Most people like feeling well as opposed to not—but how can you make this happen more consistently? How can you take being well to another level in your life? Wellness, by definition, is “the quality of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of a deliberate effort.” The second definition goes even deeper as it states wellness is “an approach to health care that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating disease.”
Traditionally, our society’s approach to wellness has been to wait until we feel ill, then go to the doctor to treat the illness versus taking daily, deliberate steps to keep our minds and bodies in shape. It is far too easy to be consumed with doing rather than being. We can get caught up in a whirlwind of activity, choices and decisions not only for ourselves but family members, coworkers and friends. Without guarding and guiding your thoughts and overall well being first, this can lead to a less-than-satisfying existence.
“Health is a state of body, wellness is a state of being.” — J. Stanford
Here are a few simple daily steps to master being well-thy and living a more enriched and vibrant life!
1. REST Allow for adequate rest. Solid sleep at night allows your mind to stop and your body to replenish. Clarity of mind, skin tone and metabolism are just a few things that are enhanced. Studies show these are maximized by having a minimum of 7–9 hours each evening for adults and even longer for children and teens. Power naps or short bursts of rest during the day are also encouraged, in addition to a good night’s sleep.
2. BREATHE Breathing with intention (paying attention to your breath for an expected outcome) should be practiced multiple times throughout the day. Stop all other activity to focus on inhaling deeply and fully, then exhaling slowly, deliberately. The goal here is to expand the chest, diaphragm and belly. This opens up oxygen flow, improves posture, skin tone, weight and stimulates cell renewal.
3. MEDITATE Take 10 minutes in the morning to shape your day. Keep it simple and use the rule of three: think of three things you are grateful for, and three goals to accomplish today. Setting goals to thrive can go a long way in building confidence, eliminating stress and harboring negativity. Set your intention. Happiness is a choice. Be active with your intention in how your day will go. Think on these things. Then go do them!
4. EAT WELL Eat things that make you feel energized rather than lethargic. I don’t even have to tell you what that is. You know the difference in your body, within minutes after eating or drinking, whether or not it is good for your well-being and not just a false sense of good for the moment. Smaller meals throughout the day tend to work best. Portions no larger than the size of your fist are a good measuring tool to go by.
5. DRINK Lots of water, that is! Water is the natural lubricant of the body and keeps things functioning more smoothly. How much is good, you ask? Take your body weight and divide by two. That’s how many ounces of water you should drink daily. Room temperature water is excellent and best supports the digestive system.
6. PLAY Plan some play time. Roll around with the dog. Ride a bicycle. Shoot some hoops. Dance. Planned play time will help increase creativity and enjoyment and will reduce tension and stress in body, mind and spirit.
7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUCCESS Be intentional about who you spend your time with. Choose figures, friends and role models that align with your life goals. There are lots of people who have done what you want to do. Most people are happy to share their stories with you. Ask.
8. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH Make sure you are living the life you talk about. Think about the advice you give to others. Are you practicing that in your own life? If it is not adding to the greater good, rethink your strategy.
9. LAUGH Watch or read something funny. Laugh, laugh, laugh. To quote from the movie Arthur when he just bursts out laughing without solicitation, “Sometimes I just think funny things!” Laughter really is the best medicine.
10. BE OPEN Embrace possibility, flexibility, variety, tradition, change, life. Don’t close yourself off and be limited or limiting. You don’t have to dive into something new and different all the time. Just be open to yourself and to others. Allow the process of life to unfold and be sure you’re paying attention when it does.
What we need really isn’t all that complicated. What have you done to live a well-thy life? Please share, I’d love to know.
“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.” — Sagewood Wellness Center