Wellness: What is this term we hear constantly in the media, a state of being which we should apparently be dedicating our lives to achieving?
Wellness is not defined by just not being ill, it is an effort, a lifestyle, an involved self-directed process with intent to maintain overall health and achieve our full potential. The six main aspects of personal health are physical, emotional, occupational, social, spiritual, and intellectual. To achieve and maintain a healthy balance of each determines our wellness in our endeavour to optimise our quality of life.
Wellness has fast become a concept adopted by holistic health practitioners, as well as in coaching and counselling.
Here I outline and discuss the six interconnected dimensions of wellness:
We need to exercise on a regular basis, that is a given. Every body is different so of course this varies from person to person. We must focus on diet and nutrition; to optimise physical health we need to work on a good combination of these two factors. Work on reducing any negative impacts such as smoking, drinking alcohol excessively and drug use. We need to get to know our physicality and respect it, listen to it and be responsible for its well being. Physical wellness promotes a positive psychological effect and sense of direction in life.
We need to know ourselves emotionally, and we need to accept who we are, as well as be able to grow. We need to be able to manage our feelings and therefore our behaviour in order to prevent negativity. Our emotional wellness depends on how positive we feel about life, how we manage and express ourselves. Also how we understand a range of feelings within ourselves and others and how to manage relationships. To realise that our personal choices are based on a combination of behaviour patterns, ideas, and feelings, will enable us to make positive personal decisions. To be emotionally ‘well’ means that one can feel free, independent and safe, generating a stability capable of supporting one’s self and creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
To have an enriched work life delivers satisfaction and encourages wellness. Whatever it is you do to ‘occupy’ yourself it needs to be done with a positive attitude and give you some personal gratification in order to contribute to your well being and happiness. We need to feel some reward from our work, and therefore choose activities that meet our personal values, interests and beliefs.
Social / Environmental
To contribute positively to our social environment is paramount for personal well being. To have a position in society that reflects you, to create positive impact on your surroundings, to have good communication with your community, to have an active part in making positive changes, to keep healthy personal relationships, all contributes to our social wellness. Creating harmonious living environments, and contributing to the welfare of others is enriching to the soul.
Our spiritual side gives us meaning and purpose on this planet. It is our sense of appreciation of this, and all the forces of nature that we co-exist with and respond to. Creating a harmonious balance of this alongside our personal path entails a sense of spiritual wellness. Managing our feelings as we walk and grow and finding a way to put forward all our emotional and physical experiences into an understanding of our existence. You may feel a sense of spiritual balance once your actions reflect your beliefs, once you look deep into the meaning of your life, respect others for their values, and live true unto yourself.
To acknowledge and understand your personal skills, your creativity, and what stimulates your mind. To give importance to your own growth and stimulation. To share these gifts with others, to pass on knowledge or ideas. To learn, create and problem solve whilst pursuing personal interests. An intellectual development of self is paramount in contributing to overall wellness. This will help us to identify problems and find a course of action based on our intellect. To encourage an active, productive mind which challenges us and propagates life rewards.
By putting all these dimensions together we create an overall wellness structure. We see the interconnectedness of our life and how to combine all these things to promote optimal healthy living.
I think this is such an empowering way to look at our health as a whole, outlining achievable goals and being well all round, not just to focus on what might be wrong, like a back pain and just aiming to fix that, but to see ourselves as an entity – a complete life – and factor in all that surrounds and affects that. It is an individual procedure and unique to each person. It promotes self-awareness in every aspect of our life and a management of self; some elements of which are often overlooked or neglected.
Become a Holistic Therapist and help others to help themselves
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we offer over 60 Holistic Therapy distance learning courses, all accredited in 26 countries worldwide. Whether it’s Exercise for Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, Herbalism, Aromatherapy or Yoga, we have something for everyone. Whether you are a qualified holistic therapist looking to expand your portfolio or someone who wants a change of career, you’ve come to the right place!