Wellness, what is it anyway?! What does it mean to be “well” or have “well-being”? What is this “state” we are looking for, that we are all striving for?
The world health organization defines it as:
“Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
And Dr. Hal Dunn defined wellness as:
“High-level wellness is an integrated method of functioning … maximizing the potential of the individual…”
In both of these definitions the goal is NOT a static state. There is nothing to hold on to. In fact, its more about being in a “flow”, a way of being, in any given moment. Wellness is a fluid term expressing the idea of resting in the movement of life, resting in the connectedness of a multi-dimensional, ever changing vibrant life!
True wellness is the ability to maintain several “moments” of flowing in that state of wellbeing. Because we are changeable and fluid spiritual beings, some days we might be filled with wellbeing, other days, finding one moment is a win.
Imagine yourself in a canoe on a river, moving along with the current. Floating along, experiencing the wind and weather, the sun or waves. Sure, we can steer a bit but, mostly our goal is firstly to find a balance in the center of the canoe that gives us the smoothest and safest ride. In this analogy, you would be aware of the limitations of your “canoe”. You would take steps to ensure it will be in good shape to carry you on your journey. You’d make sure you don’t take on too much weight, or jump around too much. You would follow the rhythms of the present moment, being attentive to your surroundings, the effects they have on you, and the affects you have on them. Your physical health would be a priority, as would your emotional and mental health. And you’d be aware of your spiritual health and your connectedness to the other canoes moving in front, behind, all around you.
Your wellness, your state of well-being and the maintenance of it would be essential to your journey. And you would have a definite plan for keeping and creating the lifestyle and behaviours that help you achieve optimal living. Working with the rhythms of your life that help you create resilience to experience life as you truly wish to. It takes a real strategy to determine what wellness looks like to you, to figure out the ways for you to get to that state and then measureable behaviours to reach and continue to flourish.
I have a question for you? What are some of your favourite ways of keeping your well-being balanced? How do you best maintain your well being? And tell me too, how long do these “states” of well-being last?