High-Performance Vegan Letters

The Difference Between Deep Health & ‘Being Fit’

letters Apr 22, 2024

Is being fit and strong enough for the modern human?

Or are there deeper layers of health within us?

Growing up as an athlete in a military household, I learned quickly to suppress my emotions.

Going to private Catholic school didn’t make things easier.

I learned early on that expressing my emotions wasn’t a good idea.

Yet, deep health includes our emotional health.

It also includes our mental health.

Our relationships. Environment.

And our spiritual life.

Deep health is one of the biggest things missing from our society.

Krishnamurti said it best:

“It’s no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly ill society”

We’ve normalized self-sabotage.

Hating ourselves.

Ignoring and suppressing how we feel.

The list goes on.

When it comes to deep health, our physical health and body are just ONE part of the equation.

Taking care of our bodies is important.

But so is everything else in our health.

Let’s dive into what exactly deep health is.

#1.) What is Deep Health

Deep health isn’t just about lifting weights and counting calories.

It’s much deeper than this.

It’s about understanding yourself from a multi-dimensional perspective.

As humans, we don’t just have bodies.

We have emotions, a mind (and psyche), a spirit (or soul), relationships, and an environment.

All these (and more) play an important role in your health and body.​

So, with a broader view of deep health emerges another question…

How do you work with your stress?

Stress is an inevitable part of life.

Some of us have more.

Some of us have less.

Most of us don’t know how to work with stress.

How you feel directly impacts what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, if you workout, if you don’t move, etc.

Emotions. Thoughts. Environment. Stress.

All these and more play a significant role in the outcomes and behaviors you’re working towards.

So, let’s start with a simple practice that can change your life.

#2.) A One-Minute Practice That Can Change Your Life

How do you breathe?

Take a second and pause right now.

How are you breathing?

Are you breathing into your belly?

Are you taking deep breaths?

Or are you breathing into your chest?

Or are your breaths controlled or relaxed?

There’s no right or wrong here.

There’s just observation.

Stay in this place of neutrality for a minute.

Close your eyes.

Focus on breathing deeply into your belly.

Breathe in your nose.

And out your nose.

Focus on taking deep belly breaths and breathing slowly.

Relax your eyes and gently close them.

For 1 minute, just focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your nose.

Breathe in life-giving oxygen and release.

Research has shown that deep belly breathing is one of the simplest ways to release stress and relax our central nervous system.

With stress levels rising each year and more and more people unable to work with their stress in a healthy way, it’s important that we understand what’s going on.

Whatever we don’t resolve within ourselves, doesn’t magically disappear.

It stays in our bodies.

Allowing ourselves to feel the full range of emotional spectrum is the way back to ourselves.

Practice this for 30 days each day for 1 minute and notice the difference this makes in your life.

#3.) Convert Negative Stress into Positive Relaxation

You may have noticed some changes if you followed the exercise above.

What did you notice?

What was different?

And how can you integrate this 1-minute practice into your life today?

How you work and deal with stress will significantly impact the results you see in your body and health.

As you breathe in, focus on breathing in relaxation and releasing stress.

Convert your negative stress into positive relaxation by focusing on deep breathing.

As a species, we’ve been conditioned to hold onto stress.

To stay focused on the negative.

Yet, every great master constantly reminds us of this:

‘Stress and anxiety is who we think we SHOULD be. Relaxation and ease is who we really are’.

Watch a baby at the end of the day.

There’s hardly any stress or anxiety.

Now watch the average adult at the end of the day.

We need to self-medicate ourselves with television, drugs, food, sex, social media, to have a chance at going to bed each night.

As young humans, we were born with everything we needed within.

As we get older, we disconnect from our center due to conditioning and external forces.

The hero’s journey is to come back home to ourselves.

So as you become consistent with your deep breathing practice…

Challenge yourself to breathe longer.


Stay still.

You can use this as a beginner meditation practice.

And stretch yourself here.

Pay attention if you notice emotions or different sensations in your body.

A great challenge for yourself over the next 30 days is to aim for 5 minutes of deep breathing daily.

Mystics for millennia have shared a similar thought on meditative practices:

‘There’s nothing that meditation does NOT touch. It impacts everything in your life.’

Focus on progress over perfection.

Pass this along and share on Instagram.

- Gabriel

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