Let’s talk about wellness. What does wellness mean to you?
Let’s talk about sickness. What does sickness mean to you?
Think about these things.
For me, wellness is a state of homeostasis, a state where body and mind are best friends, their soul mate being their inner spirit, their heart space.
For me, sickness is the imbalance of spirit, mind, body, and heart. Sickness is when homeostasis is compromised and becomes what we call instability. Everything is out of kilter. You may literally feel imbalanced and want to fall over a lot.
It has been said many a time that humanity is unwell. I tend to agree. The evidence is all around us – concrete jungles, greedy consumption and consumerism, materialism and increasing waste, pollution, more and more gadgets and technology. What is happening to the general wellness of humanity? As civilisation becomes an obsession, so too do depression, addiction, narcissism and cruelty.
Think about these things.
Wellness is a Way of Life
Where do YOU fit in? Are you part of the race to be rich? Are you living in a concrete jungle and working in a high rise? Are you constantly competing for recognition and goal achievements, another pat on the back? Do you get angry and depressed a lot?
OR are you in your garden feeling the soil, feeding the birds, walking the mountains and the beaches and finding ways to give back to Mother Nature? Feeling content?
Think about how you want to live your best life?
Does wellness include drinking and smoking, or taking drugs? Is eating too much or too little, shopping too much, online too much, no sleep and working all day good for you? Does wellness include buying over-the-counter pills to feel good, to find the buzz, then to boast and to judge?
Do you WANT to be well again? It is your choice! It is waiting for you. Wellness is also about acknowledging the power of the ego. The ego that drives our thoughts. Our thoughts which can destroy who we REALLY are. Discover the ego and how it works. Learn how to say NO to ego and YES to helping others, helping Earth spring back.
This blog assumes that you want to get or stay well. Let’s talk about what you can do to get well and stay well.
One very important wellness tool is developing a dedicated support system:
- peer counseling
- relaxation and stress reduction exercises
- writing a diary
- creative, fun, and affirming activity
- exercise, diet, light
- getting a good night’s sleep.
First, take out your journal, or a pen and paper, and write down what items in this list work well for you.
Next, think of the values that make you YOU. What values define your approach to life, your approach to others and yourself? Look again at the list above and note which of these is meaningful for you. How does it tie in with your value system?
(A value is something like dedication, kindness, compassion, competitiveness, achiever, etc).
Do you want to set up a daily maintenance plan that drives your wellness? We have days when we are not well physically and days when we are ill mentally. This is normal! Life is never a constant linear process of one feeling or one emotion. Life is a complex landscape of extreme highs and lows, mountains and valleys, wars and serenity! The yin and yang.
What are you like when you are well? Make notes – are you strong, content, energetic, pleased, happy, giving, balanced? What is your baseline for wellness? From there, what can you do every day to keep the feeling of wellness?
For me, this means walking, cleaning my home, gardening, walking my dogs, sorting out my children and connecting with my children, working hard! It also means eating well and avoiding things that make me rely on them. I am aware that I have obsessions with some things in my life and I see myself doing them and I am aware.
When we become increasingly self-aware, we can slowly take steps to change and to shift.
Write down what you need to do less of in your day. Write down what you need to do more of in your day to be well. Is there more learning to be done? Can you educate yourself with podcasts, videos, books and articles? Connect with a group and chat. Get together with similar people and talk about issues.
Sometimes our days turn pear-shaped, and we get angry, sad or guilty, and ashamed of something we said or did. That too is normal. Do you have triggers that cause these feelings? Note them down.
Examples of triggers might be:
- getting a big bill
- having an argument with a family member
- losing something or having a dirty house
- feeling a loss of control
Recognise your triggers, accept them. Be aware that if you do not accept or sit with them, you could end up on a rollercoaster of emotions. Then you need to reach out and connect with someone, talk it through. The last thing you need is to slip down into a state of unwellness!
That feeling of discomfort can be a physical thing or a mental thing or something in your soul that needs gentle addressing. What can you do about your triggers? What can you do to avoid or limit your exposure to things that trigger you? A trigger can start a sense of ill health: rapid heartbeat, panic attack, lack of self-belief, anger, and all things that can have a negative impact on the immune system.
Signs that you are out of kilter or balance will be these (mostly in the mind):
- crying all the time
- sleeping all day
- getting angry
- feeling lonely
Or these (mostly in the body):
- Colds and flu symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Disturbed sleep
- Changes in eating habits
- Lack of energy
The Physiology of Wellness
Now let us look at the physiology of wellness. What is the immune system? How can I tune into my own immune system and innately know its needs? For me, it is common sense that the untouched foods are better for us: the fruits on the trees and vines as they grow, the vegetables as they come out of the ground, seeds, and nuts as they emerge on trees and flowers.
The minute food is altered by human hands, it becomes less healthy – it is then processed. Things in boxes, jars, and packets at the supermarkets: biscuits, cereals, spreads, cheeses, yoghurts, drinks, frozen foods, pastas, breads, and more.
The immune system is an intricate network of cells and tissues that protect the body against attacks from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. Our immune system is essential for our survival, and it keeps us healthy as we move through a world packed with pathogens.
Your immune system develops as you develop, from a baby to an adult. And it gets stronger along the way. The only problem is that as adults we think we are invincible, and we ply our bodies with all kinds of false foods. Many adults do not exercise, and many adults are lonely, homeless people. The way we live our lives has a huge impact on our immune systems.
Negative Thoughts Breed Illness
Did you know that a mind full of evil, fear, anger and negativity can cause a diseased body? Or that a stressed body gets extremely sick, even to the point of terminal illnesses such as cancer? Think about it, a sick mind means a sick body. And many sick people feel like victims and deeply sorry for themselves which just makes the illness worse.
Physiologically speaking, any antigen can spark an immune response from your body. This antigen can be a fungus, bacterium, virus, toxin, or foreign object. But it can also be one of our own cells that turns deadly or is faulty! The antibodies get together to fight that antigen.
The best way to avoid any trouble with your immune system is to boost it and make it strong. This means eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, nuts, and pure foods. Exercise daily, get enough superior quality sleep, have a social life and a loving family, be safe with your basic human needs met (food, water, shelter and love).
Make sure self-care is a daily occurrence and that you avoid stress at all costs. Avoid medicines unless required for survival. Use natural remedies wherever possible. Remember that a foreign body in your body is a toxin. It will activate your immune response which then requires energy.
This blog begs the question: how do YOU define your own wellness? How will you maintain your own wellness? Body, mind, emotions, and spirit – how can you keep them all in an intricate balance of harmony and homeostasis?
According to an article in Frontiers of Physiology, homeostasis is a “self-regulating process by which biological systems maintain stability while adjusting to changing external conditions … The disruption of homeostatic mechanisms is what leads to disease, and effective therapy must be directed toward re-establishing homeostatic conditions, working with rather than against nature.”
People who invest in their wellness radiate a sense of calm. They also have a deeper sense of self-love than those who wallow in dis-ease. Of course, ancestry and fate can deal blows to people who end up with terrible health issues. But while you can, take your health under your control and deal with it. Keep your immune system fired up.
Wellness is a choice. It is your choice. Take it or leave it.