Nowadays, we associate wellness with our physical well-being, stamina, and ability. The fact is that, wellness is a broad term that accounts for our physical, mental and spiritual health. We are very able to see the benefits or detriments to our physical body, but many times are oblivious to or take for granted our mental and spiritual welfare. Our bodies though, work at every level to give us optimal health. Any disturbance at any layer of energy can disrupt our soundness. There are many dimensions to our wellness, and when all are addressed, we can enjoy a fulfilling and robust life.
Let’s have a look at these various dimensions:
Physical wellness means to take care of our bodies for ideal health. This would include a good, balanced diet, regular exercise, refraining from the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and getting routine medical check-ups. When we feel well, we are better able to work, assimilate knowledge, have a positive attitude, and be of help to others. Some tips to physical well-being:
- Exercise regularly (everyday if possible for 20-30 minutes) – Yoga and pranayama are excellent for addressing the whole body in a holistic manner
- Get good rest and sleep
- Keep well hydrated
- Portion control on meals
- Nip illness in the bud – listen to your body
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs
The World Health Organization, defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Biological factors such as changes in the central nervous system, medications, illnesses and family history also contribute to mental well-being. Last, but not the least, our social environment, which include losses, traumatic events, and stress play a significant role in this respect as well. Some tips for mental wellness:
- Regular physical activity
- Good, wholesome nutrition
- Good sleep
- Stress reduction
- Meditation – a practice where we quite the mind down, and try to connect ourselves with the higher power, with which our mind will get rejuvenated and relaxed
- A positive attitude
- Emotionally enriched environments
Intellectual well-being refers to expanding one’s knowledge base, engaging in creative and mentally challenging activities, and being secure in one-self, while looking for ways for growth. As you grow on this path, you will begin to realize:
- Becoming satisfied can lead to stagnation and laziness, whereas stretching and challenging your mind will lead to wisdom.
- Worrying, waiting and wondering are all signs of indecisiveness, whereas proper knowledge can help you have a better resolve, and sharpened decision making power.
Social wellness refers to our interactions with others, whether in relationships or in group settings. The ability to communicate our feelings, desires, needs, and to listen to others requirements is indicative of our social standing. Sympathy and empathy are both components of one self that are exercised often when we care for others, and allow others to care for us. Some tips for social wellness:
- Be in touch with your personal needs, and link yourself with people who can help you grow.
- Stay connected with supportive people.
- Consider joining a club or organization that is of interest to you.
Emotional wellness is dependent on our ability to cope with our feelings, solve problems, and manage stress. Your optimism and zeal towards life is a measure of your emotional well-being. Some tips for emotional wellness:
- Stay positive
- Spend quality time with your family, friends, colleagues
- Time management
- Stress management
Occupational wellness is accomplished via a dynamic balance between work and leisure. Work is such a big part of our lives, and therefore it should be satisfying and fulfilling. As we progress in our wellness path, we start to see that:
- Career choices are most rewarding when they are in accordance with your values, interests, and beliefs.
- Lack of participation in opportunities can lead to a stale life, whereas structured and functional involvement leads to fulfillment.
Financial wellness is how aptly we deal with money. Our approach to handling money matters, is heavily dependent on our outlook of life. Our requirements and desires dictate our perspective with regards to financial stability. Some tips for financial wellness:
- When we keep our needs, and desires within our financial reach, and are always prepared to make changes as per circumstances, we are financially sound.
- Always strive to attain wealth from legitimate sources, and be accountable for the incoming and outgoing of money.
Spiritual wellness refers to our own sense of wholeness, as well as oneness with others. This quest is usually a life-long process, with our life experiences serving as catalysts to make progress in this journey. Many of our life’s questions are answered when we delve into this realm. Our intellect craves true knowledge for our spirit to fully express itself. Spirituality can be cultivated with daily practice such as prayer, meditation, and participating in religious activities/organizations. The goal is to connect to a deeper level of ourselves, and to the higher power that governs us. Some realizations of spiritual wellness:
- Have questions such as “Who am I?” and “What is the meaning of life?” On the search to the answers, one gains a greater appreciation for the world around us.
- Your actions are in sync with your beliefs and values.
- Your patience and tolerance for others and their beliefs increases.
- You feel true to yourself.
- You develop a detached way of working, in which you are not worried about the outcome of your actions, but are concerned with the ability to carry out your duties with honesty and vigor.
As you can see, there are various measures of wellness. A balance of material necessities with spiritual gratification can promote excellent mental and physical health. Practice of yoga and pranayama integrate our physical, mental, and spiritual fitness. Meditation takes us one step further into a higher realm of inner silence, and aligns us with our original source. Along with this, spiritual knowledge gives us an avenue to enhance one’s life, and reform our future.
Our goal in life is to be good human beings and work towards the betterment of the world that we live in, ultimately leading to finding inner peace and security. Our life lessons shape us and propel us in the direction of higher consciousness when we are in touch with our true self. So, be true to yourself, and live a healthy lifestyle to achieve your destination in life.