People generally think about wellness in terms of physical health which includes workout routine, weight management, nutrition, etc. However, actually, it is much more than this. When we talk about ‘wellness’ it is a holistic integration of physical, mental, and spiritual self. All this involves fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit. It basically means living life to its full. A lifestyle and a personalized approach to life in this way allows one to become the best kind of person for self as well as the society as a whole.
Wellness involves not only ourselves but those we care about and the ones who care for us. It is the duty of every human being to attend to their own health and well-being. Wellness consists of eight basic requirements which are interdependent. Physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental are the eight dimensions of wellness. We have to incorporate all these into our lives as negating one can severely affect the other. One need not have an equal balance among them, however, find a synergic harmony between these to have happiness and satisfaction which is the final goal of all human beings.
Wellness And Its Dimensions
Taking correct steps to have the best health and well-being is not easy. Although most of us know what is good and what is bad. Implementing it is difficult. Even if we implement it, sticking to it for a lifetime mostly is impossible. There are factors that can influence our success in the wellness attributes. The most important factors are Self-regulation and habits.
Self-regulation is central to effective human functioning in society. It can be defined as our ability to control our impulses and behave in a more accepted way both for self-progress and society. It enables us to meet certain standards, achieve goals and put certain ideas to practice. Unfortunately, self-regulation requires mental energy and our brain always keeps looking for options to conserve that.
Habit is something that requires less energy, unlike self-regulation. So any behavior which can be reduced to a routine act will require less energy and hence opposition from our own brain. This way we can free enough brain energy so that it can encompass thoughtful activities which can then have a reflection on future planning.
Habits are extremely powerful. We may not notice but 40% of our acts daily are our habits. It is habits that shape our existence and future. One won’t be wrong to say that habits are key to wellness. Habits affect health, well-being, and quality of life. Hence for a better life, one needs to adopt good habits.
Technically speaking, habit is simply a behavior that is recurrent and often without much awareness or conscious effort. It is simply something that the brain automatically follows. It is believed that once a habit is formed, it encodes our brain in such a way that it can never be erased. However, we can change the coding only with stronger habits. So it is not a matter of well-power but rewiring the brain. To change a habit one needs to create new routines. Insert new things in the old ones and reward yourself for following the new ones.
Change is easy if one pays attention to identifying own self and working on internal strengths, tendencies, and aptitudes. Let us take an example to understand it better. If you are a ‘night owl’, your circadian rhythms are set according to it. All of a sudden you want to get up early to become healthy may not be a success. Even an improvement in health will not result in a change of circadian rhythm. However, if you include your regime as per the energy cycle going inside you, you have more chances of being successful. Self-awareness thus includes knowledge of own-self. Are you a marathoner, sprinter, or procrastinator, finisher, or opener? Hence knowing internal traits and working according to them is extremely essential to be successful.
Change Your Habits To Change Your Life
Change takes a long time and effort. Changing a habit may take even longer. However, if you are self-aware and understand the dynamics of life, you can encode yourself for new habits. Changing lifestyle has to be a personalized approach. There are no common methods. Every individual is different and hence requires a different path to change. Frankly the present and future lie in the choice you make today. You need not be perfect. Just do it and be the best person you can be.