You hear people talking all the time about wanting to lose weight, wanting to eat better and pay more attention to their bodies, wanting to get fitter, but what about our psychological health, does that get a work out too?
We all want to live a healthy lifestyle, all want good food (except on Friday nights!) and all want to look after our bodies inside and out to prevent anything nasty from taking over in later life, prevention is better than cure as they say. But having done a lot of research and reading on the body and mind of late, it reminded me that being healthy is more than doing a push up or two, or an hour at the gym, even a few sessions a week, being healthy goes so much deeper than that.
Wellbeing, as it’s referred to nowadays is much more than physical health, although when people are referred to as being healthy, it’s the first thing we think of. It’s said there are 5 dimensions of Wellness, 5 different areas that make up our overall health structure, an integrated collection of states that come together in a bid to make us ‘healthy’.
Let’s take a look.
Physical wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which allows us to live our lives and get through our days without tiredness or physical stress. We need to ensure we eat right and exercise regularly and avoid bad habits like eating too much sugar, bad fats and alcohol. I do agree with everything in moderation, I think the odd chocolate bar or glass of wine isn’t going to make a massive difference providing you’re doing some kind of physical activity to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Living a healthy physical lifestyle releases endorphins and serotonin (happy hormones) which improve our moods and energy levels, taking us on to the next point.
According to the World Health Organization, Mental health is defined as ‘a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to their community’. Mental health is about being cognitively healthy, the way we think, the way we feel and the way we develop relationships. Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community are vital to maintaining good state of mental wellbeing.
Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world and in your life. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social wellness as well as the people we meet in the coffee shops, in the super market and on the street. It involves using good communications skills, having meaningful relationships, respecting others as well as yourself and creating a support system of the people in your life but in the real world, not on social media!
Emotional wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the ongoing challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress, plus hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner all contributes to our emotional wellness. Being in control of these emotions means you’re observant of your thoughts, behaviour and feelings, whether positive or negative, and accept them rather than deny them, have a confident and positive approach to life, and enjoy it despite its periodic disappointments and frustrations.
Spiritual wellness is the search for meaning and purpose in human existence, striving for a state of harmony with oneself and others, with the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop balance between our inner values and our actions and to be mindful of our surroundings in our present tense. Some people use religion and faith to help them find their spiritual place but for me, I choose meditation, where I live in the present, letting go of the past and not worrying about the future and also practicing yoga, which can help lower stress, boost the immune system and lower blood pressure as well as reduce anxiety, depression and fatigue (and insomnia… I’ve fallen asleep twice in class!)
We have all seen, read and watched the hype on social media about exercise regimes and new whiz bang diet plans which help you lose a pound in weight every hour of the day, but achieving a life of wellbeing is pretty much common sense, and the bulk of it should come naturally.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. We know that a good night’s sleep, regular exercise, and eating well all play a part in a healthy mindset. Being conscious of the way we think, understanding our emotions, connecting with (real life) people and finding our inner peace in that exact moment all make us happier and healthier people.
Me, I enjoy my morning ritual of meditation, exercise and stretching. I enjoy fresh air, a walk on the beach maybe at sunrise or at sunset having fun with the children. I like to travel, I like to have coffee with friends and put the world to rights, I like time by myself to collect my thoughts and I like to read a book, unwind and float off into someone else world. Yes, I’m also busy with work, sometimes staring at a screen for hours a day but away from the working and busy Mother life, all of these things I enjoy help me to become a healthier person, and I can feel it.
Sometimes all it takes is a few simple and healthy habits to improve our outlook on life. Making the decision to create change to our daily lives, getting rid of the habits holding us back and introducing new ones can make us feel so much better and give us such an improvement, which in turn will make a difference to your life and your health, in body and mind.
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable (Thanks go to Hubby for the questions)
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.