Importance of Wellness

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There are very different views on what ‘Wellness’ encompasses and just as many ways in which it can be applied in an individual’s life. Numerous articles have been written, and studies carried out on the subject in the hopes of providing people with the right information on how to apply wellness as part of their physical fitness, overall stress management, and nutrition.

This is because, even with the amount of media attention given to health and well-being such as articles on cholesterol, healthy relationships, exercise and smoking, drugs and alcohol abuse, it is somewhat astonishing to see that most people don’t have the motivation to change their lives around and live a wholesome life.

But what exactly is Wellness? It is a holistic concept that looks at an individual’s six dimensions of wellness that is of the emotional, physical, spiritual, social, intellectual, and occupational well-being, where, when all work cohesively, we become more aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living.

The general agreement is that;

  • Wellness is developing a healthy belief system, values, self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction
  • It is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving ones full potential
  • A multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
  • Wellness is positive and affirming in terms of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength, and vitality, taking personal responsibility, and stimulating mental activities that benefit you and those around you.

Because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being, it is important that we achieve optimal wellness in order to alleviate stress, reduce the risk of illness and promote positive interactions. The World Health Organization describes wellness as a “state of complete physical, mental, emotional and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Each of the six dimensions is important, and while since birth, we have been acculturated to believe in mind-body separation, all eight dimensions must work together in order to achieve optimal wellness.

Physical Wellness

Optimal physical wellness is developing a personal responsibility for your own health care and can only be achieved through healthy eating habits and the combination of beneficial physical activity and exercise such as building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance, and flexibility. This habit will not only boost your overall self-esteem, sharpen your thinking and learning abilities, but it is an important aspect that relates to overall mental and physical wellness.

Emotional Wellness

Our psychological health plays a major role in our overall well-being. This dimension recognizes awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings, limitations, and the ability to cope with stress effectively and maintain healthy relationships with others. We all wear our self-esteem as armor when faced with things like failure, rejection, anxiety, and stress. We need to stop with the self -criticism, do away with brooding thoughts, take control after a failure and recover our self-worth after rejection, for long-term mental health.

Intellectual Wellness

It is vital to gain and maintain intellectual wellness because it expands knowledge and skills in order to live a stimulating, successful life, which can be achieved through valuing creativity, growing in our curiosity, and lifelong learning. According to Illinois State University, focusing our attention on information that is different than your beliefs can improve intellectual wellness such as learning a foreign language, reading for fun, learning a musical instrument or simply playing intellectual games such as monopoly, crosswords and Sudoku because as long as your mind is thinking, improvements are being made. An Intellectual wellness encourages creativity and mentally-stimulation.

Spiritual Wellness

This is our constant search for meaning and purpose of our existence. Many have successfully tried to achieve it through yoga and meditation, prayer, affirmations, specific spiritual practices that connect them to a higher power or belief system. Spiritual wellness can be a search for a peaceful harmony between your personal feelings and emotions and that of feelings you experience every day of doubt, despair, fear, forgiveness, disappointment as well as feelings of pleasure, joy, happiness, and discovery. Live each day in a way that is consistent with your values and beliefs for you to achieve spiritual wellness.

Social Wellness

Good communication skills, cultivating meaningful relationships, respecting yourself and others, contributing to the common welfare of the community will help you maintain an optimal level of social awareness and wellness.

Occupational Wellness

Have you achieved a personal satisfaction and enrichment in your life through work? Do you feel satisfied that you are contributing your unique gifts, skills, and talents to your work that is both personally meaningful and rewarding? We don’t always get what we want in life, but it’s important to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, and beliefs than an unrewarding one.

Holistic Nutrition

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Modern medicine focuses on treating a symptom rather than the root cause and rarely consider that poor nutrition can be one of the major contributors to a wide range of health issues. Holistic nutrition provides the body with the sustenance it needs to achieve optimal health. This is achieved by using natural and organic foods to develop a healthy balanced diet as well as changing eating habits without affecting the body in anyway in the hopes of facilitating a healthy and wholesome recovery.

The body has its natural self-repair mechanism, however, because of the constant exposure to chemicals, toxins, pollutants, and other stressors not forgetting what we eat, can have an adverse effect on our immune system, which renders it severely suppressed. This results in your body being unable to ward off simple organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that are capable of invading the human body and using it as a source of nourishment, which in turn causes delayed healing.

Holistic nutrition is a clean way of life that focuses on whole natural foods that are designed to meet your individual nutritional needs and boost the body’s natural immunity and self-healing mechanisms.

Just as wellness, a holistic nutrition is aimed at changing the foods we eat so as to heal the mind, body, and soul. It is said that ‘we shouldn’t eat anything that our great grandparents wouldn’t recognize as food.’ It is no wonder that the rate of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer continues to skyrocket. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are now prevalent in children because of consuming highly processed, refined foods and “healthy foods” that are equally processed.

Holistic nutrition is about bringing a balance in one’s life so that stress is minimized and food is enjoyed. Cases such as stress-induced insomnia and anxiety, digestive upsets and various inflammatory conditions like arthritis, chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne can be alleviated to a large degree by consuming nutrient dense, healing foods to your diet and you begin to feel the changes almost instantly.

When used as a form of sports nutrition, a holistic diet has been known to increase an athlete’s power and endurance so as to achieve peak performance. A holistic, healthy diet generally consists of three categories;

  • Macro nutrients which are carbohydrates, protein, and fats
  • Micro nutrients which are vitamins and minerals
  • Fiber as part of a holistic diet

Nutrient dense foods are your body’s best line of defense against common diseases and conditions with great health benefits that literally turn back the clock on aging. From cholesterol-lowering properties and other cardiovascular benefits to improved vision and neuroprotective effects from eating a simple leafy green vegetable like spinach, which is high in essential minerals and vitamins such as carotenoids, folate, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B6, to adding a few spoonful’s of fresh red cabbage juice to your morning power berry smoothie, can take antioxidant powers of your drink to a whole new level because of their high levels of antioxidant properties such as anthocyanins and flavonoid in both vegetables.

Holistic nutrition incorporates organically grown foods (without peptides) that supply the body cells with the recommended daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals for overall health benefits as well as provide strength, power, and endurance needed for our day-to-day activities.

The benefits of Holistic nutrition are insurmountable! This form of healthy living opens your mind’s eye to a great learning experience. Did you know that foods like ginger, flaxseed, salmon, blueberries, carrots, and kale can be used as a natural cure for arthritis pain? And that the nutrients in mushrooms such as zinc and ergothioneine are eczema-healing?

Research shows that ginger, celery, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds and the capsaicin in chilies have healing properties towards alleviating severe pains accompanying migraine, cluster and sinus headaches. It is a challenge to change a diet that one is used to their whole lives, but there are great advancements being made toward understanding the connection between the human body and a healthy diet, which has seen many doctors and scientist begin to collaborate with integrative or alternative medicine.

Consider the following health benefits associated with holistic nutrition:

  • Strengthens the body’s bones, blood, and muscles
  • Strengthens the body’s vital organs – the stomach, intestines, liver, and the heart
  • Gives the immune system new lease of life
  • It prevents numerous health conditions and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancers and tumor growths, heart diseases and asthma.
  • It provides psychological benefits such as relieving stress, memory loss, and other mental disorders
  • Holistic nutrition will boost your energy levels and make you feel great mentally, emotionally, physically so as to build a strong foundation for long term optimum health and harmonize all aspects of your well-being