Let’s begin this post by answering the question, “What is wellness?” Well, when I asked Google I received 952,000,000 results! Okay, after looking at various definitions, I came across one from the University of Arkansas that I feel encompasses what wellness is in its entirety.
"Wellness is the active process through which a person becomes aware of, and makes choices toward, a more successful existence. It is also a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving an individual’s full potential. It is multi-dimensional and holistic and supports a positive and sustaining lifestyle."
Wow! Based upon this definition, wellness is more than eating right and exercising. I bolded some words in the definition and will now talk about each below.
- Wellness is not a one-off thing that we do. As the New York lottery says, “You have to be in it to win it.” The same thing applies if we want to be well. It is an active process. In other words, it involves many steps, and it is something that we have to consciously and continuously work at.
In addition, it is an evolving process. That is, we have to periodically evaluate if things are working. I use this example a lot. My exercise routine that worked for me when I was in my twenties, do not work for me now that I have matured. My body would not allow me to even if tried. Believe me, I know because I have tried!
- Self-awareness is necessary for us to maximize our wellness. As we get to know ourselves better, we know what works for us and what doesn’t; hence, we are able to make more informed choices that lead to a more successful existence.
- Wellness is self-directed. What works for me may not work for you. We all have different lifestyles, preferences, personalities and so forth that ties into what works or does not work for us. For example, some people like going to the gym to exercise, others like walking in nature. Some people are morning people, they are most energized in the morning and get a lot done then. Others like my daughter is what I call, a night owl. They stay up late at nights, and this is when their energy flows best. These are some of the things that one must take into consideration to make a plan that works for them.
- Lastly, wellness involves taking a holistic approach. Often, people think about the physical components of wellness - exercise, nutrition, sleep because they are not aware that there are eight – yes, 8 – key areas that research shows that we have to attend to if we want to live healthy and productive lives. They are called the eight dimensions of wellness. They are, but not necessarily in the following order - physical, emotional, social, spiritual, financial, occupational, intellectual and environmental wellness. We will explore these in a separate blog post.
Do you have a different perspective as regards to what wellness is? At Discover A New Future our primary goal is to provide you with practical tools that you can use daily to remind you to take care of yourself. Hence, our Messages in a Tin collection are a fun way to remind you to take care of yourself. They are 52 inspirational quotes and some have challenging questions to help you remain mindful as you navigate your hectic life.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time… think positively!