The idea of actively maintaining wellness to improve health and longevity has become very popular lately. There’s now an entire industry dedicated to promoting wellness. I think it’s great that we’ve started to focus on promoting health through wellness practices but I’m also weary of false cures and people promoting expensive products with little or no scientific evidence to back their claims. Keep in mind that achieving a healthy lifestyle takes time and has many components – there’s no single miracle cure that’s going to make everything better overnight. Fancy self care products and supplements in pretty packages aren’t necessary for leading a healthy lifestyle but if they motivate you and make you feel better, then why not? Recently, I helped to teach a wellness course to medical students and ended up learning a lot of really great concepts that I’ve been using to improve my own wellness.
What is wellness? For me, it’s feeling positive inside and out. In other words, it’s about being in a good place emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Wellness requires daily effort and is more about subjective progress then a measured end result. Maintaining mind-body wellness is the key to thriving in a modern world filled with an endless barrage of information, constant interaction with devices, and excessive choices. While there’s no way to eliminate stress from our lives completely and still be productive, there are ways to effectively manage it. Maintaining wellness and balance doesn’t mean that you’re going to be happy 100% of the time or not experience difficulties in life; it’s more about how you let it affect your journey. Here are 5 important principles that can help improve your well being over time: resilience, mindfulness, being grateful, maintaining a positive outlook, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Maintaining mind-body wellness is the key to thriving in a modern world filled with an endless barrage of information, constant interaction with devices, and excessive choices.
- Resilience: Remember, there isn’t a time limit for recovery. Being resilient allows you to recover from a difficult life event – on your own terms and following your own timeline. You might change forever after a difficult situation comes and goes in your life but that doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back eventually. It’s important to always balance your expectations with reality after a difficult time. You might take 10 steps forward and then 5 steps back. Don’t give up!
- Mindfulnes: Take a moment every day to pause and reflect on the present moment. Be aware of what you’re doing and why. Being present and aware of your thoughts, actions, and breathing allow you to react to things in the best way and also to stay focused on your goals. Mindfulness can also help to manage anxiety and negative thoughts. Being mindful and aware can allow you to understand why you are feeling a certain way – which in turn can allow you to channel your thoughts and energy toward something more productive and positive.
- Being grateful: Feeling appreciative of good things and people in your life and all of your accomplishments helps to center you when you’re feeling negative energy from others or feeling envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, refocus your thoughts to your own enviable traits. Make a list of all of the wonderful experiences you’ve had in your life. Spend time with positive people who have your best interests in mind.
- Maintaining a positive outlook: Having hope and excitement for what’s to come is a great way to stay motivated. If you’re feeling burned out, think about something in the future that you’re looking forward to. Try to focus on a goal you want to accomplish in the future instead of your short-term needs. That being said, keep your goals in check so that they don’t consume you or become overwhelming. It’s always okay to take things day by day.
- Making healthy lifestyle choices: Self-care is an important part of actively maintaining wellness. Develop your own personalized healthy routines. This could include eating more fresh food that isn’t heavily processed, getting more sleep, and staying active (preferably outdoors) every single day. Sometimes the weekly grind can lead to stress eating or sitting for long periods of time. It’s not easy to break out of unhealthy routines overnight but making small changes every week can help.