Wellness is much more than being free of disease; it means enhanced health and includes looking, feeling and being overall well. This includes having healthy skin, hair and nails, mental clarity, physical strength and stamina, along with maximum resistance to stress, disease.
Understanding your health and taking responsibility for looking after yourself will ensure that you have the best chance of enjoying good health now and well into the future.
Building a strong wellness requires the integration of multiple factors that determine physical, psychological, emotional, social, economic, environmental and spiritual health. Wellness is like a pyramid, build on different layers that are interconnected. Layer by layer, different aspects build and work together to create a healthier, balanced and more enjoyable life.
The main layers that our wellness is built on, would be the following:
A. Share your feelings:
Sharing your feelings and building social networks to support yourself is the foundation of the wellness pyramid. Love and relationships are the most important factors in building a happy and fulfilling life.
B. Eat good food:
Food is the body's fuel and so it makes sense that if you want a healthy body, you need to eat healthy food.
Here are some basic steps that provide a common sense approach to eating habits:
- Prepare meals using fresh and staple foods.
- Use oils, fats, sugar and salt in moderation.
- Limit consumption of ready-to-eat food and drink products.
- Eat at regular mealtimes and pay attention to your food instead of multitasking. Find a comfortable place to eat . Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets and noisy, stressful environment.
- Eat with others whenever possible.
- Buy food in stores and markets that offer a variety of fresh food. Avoid those that sell mainly ready-to-eat products.
- Develop, practice, share and enjoy your skills in food preparation and cooking.
- Decide as a family to share cooking responsibilities and dedicate enough time for healthy meals.
- When you eat out, choose restaurants that serve freshly made dishes. Avoid fast-food chains.
- Be critical of food industry advertising.
As the third tier of the wellness pyramid, exercise is at the center of healthy lifestyle. Engaging in regular physical activity ensures that both musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system get regular workout. The best exercise for you is the one that you enjoy and are able to include as a regular part of your routine. Exercising are not good only for burning calories and maintain a healthy weight, but it is also extremely effective for mood boosting and combating depression.
If you want to counter stress, you need to bring more relaxation into your life. This includes getting sufficient sleep as well as taking time to release mental stress and muscle tension. There are many activities that promotes relaxation, including meditation, breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation and massage. One of the most effective ways to combat stress is to find an activity that completely absorbs you when are doing it so that you lose track of time (for example, creative pursuits, gardening, sports, playing music, dancing and reading etc.)
At the top of pyramid is the simple activity of "being". This includes: Being balanced, being positive, being at peace with yourself and your surroundings. Being requires you to be fully engaged in the present moment. "Being" is designed to integrate mind and body.
A state of being can be cultivated through various mindfulness like mindfulness meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking etc.