Let’s continue to cover in more detail the basic tenets of wellness, as described by John W. Travis, MD, MPH, as modified (with permission by Travis) by yours truly. The first tenet covered was “Wellness is a choice…. a decision you make to move toward optimal health.” You were asked to write down your own Wellness Declaration. These questions were then presented to consider covering one key barrier to reaching your wellness potential, your first step to resolve that barrier, how that action will help you achieve your declaration, and who/what do you need to succeed.
Since wellness is multi-dimensional and holistic involving all aspects of your life, the 2nd tenet discussed was “Wellness is a way of life…a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for wellbeing.” This is where you begin to make changes in your life that will impact you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Your “way of life” is a journey and process not just a single event.
This brought you to the 3rd tenet: “Wellness is a process…a developing awareness that there is no end point, but that health and happiness are possible in each moment, here and now.” When committed to the process you not only experience greater health but also greater happiness in life. Yet, life comes with both opportunities and challenges. You may not always “feel” happy. Somewhere along the way when the bad stuff happens, it will be time to give some priorities to what is really most important to you and your family, including your wellness.
The next couple tenets will help you connect and integrate your own declaration and actions with your environment and energy for transforming you and even the world around you. The 4th tenet is “Wellness is a balanced channeling of energy…energy received from the environment, transformed within you, and returned to affect the world around you.” For some this tenet may be a little confusing as to what it all means. Basically, we only have 24 hours in a day. In those hours we live our lives and use whatever energy we have to accomplish our daily tasks.
The key here is “balance.” Your environment involves not just you (body, soul, spirit) but also the physical and relational environment you have all around you. At this moment, where are you expending your energy? Are there things and people you are involved with that tend to drain your energy so you struggle with even seeking and reaching for your wellness potential? If so, it’s time to reevaluate where you are and what you give up to gain.
The 5th tenet is “Wellness is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit…. the appreciation that everything you do, and think, and feel, and believe has an impact on your state of health.” See how this tenet fits and helps guide you through the other tenets of wellness? The key word here is “integration.” What is your body telling you? How is your mind or thoughts affected? And deep in your heart or spirit, what are you hearing? Is it contrary to what your body and thoughts are saying? If so, integration will be hard to achieve until your heart/spirit, thoughts/mind, and body are in sync. If this is your struggle, again, it’s time to reflect on those barriers whether it’s how you use your time, your physical environment, or your relationships. Today, make one change to align the “whole” of you. You will be amazed how much more energy you have both physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Next week the final two tenets will be covered. They have everything to do with you accepting yourself and seeing wellness in your relationships.