A definition I embrace for wellness is the conscious, active integration of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a balanced state of holistic health.
There are two important aspects to this definition. First, wellness is not a passive or static state but rather an “active integration” that is associated with intentions, choices and actions as we work toward an optimal state of health and wellbeing. Second, wellness encompasses holistic health—that is, it extends beyond simple physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that work in harmony.
Wellness is an individual pursuit—we take responsibility for our own choices, behaviors and lifestyles—but it is also significantly influenced by the physical, social and cultural environments in which we live.
Wellness is often confused with independent terms such as health, wellbeing and happiness. While there are common threads between them, wellness is distinguished by a dynamic process rather than by a static state of being (i.e., being happy, in good health, or a state of wellbeing). A Wellness lifestyle is associated with an active and consistent process of being aware and making choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal and balanced holistic wellbeing.
In my book, Ancient Healing in a Modern World, How Secrets from Ancient Cultures Can Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body and Soul, I charted 8 Pillars of Wellness which support us to live a full and healthy life. Each pillar supports the other to create an environment of Wellness in which to thrive.
Let’s take a look at each of them individually along with some questions to answer so that you have a good baseline for where you are right now. There are no right or wrong answers here, just questions to see which areas could use more time and attention.
Hydration How much clear water (filtered or spring) are you drinking on average each day? Do you only drink water when you’re thirsty?
Movement – Movement includes walking, stretching, jogging, biking, yoga, etc. Basically anything which gets your body in some sort of action. Do you have a daily practice, movement ritual or planned for movement.
Nutrition – Do you follow an intentional and consistent plan to eat a varied and healthy assortment of foods which support your wellness goals?
Sleep – Do you know how long and how deeply you are sleeping? How do you feel when you wake up? Are you full of energy or tired?
Tribe/Community – Who is your most trusted support system? Do you feel that you are authentic and fully self-expressed with your tribe and/or community?
Safety – This includes your relationship with money. Do you feel that you have a “soft place to land” with regard to your personal relationships, your environment, and with saving
Purpose – Are you applying your values, passions and abilities to the benefit of the greater good?
Curiosity – Do you have a desire to continue to learn and to grow? Are you participating in hobbies or activities which inspire you?
Click Here to explore ways to up-level these pillars in your life so that your overall wellness is best supported.