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November 9, 2014

Wellness isn’t just Nutrition—The other Factors we’re Forgetting.

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In this day and age, the term “wellness” has such a broad scope and purpose that many beliefs and practices can fall under the category of how to take care of ourselves under any and all conditions.

Nutrition wellness is one subject that has more controversy and interest in what we eat, how we eat and the effects it plays on our physical well-being.

Whatever goes into our bodies is the platform by which we can function on a daily basis, while warding off disease and creating healthy meals for our bones and muscles. There are many specific schools for nutrition, both integrative and holistic, that offer a more in-depth approach to learning and practice than most other scholastic state university programs in society.

The reason I’m harping on this is to bring awareness to the term “wellness.” It isn’t so much what we eat any more, as it is how we live—spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.

I have to take a deep breath here because exploring each facet of wellness has taken me (what feels like) lifetimes to understand and digest. A well-rounded integration of all aspects of wellness is the cornerstone for eliciting more love and peace in your life than any other extensive accomplishment on living.

The enormous undertaking of this type of work isn’t for the faint of heart, in large part of the responsibility to ourselves in waking up every morning (or evening, if your job requires round-the-clock work) and seeing to it that we nurture and nourish our minds and souls with the very thing that we were born to do: take special care of every inch of our bodies.

It is only through the process of outside influences that our well-intended hearts get somewhat polluted with too much commercialism and peer pressure that has nothing to do with our wellness, and everything to do with greed.

I won’t digress long enough in this department because it has been hashed out for too long, and if we can only return to simplicity and love of self and others, half the equation is achieved and our overall health benefits.

The four areas of wellness are:

1. Spiritual—the most talked about, practiced, preached and inspiring area of this generation and beyond.

We are searching and learning and implementing how to be more grounded in our hearts and souls in a way that transcends all else. Every day I’m amazed at the things that are spit out of people’s mouths to help others get on board with their practice.

From yoga to meditation to retreats, and all else in between, this is a time of true meaning and cathartic passages. If we can get this first piece of wellness down to a daily thing, then most of the other large bits fall into place. With a clear mind and heart comes good decisions and quality connections. Spirituality isn’t some kitchy phrase any more. It is a way of life.

2. Emotional—as this last year has shown us, and probably because we are more in touch with our vulnerabilities and approaches to letting our feelings rule many of our choices, emotional wellness is another weighty area in the bigger picture.

If it takes the focus on famous celebrities who have passed away due to mental anguish and suffering, then we can learn more about how this type of wellness has received its comeuppance in the world and is not one to be swept under the carpet any more.

Our emotional well-being ties directly into the spiritual side of life. Repressing any feelings is a sure sign that illness will creep up in our bodies over time, and take control of our health in a way that is toxic and deadly. Anger, jealousy, depression, anxiety, happiness, joy, all of it—let it out! Your mind and heart will thank you.

3. Physical—this is one area that I always focused on growing up, mainly due to being raised in an athletic family and making exercise my priority since I was a kid.

Movement all adds up to firing up the neurons in the body and mind, which in turn create a more well-rounded, happier and healthier person.

If I don’t get some kind of physical fitness or sweat going every morning (and that can include just about anything), I have a sense of tension that takes time to dissipate until I settle into knowing I have carved out specific moments for myself allotting for physical health. Nutrition plays a big role here too. Eating the best foods for my body, and at the best times of the day are guarantees that I can function and incorporate all of the other parts of the wellness pie.

4. Financial—I will say that as a right-brained creative person, financial wellness wasn’t my strong suit.

I have learned more from my relationships and partners than I would have on my own. What I do know is that as I get older, financial peace and health is priority, and it is my responsibility to see to it that I learn everything about taking care of myself.

Being independent about financial wellness, reading quality information on what’s right for me, talking to professionals who deal in this arena day in and day out, that’s part of the whole package of balancing what goes in the bank and what goes out.

Trust me, I wasn’t the greatest at logic and analysis and left-brained tactics. I had to seriously delve into the nuts and bolts of money and the contentment that comes along with the understanding of earning and spending. This is where simplicity comes in very handy.

Give more to receive more, keeping it holistic, and most definitely focusing on the financial segment as only a fourth of the overall wellness pie. I actually included it last, because as our world has used money as a means to get ahead, it is only a fraction of how we function in a conscious state.

That about sums it up for wellness in action.

Keep humble. Keep it real. Keep moving forward. Keep learning. Cherish each moment. Give time to love, give time to speak. And, give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind. The integration of all areas of wellness can only create a harmonious and peaceful now, as well as what lies ahead for our future.

Blessings on your path!

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Author: Gerry Ellen

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: gozalewis/Flickr

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