Wellness is very pivotal to our human existence. A person that is unwell, cannot achieve their potential in life, or even have a “life”.
It is in order therefore to flow along with this all-inclusive definition of wellness by the WHO and the Wellness Institute that states, “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life….a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential. It is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
Your wellness matters! : Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.
There are various dimensions to wellness. There are about nine broad dimensions, but these can be narrowed to closer units, each of them are interlinked. There is an inseparable link between your happiness and health. Therefore:
• Stress is NORMAL but we need to maintain manageable levels of stress. Learn which stress reliever work for you and consistently do them. Be flexible, patient, and open to change or at least be willing to compromise.
• Take a personal timeout when things seem to be overwhelming. Deep breathing exercises can slow your pace and help you think clearly before you react. Don’t worry, be happy and avoid worrying about things you can’t control, its wasted energy. Remember to not over sweat the small stuff.”
• Surround yourself with what you love – people, hobbies, interests, etc. Keep only cheerful friends – grouches can pull you down. Cherish your health – take care of your overall wellbeing. Give someone a compliment today. Most smiles are started by another. Let those you care about know it.
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Therefore it is important that we actually understand wellness, because it is a state of optimal well-being that is oriented toward maximising an individual’s potential. This is a life-long process of moving towards enhancing your physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental well-being.
This has to do with the feeling component; to express and display emotions comfortably, effectively and in a healthy manner. Feelings of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-efficacy, trust, love, and many other emotional reactions and responses. It is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.
It is the ability to learn, the ability to grow from experience, & intellectual capabilities. Decision making is a vital component of one’s mental health. The ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.
This refers to the ability to have satisfying inter-personal relationships and to appreciate and respect individual differences. Ability to interact with others, to adapt to various social situations, and daily behaviours. It is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.
It is an appreciation for the external environment and the role individual’s play in preserving, and improving environmental conditions. The ability to recognise our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.
This refers to the ability to learn, the ability to grow from experience, and intellectual
capabilities. Decision making is a vital component of one’s mental health. Includes characteristics such as body size, shape, sensory acuity, susceptibility to disease and disorders, body function, and recuperative ability. It also includes striving for positive lifestyle behaviors and taking personal responsibility for one’s own health and health care. Here, the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognise that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits routine checkups , a balanced diet, exercise, etc. while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.
Involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. The spiritually well individual explores and develops a personal belief system, establish values and lives a life that is consistent with those values and beliefs. Spiritual wellness is about creating a sense of inner peace. The ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realise a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.
This is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organisations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.
Involves working in a way that enables you to achieve your goals and extend your skills in synergy with the other important aspects of your life. A journey towards being content and happy with the role your work takes in your life.
Involves having access to finances, or the ability to work towards access to those resources, which are sufficient for you to pursue a fulfilling and happy life. Includes regularly reassessing how well you use your assets to achieve what you want in life.
Involves enriching all aspects of your life in harmony with your heritage while respecting the culture of others. Includes feeling a sense of ownership over your current traditions and practices.
Improving your wellness
• Generally, it can be agreed that Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential
• Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
• Wellness is positive and affirming.
As important as this may seem, it involves your taking a decision to be well. Yes, you have to deliberately make all concerted efforts, to maintain a balance between all the various dimensions that affects your being well. These recommendations might include exercising, drinking more water, or spending time outside each day amongst others that brings relief to you. Just make sure you are doing things that make you happy, be amongst those that make you happy, move on or keep at it. Remember, wellness, is a state of mind, and only you , can make it a reality.