What is the relationship of our health with wellness?

What is got to do with our short human history?

In the previous post (link here)I’ve written about the history of the Wellness movement and how it is found in all religions. That can only suggest that our predecessors didn’t take it lightly! Today we’ll explore how important the concept of wellness and being “healthy” is, so important that our predecessors knew it all too well.

A picture taken by good friend of mine in Colombia - Sign says “We do not have WiFi. Talk to each other”

2019, March, Morning.

You wake up to the sound of an alarm, snooze it for 5-6 times. Finally, you wake up, check your messages, see some new Instagram post of some friend or celebrity having a great vacation in Tropical Paradise. You spend 20 more minutes going thru different social media feeds while drinking your coffee with your breakfast – since you can’t “wake up” without it anymore. You go to work, have a hamburger for lunch but most of the time you still stare into your device rather than deal with communicating with others around you – bah they are also on their smartphones either way. You tell yourself that you need to start working out, although you promised yourself you’ll start this January. You go home, tired, you take a shower, watch some Netflix, order Pizza, browse some social feed until 2 AM and finally fall asleep to wake up the next morning for the same routine…Somewhere around the road, you’ll get gassed out, go to a doctor because of stomach pain or backache- he gives you pain killers and you are “good to go”, back on track! Sounds familiar?

Nowadays we live in a disease-oriented mindset.  And what I mean by that is the way we perceive our health and the whole system around it, is logically wrong. Think about it – most of our doctor appointments exist because we don’t feel quite good or that something “unusual” is happening within our body. You go inside, make a routine check, take prescription and deeply hope that you won’t need to visit again soon.

But have we ever stopped to think if there are steps to take that can prevent it in the first place?

You see, being healthy is a description of a state, it’s the overall mental and physical state of the person.

A disease-free for that time.

You may think about it as standing on a cliff and hoping that the rocks under your feet will hold you as you go on with your life, dancing, jumping and sitting around. Worst case scenario, you have an ambulance waiting for you on the bottom of a cliff – and the doctor will “fix” you up.

And that’s why I believe that practicing wellness can be a key for a healthier life.

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life (you may find some coloration with the Stoic Philosophy). Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. It’s the realization that we are constantly changing and we can take those steps towards a better version of self. An average adult produces 222 billion to 242 billion cells every day! And those cells are created based on our habits! The same goes for our new network connections that are created! That’s why we need wellness to optimize our health. Imagine that wellness is the barriers and strings that can if not prevent that fall from a cliff, at the minimum make the fall less tragic. This way can enjoy our time up the cliff for longer!

According to the Rambam, his breakdown of Wellness(in Hebrew: בריאות) goes like this :

“בולם רוגזו,יפחית אוכלו ויגביר תנועתו”

Which to sum up means: Stress less, mind what you eat and enhance movement.

In wellness, we brake down these aspects into 8 dimensions:

  1. Emotional

  2. Financial

  3. Social

  4. Spiritual

  5. Occupational

  6. Physical

  7. Intellectual

  8. Environmental

Taken from swarbrick m. (2006). a wellness approach. (Link)

Those aspects are very dynamic and they form this being of self. We should start analyzing those aspects within ourselves and see what can be improved in each of one of them – Considering all of them play a role in our overall health. A good practice is to write down what we have and not only what we lack since having a positive mindset is very important! You may find out, just as I did, that although I lack some of the things in several dimensions, others can interchange and complete other areas, and good being is not just having the money or being “sickness free”, but it is also important to acknowledge it!

Somewhere along the science road, we’ve got blinded by “magical” pills and remedies that can cure everything and we’ve totally forgotten to take care of our being in a first place, in a way that won’t require those remedies to begin with. We stick to short term pleasures such as social media and meaningless binging, while we could invest that time into something that truly matters to us. We live in the most connected time yet we are going further away from each other.

If there is something that in my opinion modern medicine can learn from the alternative one – is the number of personal questions and personal attitude that is invested in alternative medicine. It’s the understanding that you as a whole matter more than that pain you got, and that the pain is probably a by-product that you could have avoided by taking the necessary steps.

No matter your genetics, lack of time, stress or weather outside – there is always something you can do to make your life more meaningful, healthier and successful(whatever success means to YOU!).

We know this for thousands of years, and in this crazy hectic world, we need to learn once again to stop, breath and listen to our body, mind, and soul.

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Yours, Greg.

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