When things are going good its often easy to take our wellbeing for granted. But when things are going badly it can seem like a struggle to regain a feeling of wellness.
In this article Cassie from eHealthInformer explains how to identify and define wellness in your life, and how you can use this knowledge to make positive changes.
When you think of the word “wellness,” what comes to mind? Do you think wellness is only about your physical health and fitness? This is a common thought, but the truth is, this is just part of the story. Physical health, mental balance, general happiness, healthy relationships, spiritual contentment and financial stability are all factors that contribute to your overall wellness.
However, on its own, wellness isn’t something you can concretely measure or test. So, it’s up to you to determine which components of wellness are important to you and how you want to measure each one.
Here’s how you can better understand wellness and define it in your life.
1. Understand the Concept of Wellness
In order understand wellness and how it affects your life, you must first define it. There are many available definitions for wellness. For example, Dictionary.com defines wellness as “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” Unfortunately, that’s a somewhat broad definition and is not particularly useful.
The National Wellness Institute provides another definition and describes wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” The Institute takes their definition a step further, though, by providing a list called The Six Dimensions of Wellness.
2. Learn the Dimensions of Wellness
The dimensions as defined by the Institute are:
- Occupational (i.e. work-related)
These six categories of wellness are typically visually depicted in a hexagon to demonstrate how all types of wellness are interconnected and dependent upon one another to ensure a person’s overall wellness. For example, it might be difficult for a person to experience emotional wellness if the person is suffering from poor social relationships or is working in an occupation that is unsatisfying. Also, poor physical wellness can lead to problems in other areas of your life, such as social relationships. Though they may represent distinct areas of our lives, all of these types of wellness are interconnected.
When creating your roadmap to wellness, you’ll want to plan ahead.
Begin by asking yourself these important questions:
- In what areas of your life do you need to make adjustments to feel well?
- What rituals do you already have in your life that promote wellness?
- What habits in your life will need to change?
- What resources can you dedicate to your personal wellness (time, money, etc.)?
- What wellness goals have you pursued successfully in the past? Why were you successful?
- What wellness goals have you pursued unsuccessfully in the past? Why did you fail?
- What obstacles do you anticipate encountering on your path to wellness? How can you eliminate them with planning?
- How can you utilize your existing support systems to help you achieve your goals?
Take as much time as you need to consider these questions. You might want to begin keeping a wellness journal to monitor your thoughts and feelings as you begin your journey towards wellness. If you elect to keep a digital record of your thoughts, you might want to consider using a virtual private network or other security protocols to ensure your privacy is protected.
4. Make a Deliberate Effort
As noted in the Dictionary.com definition of wellness, personal wellness isn’t something that happens by accident. Creating wellness in the various areas of your life requires deliberate effort on your part to affect the changes you want.
Once you’ve completed your planning, it’s time to begin the actual work of improving your wellness through calculated changes in your lifestyle and habits. Though it’s not likely to be easy, it will surely prove to be very rewarding work.
Don’t forget to keep records of your progress towards whatever goals you’ve decided to pursue. These might include fitness logs, photos or health records from your doctor or trainer. Though progress can sometimes feel maddeningly slow, having proof you are making incremental improvements can often be a key motivational factor.
Once you have decided how to go about improving your wellness, success becomes a simple matter of making small daily changes to create lasting improvements in your overall well-being. Since the different dimensions of wellness are intertwined, making changes in one area of your life can often create improvements in other areas as well.
Approaching these changes in a deliberate and thoughtful way will be the key to improving your long-term wellness.”
What’s your favorite way to promote wellness in your life?
Let us know in the comments section below.
About the author: Cassie is a nurse who takes pleasure in living the healthiest possible life. As a busy mom, she knows how hard it can be to live a healthy life while raising a family. She enjoys sharing what she has learned along the way to help others live healthier lives. Connect with Cassie on twitter.