What Does Wellness Really Mean?
Achieving wellness should be an important part of everyone’s life.
According to the World Health Organization, wellness is…
“A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and
not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
According to the National Wellness Institute, wellness is…
“A conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving full potential”
Wellness is not static but is an active ongoing lifelong process. In means making choices that lead toward better health in various dimensions of one’s self and life, and becoming aware of one’s own growth and life potential on a daily basis.
9 Dimensions Of Wellness
- Emotional wellness involves mood and taking care of your emotional health. It is about paying attention to the development of inner resources, stress reduction, relaxation, and self-care.
- Physical wellness involves preserving a healthy body and getting care when necessary. Physical health includes, diet, exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, preventative care and generally taking care of the physical body.
- Mental wellness involves having a clear mind, maintaining the expansion of your knowledge, taking care to keep the mind working at its best, and to maintain clarity, focus, and concentration. Additionally, this dimension of wellness means developing a way of thinking that promotes mental wellness, positive thinking, utilizing creativity, having a strong curiosity and a desire to learn, and maintaining optimal focus, concentration and memory.
- Social wellness involves performing social roles comfortably and effectively, and creating a support network that fosters increased sociability. Social wellness includes obtaining and maintaining connections that facilitate a sense of belonging with other humans, and basing relationships on commitment, trust, honesty, and respect.
- Spiritual wellness meansdeveloping a collection of values that help you seek purpose and meaning out of life. Wellness of the spirit refers to when our actions, thoughts, and emotions are in a state of balance and entails cultivating a mindset and way of life that promotes peace, harmony, and balanced development in all areas of life and self. Learning to stay in the moment, mindfulness, practicing gratitude, and learning and appreciating who you really are key components of spiritual wellness. Three
methods to achieve spiritual health are through mediation, prayer, and relaxation.
- Environmental wellness involves being inspired to live a life that respects the environment. It is about encouraging yourself to live in peace with the Earth and protect the environment and yourself from environmental hazards.
- Financial wellness involves learning how to manage your finances. Money is important to everyone’s life and, when financial troubles are the greatest causes of stress for many people that can affect our mental and physical health. Learning to successfully manage expenses, taking time to plan and budget, striving when possible to improve monetary situations and accepting your financial limitations while living within your means are key in attaining financial wellness.
- Occupational wellness involves being happy with one’s occupation and valuing one’s contributions to the workplace. It inspires enrichment in one’s work life and personal satisfaction.
- Wellness in quality of life refers to the level of complete balance and satisfaction in your overall life and making the necessary improvements to avoid feeling oppressed, suppressed and depressed.
60 Everyday Wellness Habits
Wellness for the physical body is important because your body is the foundation that holds everything else together. Keeping the body working at its best, and maintaining optimal levels of energy and vitality allows you to thrive and supports mental, emotional, and even spiritual wellbeing. The good news is that many of these practices overlap to provide benefits for all dimensions of wellness.
- Create a wellness plan. Create a wellness plan to keep you on track. Be specific and set short and long-term goals for wellness of mind, body, spirit, career, quality of life and any other areas where you strive to improve your wellbeing. Make sure that you make a conscious daily effort to maintain your plan.
- Make steady progress toward change. Even though you are striving for perfect health, your mind will benefit from making small but significant changes in your bad habits. This helps train your brain for success. Old habits, like taking the path of least resistance, can wear a negative pattern in your brain so that you can’t make the progress you want to make toward better health. Begin with small steps that are easily definable and that are meaningful. Try making small changes in your diet and exercise habits. Over a period of time, these changes will reinforce healthy habits in your brain and you will have better brain health.
- Get enough exercise. Find an exercise you like and exercise on a regular basis. Exercise is a good habit to get into in order to have a healthy body. Exercise enhances aging, decreases ricks of neurodegenerative disease and may slow the course of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise can improve your level of energy, brain health, ability to get a good night’s rest, and your sense of general wellbeing. Physical activity can improve the quality of your life by increasing your physical health, your mind health, and your spiritual health. The American Heart Association recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. This adds up to 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week. Physical activity may also help inspire you to be outdoors more.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep regenerates the body. You will perform better tomorrow if you get enough sleep today. Sleep improves your overall health.
- Do deep breathing exercises. Whenever you feel stressed out, take a good, long, and deep breath. This is a healthy, everyday practice that will help maintain a healthy body and a well mind.
- Install a shower filter. Water contains chlorine, which is poisonous to some people. You don’t want to absorb it into your skin while showering or inhale it through your lungs. By having less chlorine around, you will have a healthy body.
- Eat organic foods. The chemicals in the plants you eat contain pesticides and herbicides. By eating organic, you can improve the state of your health.
- Enjoy yoga. Yoga is excellent for the mind and body both. It increases balance and flexibility to boost functional fitness and its breathing and meditative aspect calms the mind, which has been shown to have numerous physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.
- Smile and laugh often. Laughter releases endogenous endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers to boost positive mood and improve your wellness. Laughter has been linked in several studies in improving immunity and heart and brain health.
- Spend time with those you care about. Spending quality time with the people you care about has been shown to reduce stress. Positive social connections also promote positive mood and happiness, which has been shown in several studies to have a positive effect on emotional, physical, and mental wellness.
- Be passionate. Do more things you are passionate about. By engaging in hobbies you enjoy, you will decrease stress, improve your quality of life, and increase positive mood.
- Meditate. Meditation improves your state of mind, and has numerous benefits for physical health, emotional wellness, and spiritual contentment.
- Drink water that is free of chemicals. Purchase a filtration system for your faucet so that, when you drink a glass of water, you are drinking water that is free of chemicals to prevent toxins from entering your body.
- Go outside more often. Get into the fresh outdoors and take a long walk. This reduces stress and boosts cardiovascular health. Fresh air and being in nature supports mental and emotional health by calming the mind, and reducing external stimuli noise that has been shown to have adverse effects on health and wellbeing.
- Eat plenty of green vegetables. Green vegetables have large amounts of chlorophyll, minerals, and vitamins in them. By eating dark leafy greens, you get plenty of nutrients that support wellness, energy and prevent disease.
- Be conscious about your health. You need to take control over your health and understand that you are in charge of managing your body. While you may see a physician, you are the one ultimately in control of your health. Once you take charge of your health, you can understand why it is important to have a good relationship with your doctor. Having lines of communication open between your physician and yourself, you can make appropriate decisions regarding your health. Make your physician a part of your health team, with you in charge. See your doctor regularly for appropriate preventative screenings and make sure to follow your doctor’s advice.
- Maintain a sense of purpose in your life. Having purpose boosts longevity. Make a conscious decision to remain actively involved in your daily routine. This is beneficial to your wellbeing and can contribute to lifelong health. Having a positive attitude has been found to play a major role in your ability to fight off diseases. You can maintain a sense of purpose in your life by developing multiple interests and skills over the course of your lifespan. It is your responsibility to cultivate personal meaning, life purpose, and fulfillment in your own life.
- Decrease or avoid drinking, smoking, and illicit drugs. If you take these substances, they can alter your mood, impair your motivation, interfere with cognitive processes, destroy your physical and mental health, and decrease your level of functioning, not to mention the havoc they can wreck on your quality of life. These bad habits can change your emotional state, which leads to poor health as the body and mind are highly connected to one another. Smoking causes cancer and many other life threatening health conditions.
- Set appropriate financial goals. Financial worry is one of the greatest stressors in society. Things like keeping track of your expenses, organizing your finances, budgeting, and planning can help improve your financial wellness. Accepting your financial limitations and living within your means are key in attaining financial wellness.
- Eat a diet high in nutrients. Eating too many calories can cause weight gain, which comes with its own set of medical problems. Additionally, you can improve your health by eating plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, foods high in vitamin C, and foods high in vitamin E found in plant foods and fatty fish. All of these are natural antioxidants, which keep you healthy by scavenging for oxygen free radicals that can cause normal cells to turn into cancerous cells. Eating foods high in folic acid might also decrease your chances of getting a neurodegenerative disease. Choose whole real food, and eliminate junk food so your body and mind can thrive.
- Drink more red wine. There have been many studies that associate drinking red wine with better cardiovascular health. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that reduces your risk of developing heart disease and t not only helps your cardiovascular health but can help your memory as well. If you don’t drink, you can alternatively take resveratrol supplements.
- Practice mental stillness. Just a couple of moments of peace and quiet or meditation daily can have a profound impact on the wellness of your mind, and consequently your physical health. Silence supports brain power, and boosts awareness and creativity.
- Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to a well-functioning body. When you first get up in the morning, drink 2 large glass of water. Water hydrates and improves the vitality of your cells to keep your body in working order.
- Get rid of negative influences. You can improve the quality of your life by getting rid of the influences that are preventing it. This can range from unhealthy friends, romantic partners, your own bad habits, and even a dysfunctional workplace.
- Get enough rest. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body and mind can become frazzled, fatigued and stressed. Get enough quality sleep daily. Set a routine for resting by using soothing music, earplugs, or by wearing blindfolds.
- Eat foods rich in water. Your body is made up of about 70 percent water and so you should drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in water, such as vegetables and low sugar fruits. Try to consume at least two large bowls of salad per day, both at lunch and dinnertime. 2 ounces of watermelon daily provide you with hydration without a high sugar load.
- Eat your food more slowly. Eating slowly improves digestion and helps nutrients enter the body at a slower rate. Research indicates that eating your food more slowly gives the brain time to register satiety, so you don’t over eat. This helps you maintain (or attain) a healthier weight, which improves your physical health.
- Don’t overeat. Many people eat much more food than they actually need, which can result in high triglycerides in the blood and weight gain. The practice of eating very small meals every three hours has been proven to prevent overeating and to result in weight loss and a healthier metabolism.
- Keep a food journal. One of the best ways to have a healthy body and to maintain a healthy weight is to keep a food journal so you can become aware of what you are eating. Write down everything you drink and eat each day, and keep track of what exercises you do and when you do them. This helps build momentum and can keep you on track for a healthier physical body.
- Learn new things. Learning new things can keep your brain constantly on the move. One study out of the journal Gerontology showed that elderly people who spent 3 months learning how to use an iPad had a better memory and a better ability to perform basic tasks when compared to those who didn’t try to learn new things.
- Appreciate silence. As our society is growing at a rapid rate, this leaves you little time to process your environment and relax. The world is a noisy place and the problem with living a fast-paced life includes chronic stress, which has a negative impact on your mind, emotional state, physical health, and overall wellbeing. Silence reduces tension and stress, replenishes mental resources, restarts brain power, allows you to tap into your inner self, improves creativity, helps to eliminate bad habits, regenerates brain cells, brings inner peace and calm, and cultivates awareness.
- Play games that are challenging. Some games can boost your mental powers. People who played physics-based games, like “Cut the Rope” had an improvement in their ability to adapt to new situations, practice task-switching goals, and had an improvement in their concentration, according to research out of Singapore. Brainteasers that involve readjusting your strategies and involve some sort of planning can maximize your ability to remember things.
- Decrease stress. Practice stress reduction techniques every single day, such as meditation, walking, relaxing with a magazine, and having regular massages, just to name a few. Long-term stress increases the amount of cortisol in the body, which adversely affects your ability to have good short-term memory, according to studies out of the University of Iowa. Stress also has numerous derogatory effects on the health of body, mind, and spirit, and can lead to emotional and mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Decrease sugar consumption. A diet that is high in simple carbohydrates, like sugar, can decrease the functioning of your brain, according to a study out of the Charité University Medical Centre. The scientists doing the study found that people who had lower blood sugar levels did better on memory testing when compared to those who had higher blood sugar levels.
- Improve your memory with sleep. Many research studies have shown a link between getting enough sleep and your ability to learn. According to a research study out of the New York University of Medicine, mice that got enough sleep did better on tasks related to memory. It can be hard to form new memories if you don’t get enough sleep. People who wake up many times during the night had a 5-times greater chance of developing amyloid plaques, seen in Alzheimer’s dementia.
- Let go. Learning to let go off and deal competently with fears and worries can go a long way to promote the wellness of spirit.
- Do different types of exercise. A study out of the journal, The Journal of Aging Research, showed that women who were mildly cognitively impaired who did different types of exercises had better memories that women who only did just one type of exercise. Walking and weight lifting maximized the patients’ spatial memory, which is the type of memory that aids in your ability to recall your environment. Those that exercised by walking did better in terms of verbal memory. The idea is to mix up anaerobic and aerobic exercise for the maximum effect on the mind.
- Set your priorities. Make a list of times you feel agitated or depressed and identify those things that challenge your mind the most, and make every attempt to eliminate these from your life. Setting priorities helps you focus and may improve the function of your mind and day-to-day performance and functioning. List those things that make you satisfied and happy, and do more of these things to keep your mind content, and up to its maximum power and strength.
- Take note of harmful patterns in your life. Try to make a note of the negative habits you have, such as not exercising enough, smoking, drinking alcohol or not getting enough sleep. Work on eliminating these negative patterns from your life. Do it slowly if needed so you do not cause yourself a lot of stress. Visualize the outcome you are looking for when trying to change bad habits, as this reinforces the mind’s ability to make positive changes and to follow through.
- Strengthen the good decisions you make in life. MRI studies have shown that making good decisions activate different parts of the brain when compared to making bad decisions. When trying to improve your mind health, you need to focus on the good decisions you are making in your health so your brain can activate those parts that benefit from making a good decision and will deactivate those parts of the brain that are heightened by bad decisions.
- Prayer. There has been a recent area of study known as neuroethology, which is the study of the correlation between subjective experience and prayer. Many studies have indicated that there is a relationship between the immune system and spirituality. As scientists continue to learn more about the possibility of prayer and its relationship to health, more people are beginning to assimilate prayer into their lives, and experiencing positive results.
- Be thankful. Quit thinking about those things you don’t have and be thankful for what you do have. Being thankful reduces stress and this is good for bodily health.
- Restore the proper spiritual nutrition. Similar to the way that the body needs adequate nutrition to be healthy, so does the spirit. Service and charity, giving, prayer, art, music, being in nature and meditation are just a few of the ways to nutrify the spirit.
- Be more sociable. Sharing times with others can improve your health. By sharing experiences with others, you develop an increased understanding of others, learn how to establish trust, improve your emotional state, share challenges, and learn new things. Isolation has been found to reduce the state of your health while being more sociable can decrease your chances of developing dementia. Having good relationships throughout your life will reduce stress and improve emotional expression—both things that can keep you healthy and can affect your ability to live a long and vigorous life. Human connections are key to your wellness.
- Stay grounded. Being grounded means to be sensible, centered and to understand what is really important in life. The mind loves to wander and ignore what is happening in the here and now, in the present moment. Being grounded means enjoying each moment while pushing away thoughts of the past and future. Losing your center promotes negativity, and distractions that take away from your focus and mental wellness, while being centered provides inner peace, calm and control.
- Protect yourself from environmental hazards. This includes smog, second-hand smoke, and pesticides on food.
- Spend time in nature. Its healing powers are boundless in promoting wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
- Make self-care a priority. When you care about yourself, and make the actions necessary to do so a priority, your quality of life will naturally improve. Identify where quality is lacking by investigating all areas of your life to ensure that everything receives a fair amount of attention, including home, work, and play.
- Reduce your stress. Reducing stress can improve your quality of life by boosting your physical health, your mind health, and your spiritual health. Stress can worsen depression or mania. It is vital that you learn ways to minimize your day-to-day levels of stress, learn how to deal with stressors, and learn what causes your stress. Constant stress can be linked to an inability to enjoy life, anxiety, chronic pain, and tension—all things that can reduce the quality of your life. Stress reduction techniques include, meditation, art, music, yoga, breathing exercises, aerobic exercise, walking relaxation, good sleep and sitting in silence.
- Relax more often. Relaxation can improve the quality of your life by allowing you to enjoy life more. Relaxation can simply mean lying in the sun with your bare feet snuggled in the grass, or reading a book by candlelight or even playing a heated game of basketball. Anything that elicits a relaxation response in your body is wellness approved!
- Be consistent. The wellness journey doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, depriving, or complex. If you can make your life as consistent as possible, you can be healthier, thus improving your quality of life. Make healthy choices every day. You don’t have to be perfect, just progressive.
- Find the right treatment strategy. Finding the right kind of treatment strategy can improve the quality of your life by allowing you to collaborate with your physician on ways to improve your mind health, your physical health, and your spiritual health. Each person has a different emotional and physical makeup, so it generally takes patience and time, and time to find a treatment strategy that works for both you and your doctor.
- Have better relationships. Having better relationships can make it easier to maintain intimate partners, family relationships, and friendships. If you have problems in your relationships, it can negatively affect your quality of life. If you struggle with relationships, see a therapist, he or she can help you ascertain your personal issues that prevent you from having healthy human connections.
- Do better at work. Doing better work can improve the quality of your life because it increases productivity and generally makes you feel better. You may need to slow down on your work hours or quit work completely in order to deal with symptoms like mania or depression that can negatively affect your quality of life. It is vital to be in a work environment that isn’t excessively stressful or uncomfortable. If you don’t work, try to volunteer in order to have a daily routine that gives you more contact with others.
- Seek satisfaction and fulfillment. Never accept things as they are if you are not being fulfilled and satisfied with your life or its elements. Always strive for more. Chase your dreams!
- Create a sanctuary. Your home is likely where you spend most of your life, so make it a haven of calm, and peace, and make it your sanctuary.
- Maintain a supportive circle. Make sure you have people in your life that you can rely on and reciprocate that support back to them.
- Cultivate positive emotions. Toxic emotions, like rage, worry, hatred, resentment, and jealousy have been shown in numerous studies to increase risk for chronic disease and many shorten life span. Not to mention that fact that they cause misery and unhappiness. Cultivate positive emotions, such as joy, love, positivity, optimism and acceptance and you will live a longer and much happier life.
- Practice gratitude. Don’t focus on the things you don’t have, but be grateful for what you do have. This does not mean that you should not strive to achieve and have more of anything, but dwelling on the negative is not a solution.
- Nurture yourself. Your greatest asset in the road to wellness is your self-worth and esteem. It is the foundation that supports all the healthy choices you need to make, so make sure to love and respect yourself, and evaluate each life decision based on that respect. A key question to ask yourself is, “is this good for me?”
You can achieve an optimal level of wellness by simply following a lifestyle that includes the practice of every day habits that strengthen your body, mind, spirit, work life, and consequently your quality of life.
By making changes to these aspects of your life and by paying attention to your health, you can enjoy extremely positive effects for your body, mind, and spirit!
Stay Well And Take Care!
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