Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
Wellness is often thought of in terms of physical health (i.e., nutrition and exercise). However, in recent years there has been a significant shift in this mindset towards holistic or whole-person health. Humans are complex and multidimensional, influenced by a variety of factors that are interrelated. Achieving a sustainable state of health and happiness requires balancing these factors and learning how to utilize them to our benefit.
A popular way to communicate and understand wellness is through separate categories, or dimensions, of health. This can be a great place to start when seeking to improve your health. Dimensions of wellness can be divided into categories, such as environmental, social, physical, emotional, financial, and intellectual health. Whole person health aims to encapsulate all these things as well as others that don’t fit within these boxes.
Consider thinking beyond these dimensions about other factors that may be impacting your health and happiness. This could include genetics; lifestyle choices; conditions in which we are born, grow, live, or work; our age; career satisfaction; tradition; culture; and more. There are countless factors that affect our health, including the ability to access healthy food, childcare circumstances, and even abstract aspects such as having a vision or purpose in your career. Situations can affect our ability to focus, problem solve, and be productive. They can cause doubt, worry, and hesitation that in turn negatively impact our health and happiness.
Wellness is about achieving a long-term balance and integration of all of life’s aspects to fuel the body, engage the mind, and nurture the spirit. Although it includes striving for health, it also focuses on living life fully and creating a lifestyle that allows you to reach your full potential. It is important to find a personal harmony that nurtures happiness and feels authentic and joyful.
Now you’ve reviewed the concept of whole person health, revisit the progress you’ve made on your New Year’s intentions. Determine if your intentions are balanced and if there are any major categories that impact your whole person health that you didn’t consider. For example, if you’re missing an intention related to community connection, create something around the idea of connecting with others.
It can be scary to make changes when we feel comfortable with our lifestyle, but growth is achieved through challenging ourselves to be better.