Our society is bombarded with information telling us how to be healthy.
From social media to magazine articles, we are constantly told what we must do (or must not do) to live well. But do we really have to follow all of the health rules to be truly healthy?
Are we healthy if we eat only vegan food and obsess about every ingredient we consume?
Are we healthy if we train for marathons, ensuring that we run an “x number” of miles a day?
Are we healthy if we avoid sugar, gluten or dairy?
Are we healthy if we subscribe to multiple health publications, and follow all the “health rules”?
Are we healthy if we do yoga and practice meditation?
And what about being unhealthy? How can we be sure to avoid things that aren’t good for us?
Are we unhealthy if we don’t go to the gym every day?
Are we unhealthy if we don’t stock up on the top “superfoods”?
Are we unhealthy if we eat an extra slice of chocolate cake?
Are we unhealthy if we are constantly working overtime to pay the bills?
Are we unhealthy if we are in a toxic relationship?
With so many rules surrounding wellness, how do we know which rules we can follow and which rules we can ignore? Is the movement towards wellness completely black and white…or is there a gray area somewhere?
Wellness doesn’t have to be complex. Once you understand what it means to be well, it can be easy to understand how you can start implementing strategies to make your life healthier. However, you have to understand that wellness doesn’t have a “one-size” fits all approach. What may work for one person, may not work for another. And that is ok!
We don’t always need to follow the herd to be healthy. But we do need to try to figure out what works for us!
So let’s start by looking at the definition of wellness (please note that I view health and wellness interchangeably so the following definitions may have been used to define health and not necessarily wellness).
- the state of being hale, sound, or whole, in body, mind, or, soul – Webster’s dictionary
- state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity – the World Health Organization
- an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices towards, a more successful existence – National Wellness Institute
- alchemy — an elusive and delicate ballet of body, mind, & spirit ever striving for perfect harmony – Rich Roll
- an active process of becoming healthy, happy, and free – The Wellness Hive
After looking at wellness through the lens of these definitions, it is clear that being well is more than following a set of rules. Wellness is a process and a state of being.
Being well is more than making healthy choices. It is about living. It is about thriving. And it is about consistently making choices that move you towards becoming nourished and fulfilled.
It is a continuous process that involves effort and dedication. It isn’t about striving for perfection, but rather it is about finding a sense of balance.
By having a holistic view of wellness, you will be able to look at all areas of your life and look at which of these areas may need adjustments.
SO REFLECT ON YOUR LIFE AND ASK YOURSELF “HOW AM I LIVING WELL?”