In today’s frenetic world, how does one stay well? If we are not careful, just trying to figure out what steps to take can cause stress. The sheer amount of information out there about diet programs, medications, supplements, fitness, holistic treatments, surgeries, and GMOs creates uncertainty. There is almost a chaos that exists within the realm of wellness.
First, it is important to understand there is no single definition of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to wellness. Well-being is unique to each of us: if there are 7 billion people on the planet, then there are 7 billion definitions. It would be impossible to try and create one definition that works for everyone. We are all different and have our own lifetime of personal experience.
A basic way to explain the meaning of well-being is that it’s a feeling. It is a unique combination of experiencing self-love and acceptance. It is about holding a sense of peace with your role in the world and where you are in your journey. It is reaching the highest potential that you can within your circumstance. It’s the ability to be authentically you without fear.
Well, that sounds great, but how do we get to this fantastic place? It has to do with body, mind, heart, and soul.
There are four components to our overall health that can be assessed. As we assess, if we notice we are really great in one area but lacking in another, we can make efforts to fill in any gaps to ensure a smoother journey toward achieving well-being.
“I think Groupon is great because they really allow people to explore all types of businesses at an affordable price. I personally have tried new yoga classes, had dental exams, and was able to take a group of my friends kayaking by finding some great local deals. When I am up to trying something new or need a new service provider, I always check and see what they have going on in my area.” – Debra K.
Well Body: What are you doing to honor and keep your body healthy?
Conscious Movement: Means dedicating a portion of our life to ensuring our body moves and stays fluid. It is important to enjoy your choices, so explore any activities that sound fun or interesting and see what your body enjoys the most.
Nutrition: Making a conscious decision to educate yourself and what you are using to fuel your body. I have a simple philosophy: eat food as close to its natural source as possible. Skip the bags, cans, and boxes of depleted meals as much as you can and be kind to yourself when you fall off the wagon.
Wellness checks: Prevention is key to keeping a healthy body. Stay on track with wellness checks, such as regular screenings, dental exams, and eye exams. Be open to exploring nontraditional forms of healing such as acupuncture, reflexology, and salt-cave therapy. It is fun to explore lesser-known methods of care that may be more natural for your body.
Well Mind: Are you doing things that keep your brain stimulated and calm?
Mindfulness: A state of being where you stay consciously aware of your environment and activities you are participating in. Achieving this state takes intention and focus. Our thoughts can run endlessly throughout the day and run our lives. Taking moments throughout the day to become aware of your environment, feelings, thoughts, and actions can help center you. When you are centered, you are likely to make better decisions, such as watching less television, eating smarter, and responding thoughtfully to stressful situations.
Learning: A great quote by Buddhist monk Shunryu Suzuki captures the essence of learning, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s, there are few.” Try to always stay open to learning more about things, as well as keeping yourself open to others and their perspectives. Regularly step into your uncomfortable zone and explore a new experience. Learning fosters a sense of exploration and accomplishment.
Well Heart: What makes your heart fill with joy?
Love: Love can be given and received in many different ways, and there is never a finite amount of love to be shared. It is a vital part of our overall well-being and an area that should be consciously nurtured. You can experience love with a pet, an organization, a partner, a parent, a child, a friend, and through your community. Ensure you are interacting with those you love and let them know they are important to your well-being.
Unconditional Positive Regard: Research shows that one of the most painful experiences we can have as a human is to be negatively evaluated by others, especially by those with whom we are closest. Humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers created the concept of unconditional positive regard, which is defined as “the basic acceptance and support of a person regardless of what the person says or does.” Suspending judgment, so to speak. Try to cultivate this practice next time someone pushes your buttons or you find yourself judging someone without knowing them.
Well Soul: Do you have faith in something that is bigger than you?
Higher Purpose: We find meaning and contentment in our lives by contributing our resources to some higher purpose or something that we believe is what we are supposed to support. According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 21% of adults strongly agree that their life has a clear sense of purpose. Dedicating our time to those things that bring us joy will help us on our path toward feeling we live with purpose.
Service: There is something extremely powerful about embodying an attitude of service. Regardless of your personal situation, there is always someone who can use a bit of help, whether that be kind words or active volunteerism. Contributing part of your time to helping can offer benefits of self-esteem and personal growth. During Groupon’s Welcome to Wellness week, for every deal purchased from the wellness collection, a donation will be made to Girls on the Run, an organization uses running to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. Read our conversation with Girls on the Run to see exactly how the organization empowers girls.
In the end, we are all unique, and what brings us peace and joy will look different for every person. Well-being is really about accepting who we are, understanding our role in our own circumstances, and living as authentically as we can. If you can approach your life with a sense of ownership and self-care, then you are well on your way to achieving well-being. The most unselfish thing you can do is to fully love and honor yourself. When you are in this place, you are able to offer much more for the world.
Check out Debra K's show, Journey into Wellbeing, where she visits natural health and wellness professionals to guide her—and you—to a better life:
Debra K., host of the award-winning Journey into Wellbeing television show, is on a mission to inspire our nation’s health transformation, and she needs you to join her team. Stay up to date with fun events, shows, articles, and more by following her on Facebook at Journey into Wellbeing with Debra K and on YouTube. Together, we can make a difference!