Lifestyle and Wellness
Life has a style that presents your living environment but also personal behaviour, values and preferences. Lifestyle usually mirrors the habits of our parents and early childhood but also our personal choices as a responsible adult. Awareness of our own responsibility taking care of our health may influence our style of living.
Wellness can be seen as a movement towards overall well-being, balance and satisfaction in life. Wellness can be found in choices we make every day, in joy of active participation in life and positive thinking. Wellness is multidimensional reaching many different aspects in our lives and around us; it connects these aspects to each other and builds a solid base for a balanced life. Physical, social, emotional, spiritual, occupational, environmental, and intellectual and many more dimensions of wellness play important roles in our lives. In order to reach balance and satisfaction, we need to take good care of each of those dimensions: today and tomorrow; regularly, with full awareness and responsibility. Wellness is about a healthy lifestyle.
The wellness concept has gained a new boost in the 21st century and has become one of the most important lifestyle influencers of today. Interestingly however, wellness principles are taken over from ancient universal wisdom of human culture. We can recognise basic wellness ideas in Ayurveda – an ancient holistic healing system of India’s Vedas culture; in the jin and yang concept, the central idea in Traditional Chinese Medicine; in the advice of Hippocrates, who was the most significant physician of antique Greek medicine; in the leading ideas of Nature Cure. These sources of wisdom promote a healthy lifestyle as one of the most important aspects preventing illnesses. What were actually those basic wellness ideas?
Firstly healthy nutrition and regular physical training followed by a good sleep. Important was also regular practice of water treatments, breathing exercises and skin care.
20th century has taken wellness ideas to a new level, a whole new industry has started and developed into a global business now reaching almost every aspect of our lives. Prevention has become the highlight of the new, 21st century. Instead of treating the illnesses we do our best to prevent them. Taking the responsibility for our own health means healthy decisions, it means wellness lifestyle.
Wellness dimensions are like colours in the rainbow: each of them can be noticed and separated from each other but they depend on each other, influence each other and work together.
WellStyle presents a short description of the main seven wellness dimensions. Scholars haven’t agreed on their exact number, but that only supports the conclusion that the human being is a complex phenomenon and it takes a lot of knowledge to meet all his needs. A complicating factor is that each individual has different values and subjective views to quality of life. Therefore wellness services should be personal and complex.
Physical wellness is about your body and everything that comes with it: physical condition, sleep, sex life, age and general health. You are shaping your physical wellness through daily eating habits and your attitude towards alcohol and drugs. Not less important is your hygiene and skincare. Regular exercising strengthens the heart, muscles and bones; increases the flexibility of the body and work ability of the joints. Right breathing and active time spent outdoors guarantee a good peaceful sleep and keep you fit with enough energy; your senses are active and the mind alert. Following these principles regularly, you become more resistant to illnesses and stress. You might consider of testing your genetic predispositions for your athletic performance and weight management that could help you to make healthy decisions.
Social wellness is about your ability to socialise with other people; to make friends and keep healthy relations; to develop and enjoy close intimate relationships. It is also about your ability to interact, to work in the team, to share your thoughts with other people; to communicate; create and maintain dialogs. It is about appreciating others and being accepted by others. Reaching out to people, offering friendship is a good way to achieving social wellness. Becoming an active, contributing member of the local community can improve your social wellness but also travelling with friends, taking quality time for your family can boost your social wellness. Simple acts change a lot: spa holiday with your partner; family dinners; birthday cards; joint lunches with friends. Practicing loving- kindness meditation helps to develop social wellness.
Emotional wellness is about your ability to recognise, accept and express feelings; to love and trust; to feel empathy and inner motivation to help others and receive help from others. It appears in your ability to develop and keep healthy relationships; to cope with the loss; to forgive and think positively; develop internal motivation when the self- esteem is low; and feel happy. Our psychological health has an impact on our overall well- being and also on our physical condition. Our emotions are driven by our thoughts and therefore it is essential to deal with negative and destructive thoughts. Positive thinking indeed is the best you can do to keep the level of emotional wellness high. To strengthen your self- esteem and to find positivity in life, it is good to practice the compassion meditation. Enjoying a spa visit; outdoor activities; nature walks; various sports or work with animals can improve your emotional wellness.
Spiritual wellness reflects your relations to nature, others and yourself. It shows your love and care for others, trust, openness and gratitude. It is also about your inner dialog with yourself and God, your search for deeper meaning, your personal growth finding yourself and the ultimate purpose of life. Spiritual wellness appears in your ability to implement your beliefs in real life; in resilience to handle challenges. It is about the balance in life between body mind and soul. You can maintain your spiritual wellness by practicing regularly meditation; yoga or tai chi; learning about forgiveness and compassion; experiencing awe. Wellness travel can give a boost to your spiritual wellness, also time taken to admire the beauty of nature, fine arts.
Environmental wellness shows your connection to your close physical environment but also to nature in general. It becomes noticeable in your responsible and caring attitude towards nature and animals; your home and neighbourhood, the place where you live and work but also to the entire world. You can develop environmental wellness by taking responsibility for your actions reducing your carbon footprint; by recycling and consuming slow food. Be aware of your daily habits and how they influence the environment around you. Try to make healthier, harmless choices that respect all living creatures on earth. Practice love and compassion towards nature. Explore it and live in peace with and in it. Enjoy outdoor recreational activities; appreciate authentic experiences.
Intellectual wellness relates to your ability to think critically, to analyse your actions and thoughts, to take responsibility for your acts and to take initiative. It is also about your creativity and curiosity: readiness for lifelong learning. Intellectual wellness is about to see the beauty of challenges by taking risks; to memorise and use new information. It is humour and playfulness in life; your ability to concentrate and to be fully absorbed by the activity – to experience “flow” and practice mindfulness. Try to be present. Try to stay in the moment. To maintain intellectual wellness it is not less important to have a balanced diet and enough physical activity.
Occupational wellness is about different roles you have in your life; how well you can manage and balance them. It is about your work and relations with your colleagues and superiors; your skills and ability to work independently; creativity and commitment. It reflects how much you enjoy your work, how motivated and happy you are. Occupational wellness creates a bridge between your personal and occupational life; brings balance and overall satisfaction. It is about achievement, recognition and fulfilment. In order to maintain occupational wellness, it is essential to learn to manage conflicts. It is also important to be aware of your professional skills and interests; abilities and challenges. Too high expectations can lead to stress and professional failure; too low expectations however to disappointment and demotivation. Try to set realistic goals for your career.