What is Wellness Anyways?
Wellness is a lifestyle of self-responsibility that you choose and manage. It is a mindset that seeks change and growth. It is a dynamic, multi-dimensional process that includes not only the absence of disease by prevention, but also increased wellbeing, health and happiness.
The Un-Retirement GuideTM supports that the following 3 components of Health can be enhanced by choosing and practicing a Wellness Lifestyle:
- Disease Prevention
The incidence or effects of disease and or illness may be reduced.
- Complete, Optimal Health
We are dynamic, multi-dimensional beings and symptoms of disease or illness are the result of an imbalance in these aspects of who we are. Optimal health is related to the integration of mind, body and environment.
- Positive Wellness
By cultivating positive emotional-mental states (also known as happiness) we can improve our quality of life and promote longevity.
Happiness is not an unrealistic, fluffy concept. It has been pondered, and attempts to define it go back millennia. When the forefathers of the USA were drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776 it was included as an inalienable right in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
A spiritual system to achieve Happiness is a central theme in Buddhist teachings.
Wikipedia explains that: Several humanistic psychologists—such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Erich Fromm—developed theories and practices pertaining to human happiness and flourishing. More recently, “positive psychologists have found empirical support for the humanistic theories of flourishing. In addition, positive psychology has moved ahead in a variety of new directions.”
Disease prevention, optimal health and positive wellness (happiness) are all potential benefits of practicing a Wellness Lifestyle. But, how do we live this way? What is involved?
Dimensions, Needs and a Wellness Lifestyle
At the beginning of this chapter, I described Wellness as a lifestyle you choose and manage. This is an important concept that implies we’re responsible for the actions we do or don’t take as our lives unfold. The intent is not to strive for perfection but a steady, committed effort and growth towards optimal health and wellbeing. This doesn’t mean that we live with our head in the sand or are unaware that living is risky business and undesirable events can happen that we have no control over.
We are multi-dimensional beings where each dimension overlaps and can work together, to create an integrated (the state of being whole and undivided) system. I should add that the dimensions can also work against each other as in the case of a chronic stress response.
As we are: “In the process of achieving or striving for holistic wellness (a journey, not an end-state), people come closer to satisfying their system of basic human needs.” (McGregor 2010)
I have developed A Complete Life Wellness Plan™ for the purpose of managing our needs. It has a framework of seven dimensions that consist of the:
Adjustments are made to each dimension as required, to create greater degrees of balance and wellbeing and are included in your plan. More on this later.