By: Kurt Attaway
We live in a fast-paced society. Everything is moving quickly. Fast food. Fast cars. Lose weight fast. Make money fast. Text. Tweet. You get the picture. We are running faster and pushing harder. The question is, “for what?”
Depression is taking a significant toll on people in the workplace and at home (http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_statistics_depression). Over 40 million people struggle with anxiety (http://www.adaa.org/aboutadaa/press-room/facts-statistics). Relationships are strained. Obesity is on the rise and impacting a significant percentage of the population. It appears that in our fast-paced lifestyle, we have lost our focus on living well. Is it possible to achieve a lifestyle of wellness in this fast-paced culture? Wellness is often associated with food and exercise. While this is an accurate association, it is not a complete picture of wellness. Wellness is defined by Merriam-webster as the quality or state of being healthy. Our quality and state of being are much more than physical. We are emotional, mental, relational, professional and recreational beings. Our family, friends, leisure, career, thoughts, and feelings are critical to our wellness, just as our physical health is.
At WholeFit (www.wholefitwellness.com), we see wellness as an incredible gift that connects each person with a lifestyle that is full of purpose and meaning. WholeFit offers a holistic approach to wellness and health, focusing on mind, body, emotions, and relationships. As you reach for your best in every aspect of your life, you have the opportunity to increase your lifestyle wellness. Below are some of the topics we highlight in our approach to wellness coaching and lifestyle improvement.
Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” The amount of research indicating the positive impact that healthy eating, consistent exercise, and regular sleep habits do to one’s overall well-being is astounding. Individuals who incorporate sustainable, yet evidence-based lifestyle changes, report not only improved physical health but increased mental, social and emotional fulfillment.
What we think about matters. Have you ever taken the time to notice what makes up your thoughts? Often times it’s our own perspective that influences the level of stress, anxiety, and worry in our lives. Stress and anxiety are our minds. Expectations often create pressure. Anxiety is often driven by ruminating on the possible negative outcomes. As you reach for a greater experience of wellness in your mind, look for opportunities to trade fear for hope. Choose to focus on what you can do, as opposed to what you cannot do. Awareness is the first and most necessary step to reach mental wellness.
Joy. Anger. Excitement. Fear. Hope. Sadness. Empathy. Emotions give meaning to our life experiences and provide opportunities for us to connect with others. However, sometimes instead of controlling our emotions, we feel controlled by our emotions to the point where we aren’t able to accomplish the things we set out to achieve (whether they be professional, relational, or academic goals). In order to learn to manage your emotions better, you may consider these two suggestions: 1. Control your thoughts because they directly influence your feelings and 2. Engage in regular self-care practices, such as meditation, deep breathing or participating in a hobby.
Relationships can be a vibrant, satisfying aspect of life. Healthy relationships can improve one’s mood, increase one’s purpose and offer a buffer against life’s challenges. If you are looking to improve a valued connection, research would direct you to the area of communication. Research from Life Innovations (www.prepare-enrich.com) highlights communication as the single greatest contributor to satisfying relationships. Connection and intimacy grow from the rich soil of healthy communication. Moreover, communication focused on kindness and gratitude will keep you focused on what you do have in a relationship as opposed to searching for what’s missing. Today, reach for aspects of your partner you can be thankful for, express gratitude and be open to listening.
A number of studies suggest that those who align their skills, passions, interests and a healthy level of challenge with their occupation find the most enjoyment in their careers. There are many aspects of a career that can either open doors or close
opportunities. Areas to consider include education, skills, your personality, your financial needs, where you live, your work environment, the people at your workplace and your personal passions.
Research on happiness suggests that those who engage in hobbies and activities that align with their interests and passions find life much more enjoyable. Even more important is to engage in these types of activities consistently and often, rather than take a big vacation once a year and work yourself to death the rest of the year. Leisure activities can include areas that stimulate your mind, heart, body, and soul. Some people enjoy reading, others enjoy photography or painting, while others train for a triathlon or learn a new language. The most important aspect of leisure is that you enjoy life through small and simple things on a daily basis. Employing some of the suggested techniques can ensure fulfillment and stave off depression and anxiety. Being aware of these elements in your life and the impact they have on your happiness is the first step to achieving total body and mind wellness.