By Kim Eickhoff
Source: Self Growth
What is wellness? I see wellness as a way of life. It is about creating health in order to prevent sickness. It is about practicing activities and skills on a regular basis that create physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Practicing a life of wellness is about just that, practicing it. Achieving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health is a process, not a goal. I do not believe that anyone ever reaches the point where they are 100% healthy in any of these areas. I also do not believe that anyone can engage in these behaviors 100% of the time. At some point we slip, after all, we are human and we are not perfect. That is why living a life of wellness is a practice. We never truly perfect it. But we can become better at it, live healthier, and achieve a higher quality and more enjoyable life.
Practicing means working on skills and techniques and trying to perfect them. It is like practicing a musical instrument. The more you do it, the better you become, but you are always going to make mistakes. However, the more you practice, the more likely that the number of mistakes will decline and your skills and techniques will improve. This makes the music more beautiful and more enjoyable, just as practicing wellness can help make your life become more beautiful and more enjoyable as well.
This is very different from how most of us view health today. Most of us go along doing our thing, treating our bodies, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, any way we want. Then “all of a sudden”, we find that we are sick or that our life is a mess. At this point we then bring in doctors, medicine, exercise, surgery, and other treatments, in order to try and fix the problem in order to become healthy again. (As if we ever really were healthy in the first place.) It seems to me that this is a backwards approach. We end up chasing our tail. You can see it in our health care profession today. We spend billions of dollars trying to “fix” people and their ailments, when most of the time their ailments were preventable in the first place. Usually, it is already too late to fix anything, so they just band-aid it, and wait for the next problem to arise.
What would happen if we all practiced wellness in our own lives? This would mean engaging in various techniques, skills, and practices on a daily basis, that would actually create a stronger and healthier person up front. One of the intentions behind practicing wellness would be to keep illnesses, diseases, and other sicknesses at bay. Having a strong physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body, can be used as a shield. Thus making it difficult for most illnesses and diseases to penetrate it. Another intention behind practicing wellness would be to enhance our quality of life so that we are in a position to prevent developing diseases that arise from unhealthy lifestyles. Things like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even stress, are very preventable if you engage in healthy activities and behaviors on a daily basis. Another wonderful by product of practicing wellness, is happiness – real happiness.
When we create health, in order to practice wellness, we create happiness. The reason is because we are living our life in line with who we are at our core. The only way to be truly happy is to live our life as who we were meant to be. Most of us live our lives based on someone else’s beliefs of who we should be. When we practice wellness we honor who we are on a daily basis. We give our bodies and our lives what it needs to grow and develop. We are in touch with our true values and beliefs, and we engage in activities and behaviors that reflect those values and beliefs. When we honor who we are at the authentic level, we choose to live deliberately. Living deliberately means we actively and consciously make choices that put our life on the path that feels right for us as individuals. The more we practice wellness, the more we appreciate our bodies and our lives. The more we appreciate these aspects, the more we respect ourselves as individuals. The more we respect ourselves, the more likely we are to continue practicing wellness. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health can all be improved individually, but they are very much connected to one another.
Everything we do to the physical affects the other three, and visa versa. Not only does it become apparent that our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are connected and affect each other, we also begin to then recognize that we are connected to other individuals as well. Everything we do to ourselves, positively or negatively, affects others in a positive or negative way. If we treat ourselves poorly, we are going to treat others poorly. However, if we respect ourselves and treat ourselves well, we will respect others and treat them better. This not only can improve our relationships with family members and friends, but it will change how we work with people in our jobs, communities, society, and the world in general. The healthier we are as individuals, the healthier everything else will be as well. This is why I call my business, Working it Out, Within.
Working it Out, Within is a wellness program that provides information, tools, techniques, and skills that can help others create happiness by practicing wellness. I believe that happiness starts with understanding who we are within, honoring who we are through our behaviors and activities, and living a life that reflects all of these characteristics. This is what practicing wellness is about. If you do not feel happy with your life, or the direction it is headed, take a look and honestly evaluate if you are practicing wellness. If you are not, begin to investigate and identify what areas you need to begin working on in order to create health and happiness. Practicing wellness is a way of life. It is a process, not the goal.