mental and social.

What is the Health Triangle?

Interestingly, the Health Triangle was devised by students at an Alaskan middle school who were researching health and health issues to find those pertinent to their peers. Over a ten-day span, the students narrowed the list of issues to the three legs of the triangle — physical, mental and social.

Health Triangle

Physical Health

For many of us, this is the leg that is most often ignored. We don’t get enough rest and consume too many unhealthy or empty calories and pay little attention as those extra ten pounds become 20 or more.

But by making a few simple changes, with the health triangle in mind, you can improve your physical health.

  • Exercise
    Begin a regular regimen of exercise. Start slow, with walking or a beginner’s class at a gym. Don’t overdo it to begin with since that will put your body at risk for injury and could derail you from continuing.

  • Diet
    Eat a balanced diet. Fats and proteins ideally should account for the smallest percentage of your daily food consumption. The bulk of your food should come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

    One excellent way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake is to invest a good quality juicer and create your own delicious, nutritious drinks.

  • Rest
    Get some rest. Adults need to get about eight to nine hours of sleep each night. Develop a good bedtime routine and make your bedroom a place of rest. Don’t take the computer, cell phone or Blackberry to bed.

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Mental Health

The mental side of the health triangle defines how we feel, think and cope. Components of this includes learning, stress and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. While most mental illnesses have a physiological basis, symptoms and severity can be related to stress.

  • Work on your critical-thinking and decision-making skills.

  • Learn something new everyday. Do crossword puzzles, take a college course or volunteer with a non-profit organization to increase your knowledge base.

  • Learn ways to deal with stress. You have to carve time out of your schedule to decompress and find ways to relax. Make an appointment with yourself to take a long, hot bath, go on a hike or spend some time on a favorite hobby.

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Those who suffer from a lack of positive peer and family relationships have the hardest time shoring up this side of their health triangle. They usually suffer from other health problems as well, including mental and physical.

  • Work on having healthy relationships with your family members and with friends.

  • Work on making friends and then keeping and developing those relationships.

  • Work well in when put into a group situation. Try to add to the group and make useful contributions.

  • When you have to disagree, do so without being confrontational or argumentative. State your case, but keep your emotions in check.

  • If you need support, seek it out from a friend, counselor or professional counselor. Likewise, if you have a friend in need, be there for them and offer them what assistance you can.

The importance of using the health triangle concept is that each of the three sides is of equal length, illustrating the importance of the balance. This triangle allows you to monitor your own wellness and how well you are keeping yourself balanced in your life.

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