We think of wealth in terms of money, assets, a state of being rich, or a wealth of knowledge. One of the greatest assets we often overlook is our health. We don’t usually think about it until we’re depleted. Health is the state of balance physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, with spiritual wellness being essential, the sense of interconnectedness, purpose, and peace. Within us we have what I call a “wealth of health”: an innate intelligence and wisdom guiding us toward well-being, an inner GPS.
In 2011, gratefully, I survived a head-on-collision and near-death experience. During my five year recovery process, I discovered the value of my health through each phase leading to a full recovery. From the transformative insights gained, and as an Integrative Medicine Physician, I now teach patients and professionals these skills to reconnect to their inner wisdom, expedite their healing, and strengthen their well-being. Whether from an acute illness, physical trauma or the trauma of a pandemic, our wealth of health is our foundational resource we can draw upon daily.
Now in the eleventh month and the ongoing wave of the COVID pandemic, we are reminded through our interconnectedness how our own health is vital to the health of our families, communities and the planet. As we continue to navigate these ongoing challenges, in addition to wearing a mask, hand washing, social distancing, and getting the vaccination,we have the chance to create new ways of living healthfully. And, as we learn more about what keeps us healthy, we can apply the wisdom gained to establish the foundation of wellness for a healthier environment and world.
Here are five ways to enhance your health and well-being:
1) Appreciate your current health: Studies show that gratitude and appreciation are transformative, enhancing physical, mental, and emotional health. Focus on the positive aspects of your health as it is in this moment. What three things do you appreciate about your current health, such as your energy level, your positive attitude, or resilience?
2) Take one step to improve well-being: To lower the stress hormone cortisol and increase your immunity perhaps get more sleep, engage in a few minutes of exercise, drink extra water, spend quality time with your family, laugh, and relax more. Before you know it, you’ll experience increased vitality.
3) Get professional support: We all can use support from time to time in order to stay on course. Do you need to see your physician, a physical therapist, a nutritionist to guide you in eating healthy foods, a life coach to help you stay on track with your health goals, or a therapist to support your emotional wellness? Perhaps take an online health, meditation or exercise class. Having support helps you stay motivated and move toward your goals.
4) Be patient with your progress: Restoring or revitalizing your health is an incremental process that usually takes time. The body has its own timeline for healing, recovery and restoration, not necessarily the timeline we expect for recovery. Rebuilding strength, endurance and flexibility daily are cumulative. With each step, you amplify your sense of well-being, revitalizing your health.
5) Enjoy your health: What do you get to enjoy as a result of your self-care? Possibilities include increased energy; physical endurance; better concentration and memory; greater enjoyment of relationships, activities and hobbies you love. As you relish the abundance of your own health, you can inspire others. Engage in meaningful conversations or laughter, invite a friend to go for a walk, share a creative project with your family. These steps help you and your community to lower anxiety, increase well-being and supercharge immunity.
The impact of the COVID19 pandemic on global health has given us the ongoing opportunity to better care for ourselves and others in ways that will foster a healthier world. By drawing upon our inner wisdom, and finding flexibility and creative solutions that support us through this challenging phase, we can take our wealth of health a step further and support global health: clean air, water, nutritious food, a beautiful environment to enjoy. As we each contribute to improving our own health, we support a healthier family, community, environment and the legacy of planetary wealth.
What would it be like to experience a wealth of health—an abundance of vitality and well-being? What might you experience and achieve?