What exactly is wellness? By definition, is simply means ‘the absence of illness.’ To further define and alleviate misconceptions, let me also say that being physically fit does not equate to being well. Additionally, being overweight does not equate to being unfit. Most people find great confusion in the aforementioned areas. To clarify, let me begin by outlining the 4 parts of wellness.
- Spiritual This does NOT mean religious. It simply means that your ‘inner self’ or ‘essence of who you are as a person’ needs attention and needs to be ‘well.’ This requires daily time of inner reflection. This can be accomplished by prayer, meditation, or practicing mindfulness.
- Intellectual We need to stimulate the mind. A mind that is not exercised and stimulated can become stagnant. Our minds need the challenge of discovering and learning new information. The mind, not exercised, will become weak. We must have sound and ‘well’ minds.
- Emotional Emotional health is extremely important. Emotions that are out of control can lead you places in which you never wanted to go. Uncontrolled emotion can hinder relationships, jobs, and tasks.
- Physical Physical health is NOT an option. It is about the sustainability of life. The components of physical health are what we put IN our bodies and what we do WITH our bodies. Simply put, we must be responsible with nutrition and activity.
The 4 parts of wellness are often treated as separate. In reality they are intertwined and feed into each other. An example of this: When we are active, we feel better (emotionally). When we feel better, we can learn new information more effectively (intellectually). When we learn new information, that information can spur new exploration and revelation into our inner self (spiritually).
As you can see, wellness is really found in giving daily attention to each area part of who we are: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical. This is part of the formula for discovering true peace (a topic for another day in another article).