Much buzz has been generated about incorporating wellness into your life, but how many of us really know what that is? Wellness isn’t just about going for a jog and eating an apple. True wellness envelopes mind, body, heart and spirit. Webster’s defines wellness as, “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal”.
Actively seeking balance in your life can help anyone, whether you’re already in good health, fighting cancer or another terminal illness, trying to lower your blood pressure, or working to shed those extra few pounds. The key is to feed each of the four parts every day. For most of us, “Body” is easy to figure out… eat better and stay active. However, it is just as important to feed your mind. Pledge to be an eternal student – never stop learning new things. This activity is not only good for personal knowledge, but several studies have been done that demonstrate working to continue to actively challenge your mind helps keep your cognitive thinking sharp and fights off the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s.
While mind and body are directed more toward your physical well-being, heart and spirit are tied to your emotional well-being. Listen to music, take a stroll in nature, watch something that makes you laugh or cry, do something nice for someone else spontaneously, read a book, or volunteer your time to help out your community. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get back by giving. And if you’re looking for a good book to read, one that clearly demonstrates the importance of balance is “Eat, Pray, Love.” (And for those who aren’t a fan of reading, don’t worry… there’s a movie too! I have to say, the book is better… but really, isn’t the book ALWAYS better?)
One section of this book talks about a “Four Brothers Meditation.” Now, whether meditation is your thing or not, the overall message can apply to anyone. Each “brother” represents a virtue that we need to be happy and safe: intelligence, friendship, strength, and poetry. Think of these four things each day and actively seek to feed each brother. For most of us, the biggest obstacle and source of stress is our jobs. A recent study concluded that 32% of Canadians cite work as their biggest source of stress. A way to help remind yourself to seek some balance and engage in de-stressing activities is take the above image, and set it as your desktop wallpaper on your computer. This daily reminder could help you on your path to Wellness.