In the old days wellness was as simple as sleeping well, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Now it has evolved to encompass everything from drinking organic pressed beet juice to doing cortisol-conscious workouts and incorporating dopamine fasts into your life (taking a break from addictive behaviors, such as limiting time on your smartphone). In addition, there is shifting awareness toward the understanding that the mind, heart and soul contribute to the wellness of the body.
Wellness is a theme more so than ever because of the effects that stress is having on us. Studies show that 70-90% of doctor visits are related to stress. Not only does stress affect individual health; Forbes reports that job-related stress costs companies $300 billion a year in turnover, diminished productivity and absenteeism.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve come to understand that symptoms of stress are feedback mechanisms to let us know when we are out of wellness. Whether it’s a headache, feeling purposeless, emotionally bankrupt or mentally frazzled, any symptom of “dis-ease” is a reminder to get back to wellness and ease.
Wellness means wholeness, the opposite of wellness being “half-ness.” Therefore it’s important to take care of our whole being — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If not, we live in half-ness.
Think about what you need to live in wholeness. Is it more time? If so, prioritize yourself and say no when others try to consume your time. If it is more sleep, make a commitment to get ready for bed 30 minutes sooner than you normally do. Take the time to ask yourself what is missing.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.