Let’s make the enigma of wellness tangible.
It’s a buzzword, and it sounds great, so you want more of it right?
But what does wellness even mean? Can you measure it? Can you increase it?
For most people, wellness is associated with how you feel.
Feeling healthy, having positive energy, having zest, and a zeal for life.
A sense of balance plays into wellness. Being healthy in your body and your mind.
There’s no shortage of disciplines to enhance wellness. Yoga, meditation, massage therapy, fad diets, books, and seminars…
At the end of the day, it all feels pretty self centered. Those are all things you do for yourself to fill something that seems empty or fix something that seems broken.
Wellness is self-centered in a way, but not necessarily in the way you’re thinking.
Wellness is less about what you do for yourself and more about how your self is showing up in the world and in your day to day life.
“Being” is at the root of wellbeing and wellbeing is wellness.
Being (as a verb)is who we are and how that manifests in all areas of life. It determines the health of our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our relationships, our finances, our careers…
There are three areas to explore if you’re interested in increasing your wellness.
Exploration and awareness is key.
All the kale smoothies and massages in the world won’t enhance your wellness one bit if you’re ignoring these three points.
Are you walking your talk?
Do you show up with integrity?
Sometimes it’s easier to explain something by demonstrating what it’s not.
Do you say you want a fit and healthy body but still help yourself to the donuts in the break room?
Do you say you want to build a side business or get more new clients but sit in front of the tv…video games…youtube videos for hours a day?
Do you want to get a raise at work but pay your own bills late?
When your actions don’t line up with who you think you should be, you feel bad about yourself. Even if you don’t consciously make the connection as to why you feel bad, it’s hurting your being.
Invest time in thinking about what you want the best version of you to look like. Now strive to show up like that every single day.
On a scale of 1–10, how congruent have you been in your life in the past month? If not a 10, what can you do to improve that score even just by one point? Hint: if you gave yourself a 10 in all areas of your life, you might not be being completely honest with yourself.
Just like your subconscious self (and conscious self) hurt when your actions aren’t congruent with who you think you can be, your being suffers when you’re not your best in your relationships.
Are you connecting in quality ways with the people who are important in your life?
Are you giving people the quality attention and time they deserve? Are you thinking of other people’s needs and not only your own? Are you handling conflict in a mature and loving way?
Are you digging your post holes deep enough?
You already know how strife in a relationship spills over to the other areas of your life. It’s impact is real and can be significant.
Think of the five or so people who are the most important to you. Once a week, give yourself a score that reflects how well you connected with them. If not a 10, what’s one thing you can do to increase the score?
It’s here where it’s most pronounced that wellness isn’t all about self care and pampering.
Contributing to the world, to society, to our families is what gives life meaning. We want to make a difference in the world. We want to feel like we matter and make an impact, even if it’s in small ways.
Why do you think it’s common for a lot of men to die within a few years of retirement? Life is all about relaxation and self care at that point, right? It’s because they’ve lost their sense of meaning and purpose.
Again, thinking of wellness as “How do I feel better?” or “What can I do for myself?” is missing the mark.
Of course we need to take care of ourselves, and pampering ourselves once in a while is fun, so go for it! Just keep it in balance.
On a scale of 1–10, how do you rate your level of contribution? Don’t think you have to make an impact like Steve Jobs, but do you have a sense that you’re doing something that’s important to you and to others? You are using your talents and gifts to the best of your ability? If not a 10, what’s one thing you can do to increase your score?
These ingredients to wellness ultimately create a cycle.
As you increase the score in each of these three areas, your sense of wellbeing increases.
As your sense of wellbeing increases, you have more positive energy and motivation to further do the things that enhance your congruence, your connections, and your contribution.
Your wellness increased, and it wasn’t because you drank a kale smoothie.
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