Many people strive to be fit and physically healthy without understanding the true meaning of wellness. Wellness isn’t just a physical characteristic. It isn’t bulging muscles or being able to run a marathon in record time. There are individuals who have never lifted a weight or played any sport at all, but still embody the true definition of wellness. Wellness is a concept that brings together the body, mind, and spirit in a balanced way that indicates a person is as healthy as they possibly can be at that time.
One of the aspects of good health is the absence of disease. Disease takes many forms. It can affect one system of the body or all the systems of the body. An individual with cancer may be in a fight for their life but still reach a state of wellness. A person who deals with chronic pain every day can also reach a state of wellness in which their body maintains a positive level of function, in spite of the problems afflicting it.
The absence of disease does not define wellness. A person may have no health problems whatsoever, but due to an imbalance between the body and mind, their spirit suffers. Whether disease exists or not is irrelevant if the body, mind, and spirit are not working together to create a healthy, natural balance.
Being physically fit lays the groundwork for wellness. If the body is healthy and strong, it will function at maximum efficiency. It takes work to maintain this level of fitness. A good diet full of wholesome nutritious foods is only the beginning. Regular exercise and maintaining flexibility through swimming, stretching, and yoga (or other similar exercises) is essential to maintain the health of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and pulmonary systems.
It’s also important to ensure the immune system gets the best support possible so it can fight off illness and disease. A healthy metabolism and digestive system must also be maintained so that the body can receive and utilize the nutrients it receives.
A person can be physically fit and extremely strong, but if they are depressed or are dealing with an emotional crisis, their emotional well-being is not where it needs to be. Emotional well-being is based not on good health but a positive outlook and feelings of contentment. Negative thoughts and behaviors can also have an impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Addiction, alcoholism, abuse, there are many different things that can have a negative impact on a person’s life and how they mentally work through their day to day issues.
The body is not the only thing that must function in a balanced fashion. The mind must also function as efficiently as possible. The brain/mind can be thrown out of balance physically or mentally. The brain is the “computer” for the body.
The glands and other components of the endocrine system, work together to trigger chemical reactions throughout the body. These chemical reactions stabilize blood sugar, regulate the body’s metabolism, and help the kidneys flush toxins from the body. Any imbalance occuring with any of these systems can be devastating to the health of the brain.
Finding the delicate balance in the mental and emotional state is part of the process of finding well-being. This is a different process for each person. Some will find it easily. Others will struggle to find it and maintain it. Meditation, breathing exercises and learning how to ground and center are a few ways to find this delicate state of balance.
Some people have to make the realization that they don’t want to be a victim. Those are the ones who fight to remain a survivor. They look for the positive and put the negative in its place. They reclaim their power and move forward each day looking for the best that life has to offer.
Being in a state of “wellness” means maintaining the steady balance between a healthy body, a positively charged mind, and a nourished spirit. You don’t have to be religious to live in “spirit”. Spirit is often embodied by the belief that goodness and joy are what makes life worth living. For some, that may carry a religious context. For others, it simply means they choose to live their joy and pass it on to others.
Bringing mind, body, and spirit together can be difficult for some. When their body is healthy, they are having a rough time emotionally or their spirits are low. While no one will be able to stay in that perfectly balanced state every second of every day, the key is finding that happy medium. The things that give you your joy and make you want to be physically strong are the things that will help you reclaim your power and bring yourself back into balance.
Understanding the definition of wellness means you understand both your body and your mind and what you need to keep them as healthy and efficient as possible. It also means knowing the things you need to avoid. Eliminating negativity and the foods that lead to chronic illness are only part of the equation. You have to include both nutritious foods and the joys that lift your spirit. Wellness is learning how to bring everything together so you can live your life in balance and contentment.