More than ever before, we hear about wellness in the media, in conversations at Starbucks, and even the workplace. When we think of Wellness, we think of well-being, wholeness, and balanced health. We think of a self-awareness that causes us to be at peace with ourselves and the world around us, with a focus on holistic health.
What is Wellness? Wellness is an active process of living a fully engaged life at every level of being. It is becoming aware of, and making healthy choices toward a healthier state of life. How can we pursue wellness in 2017? Understanding wellness is easier when we use the concept of 8 Pillars. Life is not one component, but many parts working together. With the 8 Pillars in place, wellness can be ours in 2017…
The 8 Pillars of Wellness
1) Relational Wellness – How You Connect
How we connect with others is critical to our own sense of health and well-being. We each need between 8-10 meaningful touches per day to be mentally and emotionally healthy. No wonder so many people feel like they’re missing something! Relational Wellness speaks to healthy conflict resolution, social intelligence, effective communication skills, and the capacity to be truly intimate.
2) Mental Wellness – What You Think
We are what we think, and become the product of the thoughts we consistently embrace. Happy people work down to the detail of their daily thought life, and teach themselves how to think healthy thoughts consistently which empower and inspire them. We need a health Mental & Emotional Support System; a system of thoughts and beliefs which support us in our dreams and aspirations.
3) Emotional Wellness – How You Feel
Emotions are not thermostats but thermometers. They are not root causes, but are symptomatic of underlying issues. However, the way we feel has a huge impact on our level of motivation, our actions, our behaviours, and our results. Take time for emotional management, emotional intelligence, relaxation, and healthy thinking, which leads to healthy emotions.
4) Physical Wellness – Physical Health
Our body is our temple. We are responsible to take care of it, and treat it with respect and tenderness. If we do this, we will generally have healthy outcomes which will enable us to lead a fruitful life. Physical wellness leads us to focus on healthy nutrition, regular sleep, regular exercise, and self-care.
5) Spiritual Wellness – Values & How You Treat Others
The best measure of your spirituality is not the church, mosque, or temple you frequent. The best measure is how you treat others. It is walking with integrity, honesty, fairness and compassion. Respect. Kindness. Authenticity. Gratitude. Selflessness. It is also taking time for personal reflection, meditation and prayer.
6) Professional Wellness – What You Do
Professional Wellness is far more than the money you make or the title you hold. It is a sense of living in alignment with your “LIFEFIT”: your unique combination of gifts, abilities, passion, education, and life experience that makes you who you are. It is being fully yourself, and making money as you do!
7) Financial Wellness – What You Have
Financial Wellness is not a certain number of zeros in your bank account or driving a certain car. It is abundance. True abundance is having enough for you and those you love, and being able to contribute to the needs of others. In 2017, weed out unhealthy habits of excessive debt and poor money management choices, and promote healthy choices of stewardship, saving and investment, building assets, and planning for the future.
8) Community Wellness – What You Contribute
Martin Luther King, Jr. said that, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” As humanity, we are not designed to be like the Dead Sea, with an inflow but no outflow. We are designed to contribute, add value, and render service to the world around us. The truth is that we all have a unique contribution, and we are happiest when we are making our greatest contribution. Though each one of us will contribute something different, our rewards in life are generally in direct proportion to our contribution. So, another quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. will help us in terms of what and how we contribute: “If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
For me, wellness is a process in which you build these 8 Pillars into your life. Wellness is the way that you approach each day, and what you do proactively to stay healthy holistically. Don’t live in a one-dimensional fashion because you are not a one-dimensional person! Keep the tool of Wellness packed in your tool-kit in 2017!