Over the last few years, the term “wellness” has come into the popular parlance, but just what exactly does it mean? Basically, wellness is a state in which the individual enjoys both good physical and mental health. We have become increasingly aware that there is a closer link between mental health and physical health than we once thought, and when problems arise in one they can have serious effects on the other. Conversely, improvements in physical health benefit mental health, and the opposite is true as well.
This concept has proven to be of great use in the prevention and treatment of many illnesses and health conditions as society embraces its efficaciousness, and institutions like Hunter Valley Wellness are working to promote and spread the concept for the good of us all. Wellness is achieved through an ongoing holistic and intentional effort to make positive health choices in several important areas of our lives:
Physical – Our physical bodies are susceptible to the negative impacts of prolonged stress, both general and traumatic. Tension headaches, body aches, chronic fatigue, and trouble sleeping are indicators of these stressors. The way to combat these negative impacts on our lives is to employ self-care that promotes physical wellness. Exercise is extremely helpful in this, but unfortunately carries a stigma, some people feel it’s too hard, or too much trouble. In those cases, it’s important to push past this recalcitrance, and one way to achieve that is by trying something different- some examples are, if you hate running then try swimming or cycling. If walking bores you bring along a music player or practice a walking meditation. Any and all exercise is helpful, if nothing else some gentle stretching will help ease the stress you are carrying.
Emotional – Whilst some stress is natural in our lives, and can even be positive when it helps to drive us to better choices, too much of it is debilitating, weakening our bodies, and worse yet, preventing us from enjoying a positive mental state and sense of wellbeing. To promote emotional wellness try getting back to the basics- eat nutritious foods in sensible amounts, get sufficient rest and sleep, and slow your pace down when you feel tired, it’s a sign that you need a break! Practising meditation and mindfulness is extremely helpful to achieving a healthy mind and body cohesion where the two are working together to make us feel our best inside and out!
Intellectual – Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as learning new things by studying, or taking a class in your interests, or performing acts of creative art have a positive influence on our brain’s production of the chemicals that induce states of excitement and happiness in us. Engaging in learning and creativity not only builds useful skills, they also have a healing effect on us which leads to greater wellness.
The Australian government is dedicated to improving the nation’s wellness, click here for more information. Practice wellness for a happier and healthier life!