These days nearly everyone seems to have dabbled with alternative health care practices, such as herbs, acupuncture, massage, yoga, tai chi, meditation, macrobiotic foods and many other means of natural healing. Health and fitness centers are becoming more popular. Despite all this, wellness may elude its seeks in their frenetic trying out of any or all of these things. More than a technique or a class or a retreat, or even a few months of years of sound health practices, wellness is a life-long process based on intention to make “the better choice” on many levels, e.g. caring for the self, eating wisely, exercising the body, working on emotional health and relationship issues, selecting meaningful daily activities, challenging oneself mentally, engaging in activities that are spiritually uplifting, confronting and working through daily fears and struggles, taking risks, and seeking out those conditions and experiences that foster personal growth, develop talents and potentials and…self-reflection.
Many wellness programs offer practices that can help the body to relax, which is a starting point for mind-body healing. Yet a person who comes to feel wellness “in their very bones,” knows something of the persistent work that leads to self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-caring at a deep level. Healing has happened when a person is engaged in the work of his self-realization process. In the final analysis, the quest for wellness is persistent lifetime work, and will result in a difference—in what a person does, says, feels, and thinks, and this will flow into his care and connections towards others.
These are guidelines for a Wellness Lifestyle:
CARE OF PHYSICAL HEALTH
Daily exercise, eat wholesome nutritious foods, lots of pure water, lesser soft drinks, lots of whole grains and fresh foods, less sugar, less fat. Include enjoyable exercise or movement. Try tai chi or yoga or qigong, or swimming, dance or just walking. Adequate, rest, sleep and elimination are essential to good health. A sense of physical well-being is conducive to mental and emotional health as well as physical vitality and energy.
CARE FOR THE MIND AS YOU WOULD YOUR BODY
Your mind, as well as your body, needs exercise, rest and relaxation. Plan your work, take responsibility for your health. Cultivate positive mental attitude. Catch yourself before you criticize. Look for the positive in yourself and others. Explore ideas, read books, listen to other points of view. Learn to express your thoughts and feelings and allow time each day for recreation.
During periods of stress, learn to “center” and regain self-control. Learn where and when and to whom it is ‘safe” to express anger, and how to let go of anger. Wellness techniques can help calm the mind and the emotions. Support groups are increasingly used for emotional or psychological well being. Learn the “relaxation response” and how to elicit it yourself. Use meditation, complementary healing techniques, such as massage, shiatsu, and aromatherapy.
FACE THE FACTS
You cannot escape the realities of life. The unpleasant as well as the pleasant must be accepted. Recognize your liabilities and develop your assets, and talents. Be realistic, be honest with yourself. Accentuate your abilities and gifts and be sure to include activities that you enjoy and use your innate talents in your dairy life.
SELECT WORTHY GOALS OF LIFE
And then strive to attain them. Do not be discouraged if all are not within your immediate reach. Hold on to your vision. Go after it. That which is of value is worth striving towards. Goals worthy of Life, are worthy of a lifetime of striving! In our maturity, we may learn that money or material acquisitions are not enough satisfy us.
SEEK HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Mix with other persons and groups within your community and develop an understanding of them. Develop a caring relationship with others. Be careful not to be unduly critical of others. We all have hopes, fears, anxieties and shortcomings. Find others with similar interests. Expand interests with and through others. Enjoy helping and receiving help from others. Be grateful.
ENJOY YOUR WORK
Assume your share of responsibility. Be content, at the same time strive to improve. Whatever is your love, your favorite activities –find a way to include it in your life. This could be you vocation or your avocation. Do those things your love to do. Always make time for them in your life.
SPEND YOUR LEISURE TIME RESOURCEFULLY
Cultivate interests apart from your routine work. Hobbies promote health of mind and body. Engage in leisure and creative activities for pleasure and enjoyment and growth. Spend some time in a natural setting. Do forget a vacation when you need a vocation, or a retreat, or a change of pace.
BRING SPIRIT INTO YOUR LIFE
Spirit is that which gives meaning to all that you do. Spiritual practices impact positively on health and well-being. Faith has a positive influence on health and well-being. Bring spirit to all that you are and do in the activities of daily life.