Is Your Life Designed to Support Wellness?
The question we are asking ourselves here is “how to achieve a wellness lifestyle” whether our own personal life, in its current state, is designed to support wellness.
This requires a dual approach.
We must investigate exactly what wellness is referring to. Does it mean a general state of well-being? Can we be well physically but not mentally? Does this have anything to with spiritual wellness?
We must recognise whether or not wellness is suited to our current lifestyle. Maybe we already live in a way that promotes wellness in our everyday life and maybe we do not. However, in either case we want to understand how well our life is suited to wellness. For those of us who do not live in a way that promotes wellness, what do we have to do to achieve wellness in our current life? Do we have to make any changes or is it simply a case of doing more? Maybe it is a case of doing less?
What is Wellness?
Wellness is something that many people overlook. Most people think that how they feel is how they feel and there is nothing to be done about it. For some, the primary goal of seeking good health is to prevent some possible future disease, like heart disease or diabetes.
Some others relate a wellness lifestyle only to the physical body and others relate it more to their mental state than anything else does. Let us have a look at a holistic view of what wellness is. Quite simply, wellness can be understood as balance.
Wellness Equals Balance
When we feel well physically it is due to the fact of our bodies are getting what they need from a balanced lifestyle. This includes our level of physical exercise, our nutrition intake, our level of work vs play, and our personal and environmental hygiene. When we feel balanced physically, we feel well.
Mentally we feel balanced when our thoughts are aligned with our purpose in life. When we have an understanding as to what we are doing, why we are doing it and what needs to be done to achieve and maintain order in our life. When we are emotionally disturbed on the other-hand, we say that we feel out-of-balance, or perhaps mentally unwell.
Spiritually, we have a much bigger picture to look at. In order to determine whether we are spiritually well we need to be very honest with ourselves when asking that question. If we feel completely happy with our lives, if we have a genuine understanding of our function and position in the universe, as living beings, then we could be said to be spiritually well. But, and this is where the importance of self-honesty shines through, we must be clear with ourselves if we feel spiritually unwell.
Do we feel confused about our way of life, or our beliefs? Do we have unresolved conflicts with our past or even perhaps our understanding of our life, or our purpose? Do we feel inner calm and peace that supports and promotes our utmost quality of life?
Being spiritually unwell means that no matter what we do, or where we go, or who we are with, our happiness, our wellness is only temporary. Eventually we always fall back into some form of despair or confusion, or suffering: like having a splinter in our minds that inevitably, always returns back to hurt.
The Best Thing About Wellness
The best thing about wellness though is that it is attainable, by anyone and everyone. Everyone and anyone on the face of the planet can achieve physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Bearing in mind, that wellness does not mean ‘to be in good health’. If that were the case then no terminally, ill person could ever feel well. This is what is meant by, wellness equals balance.
Even a person who is suffering from a terminal illness can feel well, if their life is balanced and fulfilled. In order to encourage the development of a holistic wellness in our life, all we have to do is maintain a balanced way of life.
This incorporates the physical, mental and spiritual worlds, since all of those things are within us. Therefore, with regards to the question, is your lifestyle designed to support wellness, the above will give you an idea if it is, and only you will know the answer. If the answer is no, there are many things you can do to make changes, so make a plan and stick with it.
Six Key Steps to Emotional Wellness
Everyone knows that the food you consume has a direct effect on your physical health. No wonder that there’s that popular old saying that goes “you are what you eat.” Well, in the same way food affects your physical health, the thoughts you have affect your mental health. Basically, it can also be said that you are what you think.
When you occupy your brain with toxic emotions like anxiety, fear, self-pity, and anger, you will feel hopeless and your quality of life will diminish. However, when you work hard to replace these thoughts with kindness, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, and acceptance, you will instantly start experiencing a better life.
Emotion Wellness Equals Balance
In general, being emotionally well means balance. It is the ability to identify and express emotions appropriately. It is being grounded and able to take care of your emotional needs, and to prioritize self-care. For many, this is a challenge, and is really a lifestyle skill that needs to be learned when it was not taught in childhood.
Men especially have issues with feelings because boys are raised to believe that feelings are not manly and make them sissies. However, in adulthood having the ability to properly cope with feelings and accept them is key in not only having a health relationship with your own self, but also being able to effectively relate with other people.
Of course, doing something like this is not easy, but you can pull it off by following these six key steps to emotional wellness.
Taking Control After a Failure
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will always experience failure every once in a while. Failing to do something will have an impact on how you view your goals and will make you think that you can’t reach them. This results in a lack of motivation, and ultimately, the feeling of hopelessness.
However, in order to avoid feeling hopeless, you should acknowledge that you have failed and try to figure out why this happened to you in the first place. After you’ve done that, start planning another way to reach your goal. Failing is completely normal and it can make you learn from your mistakes.
Recovering Self-Worth After a Rejection
Being rejected is very painful. People who were rejected a lot during their childhood often grow up to be very shy and have little self-worth. However, know that denial is only as painful as you let it be.
To quickly recover self-worth after being rejected, simply write a list of valuable attributes that you know you possess and keep the list with you to always remind yourself how much you’re actually worth. This will definitely increase your confidence and mental wellness, which is also very important, as confident people are less likely to be rejected.
Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your lifestyle in many different ways. It can cause mood swings, stress, irritability, and anger. It will also affect your health habits, ultimately putting the thoughts in your brain to skip workouts and eat unhealthy. For the sake of you mental and physical wellness, you need to get enough sleep!
Sharing Your Stories
Keeping all of your emotions bottled up can lead to a very unhealthy mindset. Opening up about your vulnerabilities and the challenges you face daily can have a great impact on emotional and mental healing. Sharing your stories won’t always be easy, but you have to learn to feel complete freedom to say what’s on your mind when you’re around the people you trust.
Asking for Help
It’s okay to ask for help. Dealing with all the challenges you’re facing on your own can be extremely stressful and damaging to your lifestyle. If you can’t do something by yourself, ask a dear friend, colleague, or a family member for help before the stress becomes impossible to bear. Remember that asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak, but that you are strong enough to do whatever it takes to improve your mental health and wellness.
Learning to Accept Yourself
The best advice you will ever get when it comes to emotional wellbeing is learning to be yourself and practice self-acceptance. Oftentimes, the expectations an individual set for himself or herself are much higher than the expectations other people have for them. Know that you will never experience emotional wellness if you’re constantly talking and thinking negatively about yourself.
How Personal Fulfilment Supports Wellness
Wellness is an integration of all aspects of your mind and body working together to create one harmonious lifestyle. When people think of good health, they tend to focus on either the presence or absence of disease. Yet what we should really focus on is the seven dimensions, which when are in sync, help us achieve genuine well-being.
When one of these dimensions is not functioning, as it should, this makes you unable to reach your full potential of good health. Each one of them is connected to the other and together, they contribute to your overall wellness. The seven dimensions are:
You probably know by now that being physically fit improves the wellness of your cardiovascular system, boosts your self-confidence, and enhances your immune system. However, what people tend to forget is that exercising in itself has numerous benefits to your lifestyle.
It instantly lifts your mood and changes your perception of things. It decreases stress levels and improves sleep patterns.
Some examples of exercising include running, biking, yoga, swimming, weight training, plus any activity that gets your heart rate higher than 120 beats per minute.
2. Reading to Unwind
You’re probably thinking you can do without this one; you’re too busy and you read enough work-related material that you can’t stand the thought of picking up a book for some causal, light reading. Well, studies show that reading is an excellent way to unwind from the stress and pressures of daily routine. It also stimulates your brain and enhances your ability to focus and concentrate.
Besides, whatever you read will definitely further your knowledge in one way or the other. In addition, with all the wonderful new technologies present now-days, you can take your reading material with you anywhere, or even listen along to audio books.
3. Connecting with Others
This is a fundamental part of your overall personal sense of fulfillment and wellness. Making connections with your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, even your community releases endorphins (the ‘happy’ hormone) which can leave you feeling good about yourself for several hours afterward. These hormones of happiness lower your levels of stress, blood pressure, and glucose levels. They also open up doors to creative thinking and allow you to see things from a wider perspective, with more wisdom and balance.
Even if you give a stranger in the street a smile or shake their hands – that’s also one-way of connecting with others. It may not have as big an effect on you or your wellbeing physiologically as connecting on a more personal level, but it’s a good way to get some endorphins coursing through your system nonetheless.
4. Pick a Hobby
Your hobby may be playing a musical instrument or learning a new language, photography, knitting or all the above. The important thing is that you invest your time in it. Set aside some time for your hobby during the weekend, then slowly make it part of your everyday routine, even if it’s for only five minutes. Those minutes will add up and you’ll find yourself getting better and better at it without actually thinking about it.
The time you spend working on your hobby will also benefit your mental wellness. Focusing on something, you enjoy doing lowers cortisol levels, allowing you to de-stress. It also forms new pathways in your brain, which helps with focus, concentration, and memory and have a long term effect on your lifestyle.
Bottom Line to Fulfilment
Personal fulfilment requires introspection on your part in order to get in touch with what makes you feel happy, content, and satisfied with your life and all the things within it. Take the time to address this critical aspect of overall wellness.
Achieving Wellness in The Workplace
Do you ever wake up feeling that you dread going to work? Do believe that another day at the office is just grinding you down? Do wonder how many more work days you can take? What effect it is having on your lifestyle. That your health and mental wellness are suffering because of what might be considered an “unhealthy” workplace is a common condition in the modern world.
For some, they simply hate what they do, and wish they can do something else. However, for many others the workplace environment is not conducive to feeling good about being there. Let’s consider what an unhealthy workplace looks like, and then let’s look at what YOU can do to make a difference, not just for your own lifestyle benefit, but also for your colleagues.
What Makes an “Unhealthy” Work Environment?
Here are some thoughts that you might consider in assessing the “health” of your workplace:
Do your colleagues greet you with smiles and welcoming words when you walk in, or do they ignore you? What is your demeanor when you arrive at work? Do you wear a hassled, grim look on your face, or arrive with a relaxed, but professional posture and a genuine smile?
Are your colleagues happy, or unhappy? Are they willing or resentful workers?
Is the Office Clean and Well-Maintained?
Is it scuffed up and dirty?
Do you have an ergonomically designed office desk and chair, to maximize comfort and posture, or do you feel uncomfortable and stressed out from bad posture? Are there snacks and beverages supplied? Are they low grade coffee and sugar filled doughnuts or are they herb teas, mineral water, and fresh fruit?
What is communication like? With your colleagues? With your boss? Do you find everyone approachable and exclusive, or is there backbiting? Is your boss supportive or dominating and intimidating?
Is there fresh air in the building or are all the windows tightly locked?
Just like a healthy lifestyle, workplace wellness is all about balance.
How Can You Achieve a Balance?
How do you reach a balance between the demands of your job, your personal health and wellness, and the quality of your inter-personal relationships? Bring a smile to work. Greet your colleagues with cordiality and respect. If this is something new to you, try it for a week. Notice what changes this activity brings about. Do your colleagues respond in kind? How does this make you feel?
Take a minute or two every hour to stretch, breathe, and reposition your body. Get up and walk around during this time. This will help your mind to relax and rest and then to achieve more efficient focus for the next hour's work. Try to get fresh air in the building and if there is none, try to get outside and breathe the fresh air during your lunch break.
Communicate with Colleagues
Check in with your colleagues. Communicate. See how they are doing. Compare notes. Discuss possibilities for collaboration or support whenever possible. What would that look like?
Know that your inbox will never be empty! Just take each task one at a time, focus on the moment, and try to let go of the whole picture. This way you can avoid the feeling of overwhelm and achieve wellness.
Practice “inclusiveness” at work. Involve everyone whenever possible or appropriate and make sure you do not engage in any “cliquey” or “exclusive” behavior, which can cause bad feelings and resentments to fester.
Take Actionable Steps
If you do have an issue with someone, talk to him or her as soon as possible. Apologize if you are in the wrong. Try to understand the other person's point of view. Listen without judgment. Aim for a win-win solution. If you cannot resolve the issue, seek help from a supervisor. If your chair is causing you back pain, talk to your boss. Explain you will be a more productive worker if they can invest in an ergonomic chair for you.
These are just a sample of small, actionable steps YOU can take to improve your quality of life and positive experience in the workplace. All this is simply a start. Perhaps after you make these changes and begin to see some improvements in your personal well-being at work you can have a conversation with your boss and colleagues about what you can do collectively to achieve wellness in the workplace, which in turn will enhance productivity, reduce illness and absenteeism and benefit your company's profits in the long run.