How do YOU Define Wellness?
Is it physical health? Quality of life? Freedom from pain or disease? Is it an overall feeling of health and well being? Is it possible for people who live with chronic conditions to achieve wellness? How about when we don’t feel well, but don’t know what is wrong… even the doctor or your chiropractor may not find anything obvious?
First and foremost, wellness is a mindset and a choice to assume responsibility for the quality of your life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. to adopt a series of key principles in varied life areas that lead to high levels of well-being and life satisfaction.
Wellness is all about maintaining a balance between the many different aspects of your life. Think of it as a wheel with seven spokes – if one spoke (one aspect of your life) is underdeveloped or neglected, the wheel (your overall wellness) will be off balance.
Everyone’s optimal wellness will be different, depending on your own needs, experiences, personality, and circumstances. As we make our way through life, different aspects will fall in and out of balance – it’s our job to try and maintain as much of a balance as possible. Use the wheel to determine what areas of your life are balanced and what areas of your life may need some improvement. Simon Fraser University has developed a wellness wheel for the student body which is interactive and includes a 2 minute quiz so you can assess areas needing improvement. You can take the quiz here.
To conclude this introduction to wellness, consider these ten suggestions.
- It is very difficult to be well and focused on excellence in lifestyle if you can’t express your talents and passions in some manner.
- Advice can come from many sources but ultimately you must make the unique decisions for designing and maintaining quality for your health, leisure and wellness choices.
- Coming to terms with the fact that change is inevitable and happening at a faster pace than ever before will enable you to deal more effectively with its manifestations.
- Your lifestyle choices, including your attitudes/beliefs/emotional responses and actions, will have a far greater impact on your health, work and wellness performance than any and all doctors who do or could serve you, the economy, the environment, your income level, your age, your retirement plan or your luck.
- Wellness is too important to be pursued grimly. Whatever your choices, make sure you’re having fun.
- Modern medicine’s a wonderful thing but there are two problems: people expect too much of it and too little of themselves.
- Balance is a good thing and a worthy goal but there are times when you have to put it aside to pursue a passion over time, a heroic quest or other short-term goal that takes too much time and energy to permit the maintenance of balance. Be flexible.
- It’s better to take up healthy practices than to give up unhealthy habits, at least initially when trying to enhance the quality of your lifestyle. For example, it is better to take up an activity like vigorous walking before you attempt to quit smoking.
- Lifestyle quality is seldom achieved by accident–you have to make a choice to live and work this way.
- It’s never too late to start a wellness lifestyle. Even if you are 100. Or older.