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Change Your Wellness Habits to Change Your Life

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What does “wellness” mean?  “Wellness” is a personalized approach to living life in a way that allows you to become the best person you can be, balancing physical, mental, and spiritual well being.  Achieving that complex balance means going beyond diet and exercise to include other health touchpoints like managing stress, reducing the risk of illness, and more.  “Wellness” is the process of actively choosing to change individual habits to achieve a truly healthy and fulfilling life.

Types of Wellness

Let’s break down “wellness” to study each dimension — occupational, spiritual, physical, and intellectual wellness.

Occupational wellness means finding your calling in life by participating in activities that are meaningful and provide purpose to your day.  Your job encompasses so much of your time and energy, so it’s important to pursue something you love.  So how do you feed your occupational wellness?  First, focus on the benefits and positives of your current job, and create connections with your co-workers.  Not every day will be a great day, but there are great moments to be celebrated in each day when you work with people you care about.  Second, increase your skills and knowledge to expand what you’re able to give of yourself while at work.  And finally, establish a healthy work/life balance so every wellness dimension gets your attention.

Spiritual wellness represents your personal beliefs, principles, and values, and how you integrate them with action toward bettering yourself and the world around you.  It is a self-reflective practice that asks you find joy in everyday life as you look inward to discover the deeper meaning life should hold for you.  So how do you feed your spiritual wellness?  First, analyze patterns in your life to help you see that you have control over your destiny, and that your choices directly impact your ability to lead a happy and healthy life.  Second, make time for self-care to relieve the physical and emotional tension that can block your path to spiritual wellness.  Try meditation, journaling, or yoga to cancel negative thinking and leave space for positive change.  And finally, take time for travel.  Being in a new space that allows you to relax will increase your ability to connect with your inner self on your journey to find the deeper meaning in life.

Physical wellness means caring for your body through regular physical activity, proper nutrition, and supportive mental health practices.  So how do you feed your physical wellness?  First, make daily exercise a goal.  Whether you take the stairs instead of the elevator or workout at the gym, the point is to move your body frequently.  The proven benefits of physical activity include strengthened bones and muscles, reduced risk of disease and stroke, and more energy.  Second, nurture your body with a well-balanced diet packed with fresh, healthy food.  A diverse diet with foods rich in vitamins and nutrients will not only help prevent illness, but also keep your body functioning at its best.  And finally, make sure you get enough sleep and enough water each day.  Rest and hydration are the very foundations for maintaining good physical health.

Intellectual wellness means engaging in creative activities that expand your knowledge and skills — embrace life-long learning!  When you open your mind to new challenges and experiences, you improve your existing skills as you learn new concepts and ideas.  These new understandings help you become more mindful, more well rounded, and better able to understand the relationship between yourself, others, and the environment.  So how do you feed your intellectual wellness?  First, read, read, read!  Reading improves your memory and vocabulary, and increases your capacity for empathy.  Second, explore the world around you.  When you put the book down and go to a museum or take a nature walk, the experiential aspect of learning deepens your understanding.  And finally, create something.  Whether it’s playing an instrument or painting a landscape, tapping into your creative side helps anchor your emotional stability so your mind is free to learn new things.

At OHI, our entire program – including our classes, diet, and community fellowship – supports all dimensions of wellness. Remember, wellness is a life-long pursuit.  Strive for balance, control what you can (diet, exercise, stress), and surround yourself with supportive care for the rest of it.  May the changes you make to your wellness habits change your life for the better! Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.