Let’s shine a light on how & why Wellness is so much more than general health or happiness.
Have you ever heard a word and it just totally vibed with you? Like anytime you hear it or read it, you’re instantly like, “Yep. That’s me. That’s my word.” Well that is precisely how I’ve felt about the word “Wellness” since the wee early ages of my life. This term, however, can be a little ambiguous, right? Like what exactly is wellness? Well, let’s go there.
Wellness is a full integration of your whole-person well-being. You with me? It’s not just generally healthy or the absence of disease. It encompasses your physical, mental and spiritual states – commonly termed the body, mind and spirit – each holding their own qualities that interact together & impact each other, ultimately contributing to your very own, personal quality of life. Stay with me now, because if you’re looking to feel more centered, focused, energetic and fulfilled, you need to understand these connections.
Ready to learn about these interconnected qualities of wellness? Read on, and see how a challenge in one area can impact the strength of another area …
Recently, Mantra Wellness Magazine published a self-care exercise on wellness. In it, I loved how they categorized seven different dimensions of wellness (which coincidentally are similar to the Duke Wheel of Health that I was taught in my Integrative Health training at Duke Integrative Medicine – not a shameless plug, just sayin). In a notebook or note app, jot down where you land on a scale of 1 to 10 for each element of wellness here – 1 being not fulfilled, 10 be completely fulfilled.
Mantra Mag describes social wellness as the ability to relate to and connect with one another. Our social wellness is strong when we can establish & maintain positive relationships with those we spend the most time with, such as family, friends and co-workers. A quote I heard time & time again this past year was, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” You can choose to stick with your Fab 5 and strengthen those relationships, or replace any connection that’s not serving you in the best way with a new, grateful, encouraging, empathic buddy.
This pertains to how well we know ourselves and how we react to life’s daily challenges. Is the glass half full or half empty? Is life working for you or against you? We can practice emotional wellness by both acknowledging and productively sharing all of our feelings – including anger, fear, sadness, stress, hope, love, joy and happiness. Connect with your true self – your soul – and welcome every emotion that emerges.
Those so-called “woo woo” terms of peace & harmony, they may be more meaningful than you think. The key to honing in on your spiritual wellness is to develop an agreement between your values and actions. What is most important to you, and how do you live it out? Take your spirituality to the next level by identifying with the meaning of life and seeing the “common purpose that binds creation together.” Living well means feeling a sense of connection to why you’re here.
You don’t have to be a “tree hugger” or certified environmentalist to cherish our Earth. Having a strong sense of environmental wellness gives us the ability to 1) Understand our personal responsibility for the quality of air, water and land around us; and 2) Actually make an effort to positively impact the quality of our environment. This can be our homes, communities, or our entire planet. In assessing your whole-person wellness, take a moment to ponder how you’re connecting with & nurturing your immediate habitat. And if it helps, even Gwenyth Paltrow is into Earthing!
Whether you work for a company or for yourself, the goal with work is to feel fulfilled by our chosen career path while still maintaining balance in our lives. Occupational wellness is described as our desire to contribute and make a positive impact on the organization we work in and society as a whole. If you’re at a dead-end job, punching in & out, waiting desperately for 5 o’ clock, snap out of it and make moves to do what you actually WANT to do for the majority of your days! Sure, you may not be able to quit tomorrow, but start taking the necessary steps NOW to combine your passion with a profit.
It’s not just book smart vs. street smart. It’s more about giving our minds permission to open up and welcome new ideas and experiences. We can apply any new knowledge gains to personal decisions, group interactions and community betterment. Intellectual wellness is a form of personal development, where we initiate a desire learn new concepts, improve our skills and seek new challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning. The Japanese term for this is called kaizen. Ignorance is a choice. Don’t settle for lackluster intel. Do your mind a favor and never. stop. learning.
Alas, the type of wellness you think of when you hear the term wellness. Physical wellness is about your overall embodiment health. Mantra Wellness defines it as “the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without fatigue or physical stress.” Advanced levels of physical wellness allow us to recognize that our behavior choices have a SIGNIFICANT impact on our wellness.
This element of wellness gets a second paragraph, as we can further enhance our physical wellness by adopting healthy habits – including visiting doctors & other health practitioners for routine checkups; eating a clean diet of real, whole foods; moving our bodies daily & getting some physical fitness in several times a week. It also means reducing or completely excluding what does not serve our bodies & minds in the best way – such as drugs, excess alcohol and sugar, toxic friends or other relationships.
What was your score?
Did you jot down your rankings from 1 to 10 on each element of wellness?
- Did you score yourself higher in areas that you’re fairly comfortable with?
- Did you score yourself lower in any areas that you assumed would be stronger?
- Do you have the desire to strengthen any of the wellness components that you don’t feel fulfilled in?
Regardless of where you ranked or what you choose to do next, I hope this exercise opened your mind to all of the important facets of overall human wellness. If you’d like to dig deeper into your personal health, tap here to sign up for a free 30-minute integrative coaching session with me. We’ll go over what you’re looking to accomplish, including your vision of personal health and particular focus area you’d like to work through.
Wishing you love, health and happiness,
PS: Wanna learn even more about wellness? Sign up for the latest health & wellness insight here!
Check out the following reads:
- Sugar, Mindfulness and the Length of Your Life
- Why the Hype with Apple Cider Vinegar?
- How to Make Virtually Any Food Healthier