What is Wellness?
The phrase "Health and Wellness"
is tossed around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? Health is
the simpler to answer of the two. Health refers to keeping oneself in a
physiological state of normal function. It means that the human body is doing
exactly what it is supposed to do, running properly. Health can also be thought
of as an absence of disease or lack physiological distress.
Wellness, on the other hand, is a
bit more complex. Wellness refers to a state of mind in addition to a
physiological state. It refers to a different state of function, above simply
well-enough. Wellness is a specific state of being which is a homeopathic
balance of body, mind, and soul.
What is the Difference between
Health and Wellness?
Health is an important aspect of
optimal well-being, but we are right to treat it as a separate entity from
Wellness. Wellness is a combination of a health of the consciousness, as well
as a state of peak performance for the body and mind.
There are many tools available in
order to promote enhanced Wellness, although these tools often require
supplementing routine medical programs with homeopathic therapies and
techniques designed to improve the state of the entire person. It is important
to acknowledge that medical treatment and therapy is a vital aspect of
promoting greater health, but to really get the most out of treatment, you
would likely benefit from a little more.
Wellness is a Personal and Active Choice
Wellness is more than just being healthy, it is an active
choice made by those that want to live a better life. The path to Wellness
takes effort to tread, but it is immensely rewarding to quality of life. Part
of it is the way that we work as human beings. We like to talk about work and
effort as things that take away from happiness, but, with introspection, it is
clear that most people are driven by far more than simple hedonism. Like the
old proverb, the Body is a Temple, and Wellness is the means by which that
temple is preserved and maintained.
In keeping our bodies and minds strong and our souls happy,
we allow our inner light to shine outward more effectively, allowing the person
that we've always wished we were to become the self that we are. Wellness is
different than health because it represents taking steps with oneself to move
toward self-actualization rather than pleasure or preservation.
How Can I Enhance my Personal Wellness?
There are numerous steps to increasing one's sense of
Wellness, and you will notice that many of these steps coincide with those that
provide optimal health. Exercise, diet, and stress adaptation all contribute to
both health and Wellness. In addition to this, Wellness also relies on being
wise with the way one interacts with others, maintaining and cultivating positive
relationships and keeping oneself in a proper frame of mind.
By balancing all aspects of the self and living in a way
which promotes balance, it helps us live a longer, happier, and more productive
life. Below are a number of simple steps that you can take to promote your
Steps to Mental Wellness
Keep Your Mind Open
One of the biggest obstacles to Wellness is a closed mind.
One of the ways you foster a stronger and healthier self is to allow yourself
to accept others as they are. Although we live in a world of opportunity, we
prevent ourselves from recognizing it by limiting ourselves. When you see
someone that lives their life differently than you, don't shut them out, but
see what you can learn from them. Perhaps you can apply certain aspects of
their lives to your own.
Stay Curious and Keep Learning
They say that curiosity killed the cat, but a lack of
curiosity kills your sense of wonder. Don't let yourself get caught up in the
idea that you know everything. There is a great big world out there and you
have to realize that there is always something out there that can help you
expand your mind. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by it. Allow yourself to
become consumed by it. By always trying to learn new things about the world,
and seeking out new ideas, you strengthen both your mind and your spirit.
Stay Fluid and Adaptive
Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut. Never allow yourself
to feel mentally trapped. Remember. You are always in ultimate control of
yourself, and it is up to you to promote the sense of wonder and joy within
yourself. Also, it is important to remain adaptive to outside pressures.
Although you are in control, don't be afraid to let your perception of yourself
and the world around you evolve as a result of the things that you learn and
Resolve Stress in Your Life
Stress is one of the biggest factors which prevent people
from improving themselves and cultivating an enhanced state of well-being.
Although stress was a powerful motivator for our ancestors, it is much more
detrimental to us in the modern age. Stress can shave years off your life and
it can prevent you from attaining happiness and enhanced well-being.
Take yoga classes, exercise to blow off steam, or just talk
your problems out in a relaxed atmosphere with someone you can trust. By
resolving issues of stress in your life, you strengthen both your body, mind,
and immune system.
One of the most important steps that you can take to
preserve your physical health and Wellness is to safeguard yourself from
illness. This doesn't mean that you should live in a bubble, but you should
take smart and conscientious steps to staying healthy. Make sure that your long
term physiological indicators of health are in order. Work to maintain healthy
blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Don't be afraid to visit the doctor when you're sick. Don't
be afraid to visit your doctor occasionally when you aren't sick. Routine
checkups are a great way for you to keep a good relationship with your doctor
and make sure that you don't have any medical issues which are more severe than
you would have predicted.
Work to be Physically Fit
Exercise is one of the most important aspects of Wellness.
Although it is possible to be relatively healthy without engaging in much
physical exercise, by working out your body, you can increase your overall
strength, happiness, and quality of life.
Exercise changes the way that your body functions in
numerous ways. For example, physical exercise promotes optimal hormone balance.
Both Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone are produced at high levels during
exercise, increasing the effectiveness of your workout and improving your
health long after the workout is completed. Exercise also improves your
body-fat ratio, burning away calories and strengthening your body.
Proper nutrition is a vital part of Wellness. The body has a
long list of nutrients which helpyour
body to perform at its peak. Without a good diet, every aspect of your very
self will suffer as a result. Having a poor diet appeals to our sense of
pleasure, but it ignores the fact that such a diet will have negative
consequences for both short term and long term health. Obesity leads to
countless problems which not only put your physical health at risk, but even
put your mental and cognitive health at risk.
Obesity and poor diet are linked to hormone imbalance both
within the brain and the body at large. Fat cells encourage the production of
Cortisol and the breakdown of Testosterone. Poor nutrition also hinders your
brains ability to appropriately release dopamine and serotonin, important
chemicals related to psychological well-being.
Although we all recognize that diet and exercise produce
significant benefits for health and Wellness, most people probably don't
realize that good sleeping habits are just as important as diet and exercise
for maintaining optimal health and Wellness. Sleep is the period of our day
when the body, mind, and soul rests and rehabilitates. Without sleep, we are
unable to repair and rejuvenate ourselves, and after even a short period of
unhealthy sleeping patterns, we can greatly hinder our ability to maintain
ourselves in peak condition.
Sleep is intricately related to hormone balance, and is the
most important period with regard to healthy Human Growth Hormone Production.
Our body produces the highest levels of HGH when we are in the deepest phases
of sleep. Bad sleeping habits can either limit these deep phases of sleep, or
even eliminate them from our sleeping pattern entirely. Sleep keeps the mind
focused, and helps us maintain our desire to stick to our plans and be
positively productive within our own lives.
Part of living a happy and productive life is learning to
respect the ideas, beliefs, and rights of others. Doing so helps us associate
with others more freely and allows us to make more and various social
connections. Without respect for others, respect for self will inevitably
suffer. Respect is also a crucial aspect of keeping an open mind.
If you aren't respecting others, you aren't keeping your
mind open to new ideas which can help you improve and advance your own life.
Disrespect also breeds limited social relationships which prevent you from
reaching a greater level of self-actualization and consciousness.
Learn to Work Effectively With Others
We, as humans, are innately social creatures. From the
beginning of our existence we have persisted due to our amazing ability to work
together to build things greater than ourselves. No matter how strong and
powerful you feel as an individual, there is always a limit to what you can
achieve as a single person. By communicating your ideas and dreams to others,
you can find like-minded individuals that can help you do things you never
though were imaginable.
Productivity toward goals that we set for ourselves are a
vital part of self-actualization and Wellness, and by enlisting the aid of
others, or just helping others in their efforts, we can bring ourselves closer
to that ideal, both through collective effort and breeding positive and useful
social connections with others.
Become Comfortable with the Idea of Leadership
Although it is important to work well with others and defer
to the authority of others when appropriate and necessary, one of the most
vital aspects of Wellness and Self-Actualization is to recognize when you need
to take the reigns as a leader. By promoting respect for others within
yourself, it should not be terribly difficult to recognize when you're skills
and knowledge are valuable, but you have to develop the inner courage and
cultivate the desire to put yourself in a position of power and responsibility
when necessary. It is important to recognize the power that you can potentially
have in a situation and be able to wield it effectively and responsibly.
Don't Shy Away from Self-Actualization
Improving yourself is difficult. Self-actualization is a
constant battle against yourself for self-improvement. Don't let yourself give
in to temptations to take the easy way out, or simply resign yourself to a
station in which you are unhappy and overqualified. Constantly be searching and
seeking for a new and better you. Always think about what you can do to improve
yourself, and constantly keep your heart and mind open for new opportunities to
further yourself. Remember that happiness is far more than simply the pursuit
Give Up Control in Healthy Ways
Happiness is also not just the pursuit of power. Letting go
of yourself and your preconceived notions is an important part of experiencing
greater levels of Wellness. Part of growing more comfortable with yourself and
attaining greater levels of happiness is figuring out when to allow others to
lead and take charge. This is also important with regard to your spiritual
self, as well.
Taking efforts to give up control of yourself in order to
relax and free your mind is so important. How you do this is up to you. Many
people turn to yoga. Others turn to prayer. Perhaps just a relaxing day at the
park would be enough, just figure out how to give yourself to the moment rather
than trying to wrangle it for yourself.
For some people, this is one of the hardest goals to
accomplish, learning how to love and respect yourself. Self-respect is one of
the most vital aspects of self-actualization because it is the recognition that
you actually have value within yourself that you can contribute to the world
around you. A lack of self-respect can cause so many easily avoidable problems.
It can cause you to give up too easy. It can make you give in to the demands
and requests of others despite the opposition that you hold within your heart.
Self-respect is the lynchpin of Wellness and
self-actualization. Take time each day to recognize what it is that you have
within yourself that is valuable, and work every day to cultivate that into
Live in Harmony with Yourself, as well as the World
This is connected with both your ability to give up control
and your ability to take leadership. Living in harmony with yourself simply
means to follow your heart. Follow that small, still voice within yourself and
use it to direct your actions toward self-fulfillment. If you move against that
voice, you will eventually find yourself in a place where you are in a position
of strife with your very own soul.
It's also important to keep yourself in harmony with the
greater environment around you. This means that you should work to find your
place in the world. This doesn't mean just your immediate environment, but the
entire universe around you. By keeping your heart and mind open and keeping
yourself physically healthy and fit, you put yourself in a position where you
can recognize both your power and your place, and it's simply up to you to
answer the call.
Strengthen your Sense of Self
Get to know exactly who you are. Until you recognize exactly
who you are and what you represent, you will ultimately either be helping
someone else fulfill their dreams, or simply following your own selfish and
unhealthy desires. By learning more about yourself, you actually give essence
to your direction. Some people live their entire lives without engaging in
enough introspection to truly learn what is within their own heart.
Don't be afraid to confront your own issues. We, as humans,
have this terrible ability to build walls within our own minds and hearts,
preventing us from becoming something better, because of our inability to
tackle our own inner demons. Take time every day to evaluate yourself, your
values, and your ideals, and figure out things you can do to get yourself more
in touch with your inner light.
Progression toward a stronger sense of purpose, personal
values and meaning of life
This is the ultimate journey of self-actualization and
cultivating Wellness Strengthening everything within yourself that is good
and valuable. Wellness is so much more than health. It's the ultimate quest for
a new and better you. We like to think about self-actualization as a
destination, but in reality, it is a long journey. Never think that you can't
be something better. There is always something within yourself or your
environment that you can change for the better.
Don't think of this as a struggle, think of it as your
mission. Every day, you should be clarifying what it is that you live your life
for. Why do you do what you do? You should also constantly work to improve your
sense of what is valuable to you and your life. Don't be afraid to question
yourself and let your values evolve. By doing all of this, and following all of
the preceding steps, you can bring yourself to a point where you more
intimately know and understand what this world holds for you and what you
actually live your life for.
One Step at a Time
After reading through this list, go back and find one aspect
of your life that you think you can improve. Over time, start working on other
aspects of yourself that you want to change for the better.
By starting slowly, you benefit yourself in multiple ways.
By focusing on a single aspect at a time, you prevent yourself from being
overwhelmed. Change is an exciting prospect, but if you pile on too much, then
you increase the risk that you will fall back to your previous ways. This style
of development also encourages you to reflect on the way that you are changing
your life, one step at a time, in order to more fully understand yourself and
your innermost needs and desires.