August 22, 2013

How to Tell if You Are Well: The Balancing Act. ~ Tawny Sanabria

What does “wellness” mean to you? Everyone is talking about it.

Do you think of your own physical health as it relates to illness? Such as, if I am not ill, then I am well.

Or do you give thought to your own emotional and relational wellness, too?

And what about spiritual wellness? Is that important to you?

I believe that in order to achieve overall health and wellness, we must put our energies in to all areas of our lives with the goal of creating a balance. And, if we can teach our children to the do the same, we cut their suffering and struggle significantly.

Easy as that, right? I know, I know, it’s never as “easy as that.”

As a counselor and yoga teacher, I see people every day who are nowhere near “in balance.” Relationships are suffering, physical health is taking a hit and emotions are all over the place. We can feel like a jumbled mess.

But how did this mess develop in the first place? It didn’t happen overnight, I can tell you that.

Certain parts of ourselves and our needs were neglected for a very long time.

As a yoga teacher, I regularly see the imbalances in the physical body between flexibility and strength. But underneath that, I also see the imbalances in the thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions. How we position ourselves in a pose can say a great deal about what is going on in our minds and in our bodes. Relaxation and complete stillness are just as important as going fast and being productive. To chronically value one over the other will get you nowhere fast.

I know this is life; however, if we can get in front of it a bit, we can sometimes prevent the bigger “messes.”

So, when do we choose to focus on own wellness?

We tend to neglect our overall health until there is a problem. We do this with our relationships, physical health, spiritual well-being and emotions.

Adults and couples tell me that love shouldn’t take so much effort and that the feeling of love should be enough.

This is typically code for: I’ve not yet been taught that I need to nurture and take care of a relationship, and I’ve been taught that if there isn’t a problem, there is no need to fix it.

My standard answer goes something like,

A relationship is just like a baby—fragile, yet resilient, in need of nurturing to grow, and requires attention and caring actions to be strong and healthy. Relationships cannot sustain themselves, just as a baby cannot take care of himself or herself.

We all have overwhelming emotions that we just want to go “away.” The truth is, it is impossible for these feelings to just go away, and stuffing them, avoiding them and pretending they are not there, will never make them go away. These feelings are ours, they are a part of us.

Our emotions are trying to tell us something.


Accept them.

Learn about them.

Experience them.

That is what takes their power away.

Be willing to work at creating the life that you want, instead of expecting life to just take care of itself, all the while enjoying the “easy” parts and pushing away the “hard” parts.

If we are not paying attention, we typically choose the “easy” road, avoiding the “hard” parts.

The “easy” and “hard” parts for you might be different from the person standing next to you in the grocery store, or for a family member, or even your own children. We all try to stay on “Easy Street” to some degree, though. Some of us spend too much time in thought—some, too much time with up and down emotions—and some over “do” with very little thought given before the “doing.”

As we get through life’s difficulties and challenges, we build strength, confidence and power, which lead us to health and wellness.

Who doesn’t want strength, confidence and a feeling of more power in their lives?

Most people I know want this. I know that I want it.

However, it doesn’t happen on “Easy Street” or the “Safe Side of the Road,” even if we tend to excel in one or two areas of our lives. We tend to give the most energy to the “easier” parts of our lives, because we are “good” at them, and it feels good to excel.

At some point, however, we can either willingly choose to get off “Easy Street” or face finding ourselves at its dead end. Unfortunately, the dead end is where we tend to meet the major difficulties, problems and illnesses.

We can choose to create power, strength and confidence today.

Establish and/or change up your exercise routine, and eat clean foods that fuel you, rather than the typical foods that weigh you down and deplete you.

Learn ways to communicate authentically and sincerely with your partner and others who are important to you.

Make time in your day for reflection and goal planning.

Pay attention to your emotions, as they are providing you information into your history and who you truly are.

If you are feeling disconnected, reflect on what in your life is allowing you to stay comfortably disconnected.

Make changes. Stop taking certain thoughts and ideas for granted.

Be adventurous and try stepping outside your comfort zone.

Get curious about yourself and your life; and please, teach your kids to do the same.

Like elephant health and wellness on Facebook.

Ed: Sara Crolick

{Photo: via Pinterest}

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