Wellness refers to the overall process of maintaining a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit, which promotes good health and wellbeing. Multidimensional and holistic, wellness is a never-ending process of people becoming aware of and making lifestyle choices in order to enjoy a healthy and fulfilled life.
The term ‘wellness’ includes a broad range of parameters and there are many things other than the simple mind and body care that account for good health of a person.
When you say I am well, to what extent are you aware of your wellness? The oft-uttered words wellness and wellbeing are used interchangeably without understanding the deeper implications. Instead of scratching the surface, its time to take a deep dive in understanding wellness for our self-benefit and also that of the surroundings because everything is so innately related.
Health and wellness are not synonymous
Health is normally perceived as mere absence of disease or infirmity enabling normal functioning of the individual’s physical machinery. It often does not count other conditions influencing the individual’s lifestyle choices ultimately having an impact on overall health.
National Wellness Institute, thus, coined the definition of wellness as an active process through which people make conscious choices for a healthy lifestyle not only to survive but to thrive. Wellness can be viewed as an interesting journey where life seems to be purposeful in everything we do.
So what is the difference between health and wellness?
- Health is the state of being. Wellness is a continuous state of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with conscious choices.
- Health, generally, reflects the physical, mental and social condition. Wellness drives in enhancing the state of well-being.
- Health is parameter-specific. Wellness is all-encompassing aiming to strike the balance of all related dimensions.
- Wellness nurtures the root and modifies our approach whereas health is the outcome.
Wellness is more important than health
Just as we lay the foundation stones rightly to build a sustainable building, different dimensions of wellness are similar to these that lead towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Disruption in one or more than one wellness dimensions upsets the much-valued health. We try to quick-fix our health symptoms by medications and treatments without giving proper attention to the basic factors contributing to wellness.
Wellness, wellbeing and happiness
Wellness is intention-driven whereas well-being and happiness are perception-driven. Wellness has a physical dimension. Wellbeing and happiness are related to the mental/emotional dimension, it is marked by a flow of positive emotions triggered by certain events. An individual who is happy does not necessarily mean he/she is healthy and well. An individual consistent with his/her wellness pursuits is more likely to experience satisfaction and happiness frequently.
So, when you consider wellness, think of health and prevention. When you think of wellbeing, count your success, happiness and satisfaction. This sets a clear line of demarcation.
People nowadays are more aware of their health and look for different ways to enhance their wellness. Many people opt for wellness-centric vacations in order to maintain and boost their wellbeing. They visit holistic centers, spas, wellness retreats and often opt for various region-specific therapies. Let us discuss the underlying principles that further explain the concept of wellness.
- Wellness is positive, holistic and multidimensional
- Wellness involves people making lifestyle choices in order to live life to its fullest potential
- Wellness is the process of discovering ways to promote health and wellbeing
- It is important to understand the physical, emotional and psychological symptoms of every individual in order to choose the best and most effective wellness treatment.
There are a plenty of options to enhance your wellbeing, depending on your needs, preferences and health conditions. You can join different workout classes, yoga and meditation centers, or visit a holistic spa. There is a wide range of therapies that can contribute to your wellness.
While continuing your wellness pursuits, it is important you have a clear understanding of its different dimensions.
Dimensions of wellness
The various dimensions of wellness include physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, environmental, social and occupational health conditions. Each dimension is important to achieve the optimal health of an individual.
1. Physical wellness:
It is important for every individual to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Physical wellness emphasizes the importance of regular physical activities for maintaining good health and wellbeing. One can achieve optimal wellness and stay away from the threat of various diseases by exercising on regular basis and eating healthy foods.
Understanding the connection between health, nutrition, and physical activity is important to achieve physical wellness. The concept of physical wellness could include regular checkups, balanced and healthy diet, as well as physical exercise. Many people travel overseas to take part in different wellness programs and treatments that emphasize on physical activities that could include hiking, kayaking, aerobics, martial arts and other sports activities.
2. Emotional Wellness:
Emotional wellness refers to your ability to deal with different kinds of challenges put forth by life. It is about expressing and managing feelings, dealing with problems and coping with stress. It is the ability to be in charge of your emotions and respect others emotions too.
Emotional wellness refers to the extent to which a person can feel optimistic and enthusiastic about life. It is about accepting and sharing the feeling of sadness, stress and happiness in a positive way. To achieve emotional wellness, one can practice meditation, yoga or opt for other stress busting therapies.
3. Social wellness:
Social wellness refers to a person’s ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends and other people. The social dimension focuses on how a person contributes to the environment and the community. In order to enhance your social wellness, you need to understand the needs of others, and your own needs.
A socially active person communicates well with other people and strives to maintain positive, interdependent relationships. It is important for every person to live in harmony with the environment and other human beings.
4. Cultural Wellness:
Mankind is blessed with diverse cultures. Cultural wellness refers to the creation of a harmonious ambience nurturing and respecting various cultural traits of communities. Respecting and embracing the values of different cultures generate positive emotions that leads of celebration of cultural diversity. Community development and elevating living standards of the backward ethnic communities are crucial pursuits of cultural wellness.
5. Spiritual wellness:
Spiritual wellness plays a major role in every person’s life. It is about developing a sense of meaning to life and taking complete charge. To achieve spiritual wellness, you need to make sure that what you do is in accordance with your values and beliefs.
Many people opt for spiritual tourism for the sake of the experience that comes with taking part in exquisite religious rituals and traditions overseas. It is believed that taking part in religious rituals can have a positive effect on health. The basic idea behind spiritual tourism is to achieve spiritual wellness and develop a positive outlook to life.
6. Intellectual Wellness:
It is our curiosity, learning ability and creativity that nurture our intellectual wellness. It drives us towards engaging activities that help stimulate the mind. We develop broader vision as we accept new ideas and gain experiences through intellectual stimulation which impacts our thoughts and expression. We develop better ways of problem solving in our daily lives. An intellectual person is able to identify the potential problems and use the available resources in a better way to sort them.
7. Occupational wellness:
Occupational wellness refers to the process of achieving personal satisfaction through work maintaining a perfect work-life balance conducive to our wellbeing. On an average, a person is estimated to spend at least 90,000 working hours in his/her lifetime.
Therefore, it is important to maintain a balance between work and leisure. Workplace stress not only affects productivity, but also your physical and emotional health. An increasing number of organizations are providing wellness-oriented programs to their employees, which affect their productivity indirectly but positively.
8. Financial wellness
How healthy are we financially? It implies the optimum financial reserve essential to meet the basic needs of survival and sustenance. Financial wellness imparts great security and confidence and helps in building resilience to financial shocks through smart money management strategies. Focusing on time-bound financial goals and creating strategies are integral in financial wellness.
9. Environmental wellness
It refers to the understanding of the environment and surroundings and its impact on health and wellness. Focused efforts to maintain the harmony of nature, universe and ourselves creating a society and community for healthy and sustainable living sum up the pursuit of environmental wellness.
10. Ethical wellness
Ethical wellness refers to upholding specific codes of morality and values by individuals or community for bigger interests of the society and individual wellbeing. Ethical standards and norms set by communities and organizations help in delivering a purpose or achieving specific goals without causing any harm to anybody even the nature and surroundings. Solidarity, openness, inclusiveness, fairness, honesty, accountability, credibility, responsibility, commitment and dedication are vital components of ethical wellness.
20 Everyday wellness tips to boost your wellbeing
Small consistent steps lead to great achievements. On the same note, simple everyday wellness tips can take you to higher levels of wellbeing. The trick is to stick. Build a habit. You need not strive too much. A little more greens on your plate, a little more of exercise and a few hours of extended sleep. You are into the progression of your wellbeing.
What you need to change is your attitude. Take your wellness seriously. Attention to your wellbeing should always be your top priority the rest will automatically follow. Everyday wellness tips are not meant for a single read. Going through it repeatedly will help you to be on your track. Here we go.
1. What is your dosha?
Dosha in Ayurvedic philosophy implies the universal life force or energy dwelling in our bodies. This energy manifests in three forms Vata, pitta and Kapha. Our body has a combination of these three types of energies with one or two forms dominating the other. Knowing your dosha can help in altering your lifestyle and food habits to maintain the right balance.
2. Choose one-ingredient whole foods:
You need not be confused with healthy eating. It is simple. Choose more one-ingredient whole foods in natural forms. Like a whole apple, guava, avocado and others. Having foods in their original state (that is uncooked) helps in natural detoxification of your body. Your blood sugar remains stable. Keep things simple. Have salads and soups with more whole foods. This promotes well-being and longevity.
3. Include easily digestible green proteins:
Green proteins provide constant energy supply to keep you active throughout the day. Lean proteins are good but considering the global emission issue, green proteins could be a better choice. Plant-based nutrient-dense superfoods with higher digestibility are rich in essential amino acids and help in perfect weight management. Water lentils, tempeh, chlorella, chia seeds etc. are easily digestible than soy or peas.
4. Eat according to the season:
This means never skip seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each season brings specific changes in our body. Maintaining balance with seasonal changes is the key to wellness. Mother Nature offers us wonderful fruits and vegetables each season helping us to cope up with the changes. It is also important to know our body type and its reaction towards certain foods to make the right choice.
5. Choose water-based foods for hydration:
Nothing but cool water can give the gratification of quenching thirst. But there is no need to overload with liters of water. Having five servings of water-based foods will not only keep you hydrated but also help in energy replenishment.
6. Allocate me-time:
Amidst meeting life’s demands, accommodate quality me-time in your everyday wellness tips. This is the time to slow down, de-stress, recharge and think. A one or one and half hour session is good to meditate, read, pray and relax. It may be at the start of the day or at night before sleep. You can split the session into two – morning and night sessions. But make sure you do.
7. Add moringa:
Moringa’s nutritional profile has labeled it as the world’s most useful tree by scientists. With twice the protein and thrice the iron content of spinach, this plant is highly sought after by wellness seekers. It is a powerful inflammation fighter with the potential to heal your chronic pains. Do not forget to add moringa powder to your dish or enjoy a moringa-infused nutrition bar.
8. Never try to diet:
This is a fooling trick that never works in the long run. It is not the best way to lose weight.Forcing yourself to eat or not to eat something is against your wellness. Take to mindful eating following the signals of your body. Food selection is important but it is equally important to understand the signals of “hunger” and “satisfaction”.
9. Wake up on the right side:
Yoga and Ayurveda recommend falling asleep on the left side and waking up on the right. Sleeping on the left stimulates secretions from the liver aiding digestion. This posture positions the body rightly for a sound sleep. In Yoga, the left side of the body is meant for thinking and the right side for accomplishment. That is falling asleep on the left and waking on the right leads to completion. Practicing this for 10-15 minutes before falling asleep will tune your body to follow this sleep-wake posture.
10. Maintain a journal of your eating habits:
This would help you keep track of your daily food intake. Are you overstepping? Are you taking less protein? Also, keep a note of how you feel after taking a specific food. This will help you understand the effect of each food on your energy level.
11. Find some time to spend in nature:
Forest bathing, for example, is graining grounds as a wellness enhancement exercise. While walking and relaxing amidst natural surroundings be it woods, lakeside, parks, etc. you promote self-healing. You inhale fresh air and also the aroma of plants and foliages that help you treat your anxieties and reduce depression.
12. Move your muscles and rotate your joints:
Keep your muscles and joints sturdy and flexible to bear daily weight and accidental shocks. If they are not flexible, you are down with wounds and injuries. Stiff muscles and joints give way to chronic pain. Start working on it now.
13. Practice brain workouts:
As you perform physical workouts, do the same to your brain. Challenge your brain with riddles, puzzles, crosswords or by playing any musical instrument. These mental exercises not only brighten up certain areas of the brain but also strengthen the connection between neurons.
14. Sit less walk more:
Sitting is killing. Walk as often as you can whether in your room or office space. It is a welcome break from monotony. Get up from your seat after every hour and take few minutes walking break. This doesn’t disturb your focus but helps in getting new insights. It is needless to highlight the benefits of long outdoor walks.
15. Declutter and organize your personal space:
Clutter adds to your stress. Keep your personal space at home or office neat and clean. Not finding the right thing in need adds to your stress wasting your valuable time and energy. Regular home cleaning can be a great stress buster. Throw away the things that are not being touched for months. By removing clutter, you add fresh air and new life into your space.
16. Give importance to quality sleep:
Drooping eyelids throughout the day, fatigue, low energy etc. are consequences of stress and poor sleep. Late-night blue screen exposure and digital disturbances affect the quality of sleep. Quality sleep does not mean lying on the bed for eight hours. It is the deep sleep state that helps in repair and rejuvenation. Maintain a good sleep routine, remove all distractions and nurture positive thoughts to enjoy the fulfilling deep sleep state.
17. Look for a new outdoor hobby:
Gardening is one of the best options. Why not try fishing, hiking, flying kites or bicycling? Engaging in some environment-saving projects in your community will also add quality time. You will feel good to contribute something meaningful.
18. Tap the energy of words with repetition:
Words are powerful. Every single word you use has an impact. The more you use powerful words positively, the better it is for you. This is a very simple everyday wellness tip that we often ignore. Keep yourself surrounded by positive and uplifting words.
Few words scribbled on sticky notes would work. Frame a mantra and repeat it several times. Wear clothes with positive messages. As you do this regularly, you embrace the power of repetition that uplifts your wellness and performance as a human being.
19. Appreciate more:
More you appreciate more you reward yourself with a feel-good factor. It should not be just a habit of appreciating anything for the sake of wellness. Teach your mind to observe the deeds of appreciation and then use suitable words or action. Appreciation builds a sense of gratitude beneficial to wellness.
20. Practice patience:
Amidst the era of instant gratification, patience helps. Quality outcomes come out of patience. Instant gratification is momentary. If things are not working on expected lines, hold on to your patience. Patience helps you to remain poised under strain. Newer avenues and solutions will surface. Losing patience kills better possibilities.