Do you actively pursue wellness?

The average human life has increased due to medical advancements and so have the stress and anxiety caused by our lifestyle and choices. Stress is a cause of physical, emotional, or psychological strain. It is our body’s response to anything that requires attention or action. This trigger could be related to work, finances, relationships, parenting, or any other day-to-day annoyances. There is so much that life throws at us every day –

  • Ever-changing instructions from management
  • A steady stream of rush requests from stakeholders
  • An overflowing mailbox
  • Constant follow-ups from boss/peers
  • People trashing our ideas
  • Financial commitments
  • Pollution
  • Health concerns

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but how many of the above do you experience frequently? How do they affect you? Some of the ways in which they might manifest are – 

  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of energy
  • Procrastination
  • Disorganized office/home
  • Cynicism
  • Disengagement from work
  • Living beyond your means
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of exercise

If a stressful situation continues for a long time, it can harm our overall health. We must focus on overall wellness in our lives. The first step in this direction is awareness. The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to holistic health. It means taking responsibility for our choices about how we feed our bodies, engage our minds, and nurture our spirits. Wellness has multiple dimensions. Given below are 7 dimensions and simple steps you can take to manage wellness in these categories – 

Physical: Caring for your body to stay healthy now and in the future through exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc. As I coach executives, I find that many, neglect this aspect. We forget that our body is the medium through which we experience life. Putting health first means we can continue to do what we love to do and take care of our loved ones. The simplest things go a long way in managing physical wellness, e.g.,

  • paying attention to what we eat, 
  • physical activity, 
  • get enough sleep as per the needs of your body, 
  • giving your brain short no-activity breaks a few times a day.

Occupational: Contributing our unique gifts, skills, and talents to work that is meaningful and rewarding is a big part of wellness. We spend a minimum of one-third of our day at work. Our work must be fulfilling, and we should be able to support our families the way we want to. This quest makes us sign up for challenges. If our challenges are beyond our capacity, or if there are high expectations of output from us, but we have no control over inputs or circumstances, the stress is unhealthy, and it distresses us. If you are in such a situation, think about the following –

  • What skills do you need to resolve this?
  • Who can help you?
  • If there is no way to overcome this, what are your options? 

At times, stress is due to consistently long hours of work. Nowadays, we work across time zones and forget to rest and recharge. Sometimes, we are part of a culture where long hours are the norm. This can be distressing if we cannot muster the courage to highlight that we are overloaded and need help.

Emotional: Research shows that we make decisions with our emotions and later justify them with logic and data. All stimulus received by us passes through the emotional center of the brain before reaching the logical center. Understanding and respecting our own emotions and of others helps us lead a life aligned with our aspirations and values and stay enthusiastic. For example, constant demands from us during the day slip us into unresourceful states, like feeling impatient or irritable. Noticing this state and taking the time to recover by deep breathing, climbing a flight of stairs, or drinking a glass of water will break this cycle of unhelpful emotions.

Financial: Managing resources to live within our means, making informed financial decisions and investments, setting realistic goals, and preparing for short-term and long-term needs/emergencies help you manage financial wellness. Sadly, our education system does not prepare us for this. We either learn it from our culture or need to make dedicated efforts to acquire these skills. 

Intellectual: Growth is a basic human need. If this need is not met, we feel stagnant and as if something is missing from our life. Staying curious, acquiring new knowledge and skills, problem-solving, and sharing knowledge with others are great ways to continue to grow intellectually. 

Social: Building and maintaining healthy relationships, enjoying companionship, caring about others, letting others care about you, and contributing to your community add joy and richness to life. 

Spiritual: Finding purpose, value, and meaning in life and participating in activities consistent with your beliefs and values are your source of fulfillment and your connection to something bigger than you.

Which of the above areas would you like to improve? What are the new habits that you will develop to succeed? What do you need to get started? Do share in the comments below.