Wellness is a state of well-being that goes beyond survival and disease prevention. It is about thriving in life. It is an active process of change and growth. It is about designing a lifestyle that helps you realise a better state of being. It is your default state in the absence of genetic limitations and environmental assaults…
According to the National Wellness Institute, wellness is “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”. (NWI, 2015)
The World Health Organisation defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (WHO, 1946)
The dictionary definition suggests that wellness is “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind especially as the result of a deliberate effort”.
My view is that wellness is a way of being that maximises your physical, mental, and spiritual potential. It allows you to experience optimal happiness, health and harmony in your life.
What emerges from these definitions is that wellness is not something accidental. It is within your control and you have the power and ability to influence it. Wellness is an active, conscious and intentional directing of our thoughts and actions toward the goal of a good life.
In the section above, I described wellness as intentional and deliberate, yet here I claim that it is intrinsic. Let me clarify.
I’ve written before that we are programmed for well-being and our bodies are wiser than we think. The blueprint of our constitution is designed for wellness. Whatever state we are currently in, the body is striving toward restoring health.
Animals in their natural environment tend to die disease-free at a ripe old age. The reason our species deviates from this norm is due to our unnatural environment and behaviour. The cost of our technological advancement is a way of living that is detached from nature. This gradually and persistently destroys our well-being. This degradation is passed on coming generations. Thus, the decline in health is accelerated. Newer generations inherit progressively weaker genes while living in an increasingly damaging environment. This explains why our default state of perfect well-being nowadays requires relentless effort and dedication.
Lifestyle and a journey
Achieving optimal wellness in our age requires a holistic approach. A handful of interventions and sporadic effort will not get you there. Instead, you need to design a lifestyle that supports your well-being journey. Every single aspect of the way you live influences your health. Therefore, you need to optimise all of them. Optimising all of them at once is impossible. That’s why achieving well-being is a journey.
Your eating, drinking, sleeping, and exercise habits are among the biggest influencers of your physical health. Your occupation and relationships influence your mental and emotional well-being. Your attitude toward and the degree to which you know yourself and how you relate to Life influence your spiritual wellness. Know what you aim for and take steps to get there. Create a lifestyle supportive of your well-being journey.
Means and end are one
Being well in your self enables you to have, do, and be more in every dimension of your life. From this perspective, it is an enabling factor or a means. Wellness is the foundation that enables you to pursue your aspirations and contribute. You need a healthy body and a strong mind to achieve anything meaningful in life.
At the same time, anything meaningful that you accomplish or do in life enriches your well-being. From this perspective, it is an end a valuable result in itself.
Given its dual nature, it is important to examine wellness attentively. You must align your habits and behaviours in a way that is conflict-free. Aiming for financial well-being that undermines your physical health is counterproductive. Resistance exercise, on the other hand, boosts your brain power while strengthening your body. Align the different components of wellness in a synergistic way that boosts your quality of life.
Life’s a precious gift from the heavens. How well you live it is your responsibility. Taking care of your wellness is the best way of showing your gratitude for the divine gift you’ve received. The behaviours that support well-being, like exercise, meditation, healthy eating, are rewarding in themselves. Furthermore, their result – your better state, allows you to achieve and be more for yourself and the people around you.
What will be the most important benefits of improving your health? What aspect of your wellness needs the most urgent attention? What can you start doing today to increase your well-being?
Martin Stefanov Petkov
Master your Super Power
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