Doesn’t it happen to you that sometimes you are wrong? It is not very clear why; if for something, or for everything. The concept of “wellness” offers you a comprehensive look at physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Although the dictionary allows us to translate it as “wellness”, in recent years the term wellness has been used to indicate the active process of making conscious decisions to achieve a healthy and fulfilling life. This well-being does not consist simply in avoiding illness, but in initiating a dynamic process of change and physical, mental and affective growth, both on an individual and collective level.
Unlike some movements exclusively focused on the body (such as fitness) or the mind (such as meditation), wellness proposes a combination of these aspects from an integrative, holistic perspective.
Dr. Bill Hettler of the National Wellness Institute offers a six-dimensional model of wellness that interconnects and modifies each other.
This dimension considers work as a place of personal fulfillment and enrichment, fundamentally depending on one’s attitude towards our work. In general terms, occupational well-being will depend on: a) choosing a career, profession or trade that is consistent with our personal tastes and values and b) developing transversal and transferable skills in commitment to our work instead of taking distance and doing the minimum indispensable.
This includes the need for regular physical activity, as well as healthy eating and nutritional habits. In this regard, it is important to develop a sensitivity to listen to your own body and respond gradually and comprehensively. Physical well-being is based on the pillars of a healthy and balanced diet and an appropriate physical activity for each one’s age and body.
Instead of considering the individual as a passive being in the face of the circumstances in which they live, the wellness school encourages the action and contribution of each one to the environment and to the community itself. From this perspective, solidarity and commitment to others are an integral part of one’s own well-being; conversely, selfishness produces the opposite effect to the one sought, making the person feel worse because of their own alienation from others.
Mental activity of a certain level of complexity and difficulty allows people to explore our abilities and expand our limits. Problem solving, creativity and learning are part of this integral well-being process that does not settle for routine and not very stimulating tasks, but instead sees intellectual activity as a complement to physical activity, almost a gymnastics for the brain.
Without identifying with a particular religion, the wellness movement believes in the need to identify a meaning and a purpose in human existence. In short, it proposes integrating all aspects of human existence in a global view of the world, our experience and beliefs that does not seek to impose itself on others, but rather to live with others in respect for diversity without renouncing our own convictions.
The last dimension of wellness refers to recognizing and accepting one’s own emotions and feelings, including the management of frustration and stress, but also their expression. Ultimately, commitment, trust and respect towards others are based on having the same attitude towards oneself, without denying or hiding one’s emotions, adopting an optimistic attitude towards life.
Its critics brand the wellness movement as a new age substitute for religion or a certain vulgar psychology. For them, it is a conservative and individualistic movement that seeks to give meaning to a life of superfluous consumption and excessive limitations on individual freedoms, especially in the middle and upper sectors of developed countries.
In any case, human beings have always had a need to be well that cannot be satisfied in a purely physical or purely mental way, exclusively collectively or only individually. Thinking of our well-being as more than the mere absence of discomfort is a good first step in that direction.