True wellness is so much more than what we eat and how we work-out. Those things are important of course but real, 360-degree wellness is so much more than that. We all know people who “eat clean” and are impressively diligent with the preparation of each meal, but who are routinely miserable or stressed to the max. There are also too many people who might have the “perfect”, beautiful body but who are riddled with self-doubt and second-guess themselves at every turn. I’ve worked with some professional athletes whose seriously impressive physique belies the continual emotional turmoil just below the skin.
Tips and techniques to improve physical wellness are everywhere; we live in a tsunami of information on what to eat and how to move, but there is so much less focus on the other 3, equally critical, facets of true wellbeing.
When we feel at our most whole and complete, we are attending to what I call 4-dimensional wellness: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. It is by applying strategies for growth and health in all four areas that I believe we live life at our best.
Mental wellness is often overlooked until we are struggling – only really being attended to at the point of illness, rather than an on-going strategy for health and sharpness. Integrating simple strategies that can lift our everyday level of mental focus and concentration make a huge difference to how productive we are, which reduces overwhelm and increases happiness. Strategies for mental wellness that enable us to act decisively. Create boundaries we can stand behind that support our best life. To come from a place of considered consciousness rather than panicked knee-jerk reaction-ism is a massively powerful part of our wellness.
Similarly, emotional wellness can get taken for granted until life hits a massive speed bump. However, there is so much to be gained by deliberately attending to emotional wellness on the average ordinary day. When we understand what our emotions are for, when we do not deny them, avoid them or bury them in booze, shopping, food or digital distractions, we come from a clean and calm emotional place. When we are not being driven by worry and panic. When we have strategies to be able to be fully, emotionally present at home and leaving the office at the office, everyone benefits. When we understand our triggers around stress and have ways to manage it that work for us, rather than coming home and snarfing a heap of cheese and crackers and a large glass of Sav as a treat, we are not letting our emotional state sabotage our physical goals.
Spiritual health is also important and not at all woo-woo. We are more than just the physical meat suit we live in. We are all, whether we agree or acknowledge it or not, spiritual beings. We gain energy, clarity and focus when we learn how to engage with our spiritual self. When we are connected to our passions and to our purpose. We live our happiest life when we are hooked into a reason for doing things that is bigger than ourselves. Being in flow. Finding those states where we are truly present and absorbed totally in what we are doing. That’s spiritual connection.
Real wellness acknowledges and informs how we think, how we feel and how we connect. When we attend to those pieces, the physical wellness choices tend to just fall into place. We eat healthy food because we want to, not because we “should”. We move our body because it’s a joy and a privilege to do so, from a place of loving it not punishing it for what we did or didn’t eat. When we start to balance all 4 quadrants of wellness, not just our health but our life begins to fall into place.