You wouldn’t be very interested in a boat with a hole in it, or a bike with a wheel missing; yet too often we accept missing pieces in our overall wellness because we don’t see the bigger picture of what wellness actually means. Wellness isn’t just about whether or not you’re sick. Wellness encompasses one’s overall state of being—physically, mentally, and socially.
Being aware of your overall wellness and taking steps to improve upon any areas of need can have a positive impact on your quality of life. Here are three basic areas to consider when checking in on your own wellness.
In 2015, the American Psychological Association reported that the number of adults in the United States experiencing extreme levels of stress continues to be on the rise. Stress is uniquely dangerous in that it impacts all areas of wellness and is one of America’s greatest mental health threats. Mental health is the overarching concern for how you behave, think, and cope with daily life. Issues ranging from workplace stress to relationship problems can take a toll on one’s overall mental health. There are many ways to improve your mental health such as identifying and eliminating bad habits, surrounding yourself with positive people, having the courage to ask for help when needed, setting realistic goals, and making the time to do the things that make you happy.
Physical health is all about the body. Cardiovascular health, nutrition, fitness, and even getting sick are all concerns under the category of physical health. Central to maintaining good physical health is being cognizant of the daily exercise and nutrition your body is receiving. Start by considering simple ways you can snack healthy or walk a few extra steps each day. Physical health has a snowball effect as a few healthy decisions often lead to many more. Finally, limiting or eliminating the use of tobacco, drugs and alcohol is key to strong physical health.
Believe it or not, the connections you have with the people around you factor into your overall wellness. Social health regards your communication skills, ability to hold good relationships, and having a healthy support system of family or friends when needed. To maintain good social health everyone needs to carve out time that is devoted to family and friends. Take inventory in your personal relationships and be sure they’re positive and rewarding. Furthermore, opening your mind to greater diversity by interacting with people of other backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs can greatly enrich your social health.
Wellness is complicated, but awareness is the first step towards greater well-being. Keep in mind, the three areas of wellness mentioned above are actually interconnected. For example, lowering your stress level has actually been shown to have strong physical health benefits. So take a moment to consider your own personal strengths and possible areas of need. No matter what obstacles you may need to overcome, your wellness is worth it for both yourself and those who depend on you.