August 20th, 2020 12:00am
With hectic work schedules, thoughtless consumerism, increasing financial burden, we might be slowly losing health, social support, and have deteriorating relationships. We feel that we are not doing well and often wonder what went wrong.
For most of us, wellness is about eating nutritious food, maintaining optimum body weight, exercising, consuming less alcohol, avoiding smoking, etc. These changes will reduce health risks like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. But a wellness journey should improve the way we interact with others, reduce tensions at the workplace, and even have a positive impact on our society. You will be more willing to adapt and face challenges in life. Thus, a general understanding of wellness is required today.
Wellness is a lifestyle that leads to a healthier and fulfilling life. A person takes responsibility for the present state and does not blame others or circumstances for it. You begin the wellness journey by asking questions like what could make you happy, what you need more in life, and what may not be useful in the long term. Also, it is essential to understand that wellness is multidimensional. For example, you cannot be well if there is no financial stability or live in an unsafe place. Below we discuss the integral elements for pursuing a meaningful wellness journey.
How many of us introspect the reasons for sadness, happiness, excitement, or anger? Once we analyze them, we could calm down and stop reacting extremely. People who are emotionally fine do not let their feelings dictate their course of action. It is necessary to experience both positive and negative emotions. It makes us more resilient and helps us in overcoming challenges.
The first step towards achieving emotional wellness is to agree with who you are. It does not imply we should be happy all the time or do not have any problems. But we need to feel positive and dare to face realities. We can empathize with others and develop good relationships. This helps us in communicating our feelings and reducing stress.
Nowadays, most of us start and end the day with either a laptop or a smartphone. We live a frenzied life and are always running short of time. Skipping breakfasts, binging on junk food, and erratic sleeping times are detrimental to our health and contentment. We should always keep in mind that the ability to think and carry on with daily activities is dependent on physical wellness. The first step is to drink plenty of water. It flushes out the toxins and replenishes our cells. We have to eat food to gain nourishment. It is advisable to fix the meal timings and include green vegetables and fruits.
Today we have machines for doing most of the household work. For many of us, the nature of our job is sedentary too. Thus, we need physical activities, such as simple exercising, yoga sessions, or gym workouts. Similarly, we have to remember that we are diurnal and require quality sleep at night. We should listen to our body and detect abnormalities or onset of sickness. It is not advisable to self-medicate. Consult a medical professional before taking herbaceous therapies. They may be available easily nowadays online or at a cannabis dispensary.
The best way to keep our brain active and mind in a healthy state is to learn new things like learning a new language, sports, or pursuing hobbies like gardening, painting, graphic designing, etc. You could also take up mentally challenging activities like solving crosswords, sudoku, etc. Learning new things increases the myelin density and neural synapses in the brain. It improves our memory, concentration, and also increases our efficiency at work. It will also help to stave off diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's. Regular practice of games and sports-based activities like swimming, scuba diving, gymnastics, etc., lead to physical fitness and mental relaxation.
We spend most of our adult lives at work. Thus, it becomes essential to be satisfied and find joy in the job that we do. The work that you do should align with your interests and values. There should be growth opportunities, a conducive work atmosphere, friendly co-workers, and smooth processes. At the same time, it is your responsibility to maintain a work-life balance. Setting work hours and allocating time for family, friends, and leisure activities seem apparent. But on some days, you might have more work and might have to extend your office timings.
Then, there will be times when children have exams and need your attention for more time. Thus, you can achieve balance over a few days, but it is best to have time for physical exercise and have an unplug hour.
Today, consumerism drives the economy of many countries across the world. Buying luxury goods, the latest gadgets and celebrity-endorsed products have become a status symbol. Many young people, even before earning their first salary, have a long wish list of items. Marketers also come up with sales strategies that make people go on a shopping spree. All these lead to a habit of living on paycheque to paycheque. At times, one is not able to pay debts, and with no savings, there is no emergency funding.
Many people in the working-age agree that the number one reason for stress is financial insecurity. It leads to anxiety, fear, and many a time, people end up doing fraudulent and harmful activities like stealing, cheating, etc. It affects your relationships, mental peace, and health. As a result, monitoring expenses and saving for the future are a must-follow habit for overall well-being and success. People need to understand that we need money to fulfill even our basic needs, and nothing comes for free.
In this digital era, we connect to people virtually. Our interactions are limited to textual exchanges, likes, and occasional calls. We do not build real connections or support systems. Hanging out with friends, meeting relatives, or going out together on a weekend getaway, etc., have become out-of-date. Youths spend their free time playing online games, watching Netflix series, or getting hooked to social media banters. But there is no real friendship, and we do not have any to help us during an emergency or for moral support.
Long term social isolation increases the risk of heart ailments, high blood pressure, and hormonal problems. Also, when you have good friends, you could share your issues and worries. You get a better worldview and do not get disturbed by trivial matters. Thus, developing firm social connections is a part of self-care, and is essential for our wellness.
Living in unhygienic conditions implies we have more chances of falling ill. Similarly, high air, water, and noise pollution could affect our physical and mental wealth. On the contrary, a calm and soothing atmosphere could improve our concentration and elevate our mood. Breathing fresh air and drinking pure water could stave off many infections. One also needs to feel secure in the surroundings. When we feel safe, we can concentrate on work or study and have a sense of freedom. Thus, safety leads to stability and has a direct impact on our well-being.
It might not be possible to follow all the healthy practices as you decide to embark on a wellness journey. You will have to prioritize and start making a few positive changes. You will have to remember that consistency is more important. The purpose becomes useless when you exercise, have a balanced diet, etc., for a month and then go back to binging on junk food the next month. Wellness is a lifestyle, and you will have to be persistent and have a strong will to continue it for the rest of life. Wellness is essential for society today, as it improves productivity and makes people happier and satisfied, thereby reducing conflicts. It is the way to make the world a better place for our future generations.