While “wellness” is now part of our everyday vocabulary, it’s meaning still doesn’t spill off the tongue. Today’s interpretation can run into every aspect of our daily lives – from wellness retreats, wellness drinks and food (maybe we will soon be “wellnessing” our wardrobes too!). It’s become more of an overarching concept than a one-trick pony.
But what exactly is “wellness”? A New Age fad? An umbrella term for alternative medicines, health foods and yoga? Or the answer to all our emotional and physical health issues?
According to the World Health Organisation, wellness is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’. Quite simply, in order to feel the best we can, we need to focus on all aspects of our lives – emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social and environmental.
That might seem like a particularly tall order and not easy to achieve a tick in every box, but, starting with small steps and persevering with healthy and positive life changes can be the key to ultimate success.
Physical wellness isn’t just about exercise and eating more healthily but can include what we put on our skin and the beauty products we use. Are they good for us AND the planet?
Most of us now accept the close relationship between emotional and physical health – the mind/body balance – and could consider using yoga and meditation [both proven to relieve stress, anxiety and depression]. Or we can simply make more of an effort to nurture ourselves with time spent being more active and periods of relaxing and doing the things we enjoy.
In studies carried out by the mental health charity MIND, our relationship with the environment can also have positive consequences for our sense of wellness. Enjoying beautiful views, outdoor spaces and making the most of the natural world around us.
Personal relationships too are a large factor in embracing wellness whether that be family and partners or the closeness we develop with friends and colleagues. Being a more social being and engaging in group activities can make us feel less isolated and part of a wider community.
We don’t necessarily need to rush out and buy yoga pants, a Nutri-bullet and a book on Buddhism. What’s important is to recognise areas of our lives that could be improved and have a healthier and happier attitude towards ourselves and others.