Wellness. Valid concept or pop culture buzzword? Fact or fiction? Well, let’s look at that and start by delving into some definitions. One I found defined wellness as the absence of disease. I really don’t care for this definition. It implies that if you have a disease such as diabetes, then you cannot be a person participating in a healthy lifestyle. That certainly does not apply across the board.
Wellness can also be defined as a process involving the awareness of better health and actively working toward that goal. Now thats better! This sounds like a valid concept. Something we can really sink our teeth into. Lets break this down:
“A process”. I like this because it sounds like a decision and an action. It also implies something that is ongoing, which wellness is because it is the lifestyle choice. Also, when involved in a process and you make a mistake, you can usually fix it. It is somewhat pliable, which is favorable. We can easily make a poor judgement call with our nutrition and wellness, and when that happens, it is important to recognize it and fix it.
“Involving the awareness of better health”. Again I like this because it involves an active choice. It also mentions awareness. That also sounds active, which is at the heart of wellness. Awareness sounds like it involves the brain and a heightened sense. That sounds positive and I like that! Better health is something that we can work toward no matter where we fall in the age bracket, so it can apply to everybody. This is conducive to good mental health and a solid family life. Something to constantly strive toward. This sounds like a good tangible opportunity. We can always be working toward better everything, including health.
“And actively working toward that goal”. It’s no secret that I am a goal oriented individual. Working toward a goal gives purpose. Goals should be set constantly. But it is critical to have realistic goals, goals that are attainable. It is also crucial to put manageable steps into place to attain our goals. That is what turns a dream into a goal and gets the wheels into motion to get there! That is so exciting!
Lets look at that definition again. Wellness can also be defined as a process involving the awareness of better health and actively working toward that goal. When broken down, it really seems doable. Desirable. Realistic and attainable. Baby steps work when we set a new goal up. This is a goal that we can put one small step into place, master it, then build on it. Start small, like replacing one sugary snack with one that is nutrient dense, like a fruit. Or perhaps it is to start taking a 10 or 15 minute walk a day, with an eventual goal of 30-40 minutes a day.
Sabotage. It is easy to sabotage ourselves when we make grand sweeping statements like “I am going to lose weight”. That isn’t really an attainable goal. We sabotage ourselves from the getgo without realizing it. Instead, remember the baby steps and change the vernacular. How about “I am going to increase my activity by walking 4 times a week and lose 2 -4 pounds this month”. Now that is realistic and attainable. Another goal may be to increase dietary fiber for better health. Start with one small change, like switching to brown rice instead of white rice, wheat bread instead of white bread. Those are small changes that can be achieved, build confidence, and build on. Start taking baby steps toward wellness! Here is a cool website for wellness: welcoa.org. This website represents the Wellness Councils of America, an national nonprofit organization that promotes healthier lifestyles in worksites. It has free resources too. It is good information for wellness, especially when working. Try it! It can be your first baby step toward better health and wellness!