Wellness: the new health goal.
I love keeping up to speed with the latest phrases, you know, the stuff kids say these days: YOLO, or lace up, both of which happen to refer to living life to the fullest. I like to keep up with latest slang to combat my own fear of getting old. One thing though, that never gets old, is a human’s desire to get the most out of their life. I think we can all agree with this, and while most of us right now wish we could fulfil that desire with a plane ticket and beach vacation, living life to its fullest doesn’t always have to be so extravagant.
If I had to define the phrase, living life to its fullest, I would simply explain that it is an optimal state of mental, physical, and social well-being. If I also had to define wellness, I would give the exact same response. That is no coincidence. Wellness is a fairly new concept which expands on our perceptions of health; however, there is a distinct difference between health and wellness. Health is majorly influenced by factors beyond human control, such as genetics, or age, which I’ve already pointed out I’m afraid of. Adversely, wellness is largely determined by the decisions we make about our lives. Let’s take a moment now, to applaud ourselves on working towards optimal wellness. It’s not always easy, and I agree, that you do deserve that beach vacation, but in the meantime, let me give a helpful tool.
Wellness is composed of six dimensions: physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal, spiritual, and environmental. All of these dimensions impact one another. The process of achieving optimal wellness is dynamic and constant.
1. Physical Wellness includes both our overall health, and fitness levels, encompassing positive ways that we can take care of our own bodies, now, and far into the future.
2. Emotional Wellness encompasses our ability to reflect upon and express our emotions, as well as identifying any obstacles to emotional stability and sourcing solutions and growth.
3. Intellectual Wellness is a constantly active mind; continuously learning and pushing personal boundaries.
4. Interpersonal Wellness, or Social Wellness, is defined by our ability to develop and maintain satisfying and supportive relationships.
5. Spiritual Wellness is to possess a set of beliefs, principles, or personal values that give meaning to one’s life – this can be any set of values, and change from person to person. This is simply a way for us to focus on the positive aspects of life, even when the going gets tough.
6. Environmental Wellness is defined by the “liveability” of our surroundings – I’m talking about the health of dear mother earth. Access to trails, beaches, are key in achieving environmental wellness, but this also includes a safe neighbourhood, and comfort levels when at home.
Enhanced Wellness can be a heavy topic, but is always built upon these six pillars. Break it down for yourself – which one is going strong? Which deserves a bit more attention? I know life is busy, but as you continuously work towards new goals, don’t forget to make wellness your new health goal, and live your life to its fullest.
Written by Hilary