The Good Life
It seems like everyone is looking for it. It’s something that we strive to obtain.
But what exactly does “the good life” mean today? To a teenage, the good life means freedom (Usually in the form of a new video game, a full tank of gas or time just hanging out with friends). To the corporate executive, or shift worker, it could mean a decent paycheck, benefits and quality time spent with the family and kids. To the retiree, it might be traveling or a round of golf each week with friends. To some, it’s a day without pain. The good life is something that we strive for, yet it’s not really a fantasy, or a reward. In reality, it a mindset for health and happiness.
There are many people who believe that a good life is a “right”. That they are entitled to it. Truth be told, the good life is both a responsibility as well as a gift. The good life is a steadfast attitude to life a responsible, well balanced life. In today’s society of distractions, challenges, stress and everything else, this attitude is always being tested. The trick is to stand strong.
The good life doesn’t just happen. You need to be dedicated to the purpose, be inspired and at time, be willing to sweat a little! Ask anyone who has walked even a mile on this path and they will tell you it is worth the work! Heath and wellness is at the forefront of this life. Individuals who have lived long enough to share their wisdom and life with you will be quick to point out that the big house and fancy car and a fat bank account mean nothing if you don’t have the health to enjoy it all! This is key advice. If you have your health, you have everything. Health is where it all starts.
If we look back, the term WELLNESS is based on the concert of wholeness. That the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. If you were to talk to ancient healers, shaman and elders and ask what the parts are that make up wellness, you would generally hear them respond with 4 aspects: Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotion (or some form of these 4 areas). In reality, these 4 areas are not separate. There are no lines dividing each of them. They all flow together, support each other and build off each other. So when looking at this, we can see that wellness is the balance of Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotions, where all of them, working together gives you the concept of optimal health.
To really gain an understanding on how this all helps us work towards that “good life”, lets take a quick look at each aspect separately.
This of this as how your body is working. All of your bodily systems, working together to keep you moving each and every day.
With the constant reminders in the news about heart disease, diabetes, obesity and strokes, most wellness programs start their focus here with emphasis here. They encourage us to move more and look at healthy nutrition, then add in sleep/relaxation to help combat the stress we encounter each and every day.
We carry a lot of different emotions with us each and every day, from anger to love and everything in between. They key is to be able to control these emotions, while at the same time, not being controlled BY them. Some emotions are celebrated, while others are considered taboo. In the pursuit of happiness, emotional well-being covers them all, from creative anger management and healthy grieving as well as happiness and joy. All emotions have a place in our life, the key is finding that balance and control.
Much like a computer, our brain is constantly analyzing data. It is built full of intellect, intuition and imagination. However when it gets overwhelmed with external sensory overload the ability to gather process and recall information get compromised. Think about how much time you spend on your phone, Facebook, email, Pinterest etc. Your brain sometimes needs a break from all that stimulation. taking time to calm the mind, as well as sharpen it is key.
This is often the most neglected of the 4 components. No, I’m not talking about religion, but they do share some common ground. It is comprised of several aspects of everyday life: relationships, values and purpose in life. Spiritual well-being involves nurturing your mind, keeping inner peace with yourself, forgiveness, compassion, integrity and so much more. Having a meaningful purpose in life (strong self well-being) can have a vast impact on your physical well-being.
All of these components work together to create your wellness. We need to honor the integration of all of these each and every day! As society changes from generation to generation, we are constantly faces with different issues. So many of the health and wellness issues of today were unheard of when our grandparents were growing up… in fact, many were not even known when our parents were younger! In past generations, it was plague and other illnesses that people feared. Today, we face diabetes and Alzheimers, cancer and heart disease as well as technological stress and Vitamin D deficiency. Most of what we are faced with today can be controlled and reversed by living a healthy lifestyle.
The good life does not have to be a myth! We have the power, knowledge and ability to make it happen! Let’s bringing the good life back to us.
We need to take a step back and take control of our health. It all starts with a plan.
Stay tuned to next week when we talk about that plan!
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