If you go through the list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030, you’ll see that goal number three emphasizes upon ensuring a healthy life and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The importance of a healthy life is well acknowledged and so is of wellness.
The concept of health and wellness ares overlapping but separate. Health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. When we say that a person is healthy, what is meant is that the person is doing fine in terms of physical health and is mentally stable; being able to perform acts of routine and not collapsing while doing so is being healthy. We take into account the aspects of life that are tangible and measurable. We can witness them. Healthy life can either be achieved by maintaining a good life or by consulting an online doctor.
Wellness is a holistic concept. It has various dimensions to it along with physical, mental and social well-being. It is the process of becoming aware, taking healthy choices that help us lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Health and wellness go hand in hand. Being healthy without wellness is like purchasing a nail clipper with no intention of clipping nails. It means that being just healthy without the intention of making wakeful choices toward leading a better life is banal. It is just one of the many steps that cater to the needs of individuals who seek to make conscious changes in their lives with the intention of improving and rather transforming the quality of their life. Therefore, dissociating one from another is out of the question.
Let’s understand the various facets of wellness that complement health to achieve wellness.
Emotions and the way we handle them to make all the difference. Emotional wellness results in stress reduction and the development of inner strength. It is important to acknowledge both negative and positive feelings. It helps to handle our emotions ably. This sure requires some amount of effort but is crucial in the emotional department. We can seek and find, find and learn, and learn and grow with adept handling of our emotions.
Once we know about our feelings, the first step towards breeding clarity and nurturing better response is taken. With this, we can teach our brain to look at the brighter side of things, be optimistic, ignore negative emotions and give an automated positive response.
The most effective and acceptable way of doing this is to train your brain to stay positive. Simply feed it with positivity and positivity it shall yield.
Howsoever old and beaten this concept is, the relevance it holds to this article cannot be neglected. The value and belief system that various individuals have can lead to harmony or disharmony in their lives. Spirituality helps in identifying one’s purpose or goal in their life. It helps in dislodging negativity from one’s system and cleansing their brains fogged with ambiguity and dilemmas, and breeding clarity in their minds. What impact does this have, if any at all? To streamline our actions in a way that would have uniformity regarding the desired outcome with minimum efforts.
The ways of achieving spiritual wellness vary from person to person. Spirituality is closely linked to religion but is not dependant on it. The path to spirituality is many- meditation, prayer, yoga. They can help you in developing spiritual wellness. They can support your goal by linking you to a higher power if that’s what you intend to achieve. Else the
Your faiths, values, beliefs, morals, principles define your spirituality which gets manifested in the form of compassion, altruism, empathy, joy, and fulfillment.
Being on the path of achieving spiritual wellness or already having been achieved it augurs well for various aspects of your life.
Knowledge is power. Knowing how to utilize that knowledge is the ultimate wealth. Engaging in creative and stimulating mental activities helps you live a fulfilling, successful life. There are various ways in which you can gain intellectual wellness. To begin with, you can read for fun. Reading as an exercise can help you profoundly if you enjoy the process. What you can gain the most is stretching and expanding your mind to think about things that you normally wouldn’t. While reading can help you gain knowledge, talking about what you read- having a conversation or a debate- can help you to form viewpoints and opinions. Indulging in activities such as learning a new language or learning to play a musical instrument has a powerful impact on your brain.
Another aspect of intellectual stimulation is acknowledgment- of thoughts and feelings. One of the ways of doing this is maintaining a journal. Jotting down your innermost thoughts, your feelings and your reactions to the certain situation help you notice the pattern behind your actions. We can alter our actions only if we know the path we are treading on. Such practices can force you to think deeply about your actions and take conscious decisions about the way we perform such actions.
Your overall wellbeing is closely associated with environmental wellness. It includes living in harmony with your surrounding- the earth and its components- plus by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your environment and taking actions to conserve and protect it.
How does it contribute to overall wellness? The toxicity prevalent in the surroundings has a direct impact on our bodies and mind. If you spot filth in your environment, it is going to impact your physical and mental health. Our way of living has changed over the years. With industrialization taking over the traditional and sustainable manners that our ancestors had mastered, it is imperative that we become aware of the negative consequences it is having on our environment so that we can take effective steps towards improving the situation. Conserve energy, reduce, reuse and recycle, eat local food, decrease your carbon footprint by switching to sustainable practices, use public transport, discard single-use plastic, conserve electricity etc are some of the ways in which you can attain environmental wellness. Keep the mother Earth happy and she shall take care of you.
The happiness and fulfillment that you get from working is occupational wellness. No one should be doing something that they dislike, leave despise. There are people stuck in jobs for years that they never find to be fulfilling. Just for the reason that it pays them and not necessarily well, people tend to refrain from exploring and taking risks that become the cause of their dissatisfaction. What if I lose the little that I have achieved till now? What if I lose it all? These are the questions that bug them and prevents them from taking the leap of faith.
Another aspect is the work-life balance- adeptly managing both which yields fulfilling results. What we do for a living consumes rather demands a lot of our time. It is an indispensable part of our lives. Work-life balance is about personal satisfaction enrichment in one’s life through work. One’s attitude towards life determines a lot about the direction that it gives. Certain ways through which this can be achieved is
- Setting professional goals that are in tandem with your personal goals to yield the best results from the things that you do.
- Enjoying what you do and do what you enjoy. This one of the oft-quoted mantras for a successfully managed work-life
- Link up with people who support your goals and infuse a sense of confidence in you. These are the people you want to associate with and spend your time with.
- Setting career goals is another important way with the dual benefit of achieving your goals with
Last but not least is the aspect of social wellness. It refers to the way we interact with people around us and the way we keep our relationship with them. Building healthy, nurturing and fulfilling relationships improve our lives in a genuine manner. Humans beings are social animals. Being so, if and when they are forced to live an isolated life, it results in the disruption of this natural way of our being. Alienation has become an urban problem. It is imperative that we establish intimate and reliable relationships with family and friends. They act as a cushion when hardships strike. Having a supportive social network helps you develop assertive social skills and gain confidence. It also helps to build emotional resilience as it teaches one how to rebound in adversities.
As with others, this goal also has methods of achieving it. First and foremost step is identification. Introspect to detect your social needs so that you can work on the areas which need your attention the most. Ask yourself questions like how important is it to for you to meet these needs. What are the ways through which it can be done? Who can all support you to achieve these goals? Once you get answers to these questions, you stop beating around the bush and get down to working for the betterment of your wellness.
People can exert great influence on others; therefore it is important to discover who you identify with and in what ways their knowledge and experience be used to meet your goals. Meet them, talk to them, share your thoughts with them and seek their advice. If it is not possible to do it in person, read about them; watch their documentaries and observe the pattern they follow. It’s a practice that can be mastered if followed regularly and can contribute towards making holistic development of your personality with a positive impact on your lives.