If you could taste wellness, what would it be like? Perhaps like the first bite of a crispy, green apple. If you could smell it, it might smell like a rainy day, or a fresh loaf of farm style bread.
If wellness had a sound, it would probably be like a purring cat, and if you could touch it, it would feel like soft, green grass under bare feet.
But you can’t taste, touch, hear or smell wellness. What you can do is feel it, in the all round glow of good health, zest and contentment that gives you the confidence to savour life to the full.
Far more than the simple absence of illness, wellness is a state of body and mind in perfect equilibrium. That noble and elusive ideal that goes all the way back to the Ancient Romans, whose prescription for the good life was ‘mens sana in corpore sano’, (a healthy mind in a healthy body).
Today we speak blithely about the body, mind connection, in an age when even the most humble spa or beauty salon takes pride in proclaiming itself a Wellness Center. But what does wellness really mean in practice, and how do you go about achieving it?
For one thing, wellness is the cornerstone of the Bodybuilding Lifestyle, which promotes and rewards healthier living in all its many facets. Wellness, and bodybuilding is a way for people to get more out of life. There’s a lot more to it than just the physical aspect. Wellness is physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and social wellbeing, all wrapped up in one.
But being well doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in every department. Wellness is a step by step process rather than an ultimate goal. There is never an optimal wellness level. Whatever you do to improve your wellness is better than nothing. It’s an individual, ongoing process that each person must look at in their own setting.
Even when your health status is not optimal, you can strive for wellness by tackling life in a positive way. That’s because wellness is not an ‘all or nothing’ concept. As long as you are striving for wellness you are, in some way, already achieving it. So what’s the best way of striving?
Wellness isn’t only your Insurance Policy for Future Health and Happiness. It’s your Chance to Feel Better Today.
Start with something tangible. Start moving. Unlike other forms of wellness, physical wellness can be quantified. So it’s a good place to start. Physical activity and a quality diet can have a profound effect on your mental well being as well. But, it’s the mental side that’s more important. Wait a second. What about exercise and physical health? Well, if you’re mentally healthy, you’ll want to be physical healthy.
Modern society places too much emphasis on the physical aspect of wellness, because we live in a culture of quick and easy solutions. Feeling unwell? Pop a pill and you’ll soon feel better. But there aren’t any pills to make you more socially aware, and there’s no generic panacea for mental indisposition. Exercise is good for you, but when it comes to achieving wellness, it does have its limitations. If you go out and exercise, you’ll feel much better for the next hour or two. But then you go home and fight with your wife, or get stuck in the traffic, and nothing physical’s going to help. Exercise can help you for two hours a day. What are you doing for the other 22 hours?
Even if you’re eating correctly and exercising enough, your body will be less capable of absorbing the right nutrients and maintaining the correct energy levels if your attitude is negative and your emotions are destructive. Obviously you need to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but high level wellness is all in the mind. Your emotions drive your actions.
So the road to wellness begins with a little introspection. Start by understanding yourself. Ego is the great destroyer of wellness. You can only get rid of your ego by understanding who you are, and identifying your needs and issues. How? By finding someone to share them with. As you get older, you realize that relationships are everything, and the rest is really much less important.
Maybe it all comes down to that age old equation. Balance. Wellness isn’t achieved by an absolute focus on any single aspect of wellbeing. It’s achieved by focusing on them all. Balance is the most difficult thing to achieve in our modern competitive world. You don’t get balance by exercising four hours a day, and you don’t get balance by exercising zero hours a day. Balance is somewhere in between. And it’s important to find that balance now, before future complications make it harder to achieve.
It’s not easy for people to change. You may feel well now, so you don’t worry about the potential risks to your future health, until it’s too late. But wellness isn’t only your insurance policy for future health and happiness. It’s your chance to feel better today.
If you’re well, you’ll be happier and more productive, and you’ll enjoy every day of your life. Chances are your happiness will influence other people, too, making them happier and more productive.