Wellness is not merely the opposite of being sick. However, when you say "I'm not feeling well," you probably don't mean that you're lacking in your personal relationships, concern for the environment, or passion for your vocation. Instead, for the most part, people conceptualize "not feeling well" as a physical ailment.
By contrast, the term wellness [http://www.wilddivine.com] as used in the field of alternative medicine encompasses much more than physical health. Certainly, physical health is part of achieving wellness, but it's one of only several components that we'll touch on below.
In essence, wellness means reaching your full potential as a person. Wellness is an all-encompassing term that refers to optimal states of emotional, physical, and mental well-being. You are striving for oneness of your mind and body [http://www.wilddivine.com].
In many ways, you are probably already participating in activities that contribute to wellness. You might exercise, recycle, or read on a regular basis. Each of these activities is encouraged in the pursuit of wellness. The difference, though, is that you're not performing these activities as part of a conscious plan to be your optimal self.
Conscious awareness is the cornerstone of wellness. Wellness is a decision we make, and we take personal responsibility for achieving it. The aspect of personal responsibility is apparent in the National Wellness Institute's definition of wellness: wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices towards, a more successful existence.
No one hands us wellness on a silver platter. Besides, you wouldn't want them to. The journey is just as important, and enjoyable, as the destination.
One reason to seek wellness in your life is that it reduces, or even eliminates, the need to rely on drugs, prescriptions, or alcohol to find physical well-being or what we might believe to be "happiness." When we seek wellness, we also find that we are less likely to blame others or make excuses for our problems. You come to learn that health and happiness are solely your responsibility. Taking on personal responsibility is actually quite empowering.
As mentioned above, wellness is achieved by balancing each of these six types of wellness:
Others feel that wellness is actually made of 8 parts. In addition to the 6 components listed above, they add vocational and cultural wellness.
When you focus on improving on each of these areas, you'll find that you're developing personal qualities that you've probably been seeking your whole life:
Good sense of humor
Loving and nurturing nature
Concern for the environment
Ability to communicate effectively
Strong ability to cope with the ups and downs of life
Excellent physical health
Free of addictive behaviors and dependence on substances
Remember, wellness is a choice. The first step towards wellness is simple and you can take it right. Say to yourself, "I choose to be well." Base your daily and long-term decisions on this goal and watch yourself reaping the rewards of balance, happiness, and good health.
About the Author
Melissa Levine of Wild Divine is an expert in meditation, biofeedback, wellness, alternative medicine and the mind body connection. Visit Wild Divine, http://www.wilddivine.com to read Melissa's blog posts and learn more about Healing Rhythms, the award winning biofeedback guided meditation program featuring practices from Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and other leading experts.
Mind Body Wellness
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