What you can do to start shifting and lifting yourself out of illness into greater levels of wellness on every level of your being.
We all know what we need to do physically to maintain a better level of well-being. (Wash your hands, limit exposure to public groups, etc.) The physical is the easiest to measure. However, what determines physical health and well-being are the other three foundations of wellness; emotional, mental, and spiritual. These aspects of self are also either moving toward illness or wellness, depending on how you manage them. Let's discover new ways to bring yourself back into balance and harmony.
Every minute of every day, we are either moving toward wellness or illness.
It's not a static thing you do once and you're done. Every thought you think and feeling you have is contributing to one of those outcomes. The secret sauce of well-being is found in the fourth foundation, your spirituality or lack of it.
Cultivating genuine wellness begins by understanding it is a state of doing certain things AND being a certain way. Well-being takes into consideration all four levels of your being. Below is a quick outline of what leads you toward more wellness or illness on all four levels. I've provided a quick map of how to navigate away from illness and to discover and build personal wellness in each area of your life.
• • • • • The Physical Level • • • • •
This is the easiest to measure and understand. So most people only focus on the physical and far too often ignore the other three foundations. On its own, if we focus only on the physical aspect of wellness, we can't fully cultivate health and well-being. But it is important to begin here.
Physical Wellness Involves proper nutrition, consistent deep sleep, connecting with nature, regular aerobic exercise, frequent recreation, etc. I'm not going to elaborate on these subjects since most people already know this instinctively.
Physical Illness Involves unmanaged stress caused by not eating a balanced diet, getting enough quality sleep, shallow breathing, all work-no play, and being lethargic. Again this is common knowledge and where most people stop at their attempts for cultivating well-being. The physical realm is not enough. We are much more complex as human beings. Knowing that you are much more than just a physical body begins your journey toward genuine wellness.
• • • • • Emotional Level • • • • •
Emotional Wellness: Willingness to feel and express all of your emotions, both expansive (+) and constrictive (-). Wellness begins when we stop judging our feelings as 'good' or 'bad' emotions. When we consciously honor how we feel, seek to understand our feelings, express them responsibly, and then release them, we move into higher levels of well-being.
Emotional Illness: This is created by ANY feeling you have (Love or Fear) that you ignore, deny, distract, repress within yourself to avoid feeling. This habit of emotional denial ultimately becomes harmful and destructive. Even love that is ignored and denied can become a negative experience in your life.
Emotions are not positive or negative according to their labels (anger, love) but by the relationship, the way you relate to them. Emotions are energy and need to be in motion. If you try to be positive by ignoring your constricting feelings, you are NOT being positive. Instead, to truly be positive means to be honest with yourself and how you feel. If you're angry, then get mad, feel it, be responsible and process through the feelings so you can release and let go. Being completely honest with how you feel is the most positive response to create health and vitality.
Many of my clients, when they first come to me, are addicted to judging their feelings. They have learned to habitually repress their 'negative' feelings (anger, fear, etc.) in an attempt to be positive. I call this the paradox of positive thinking. If you're disappointed or hurt, deal with those feelings. Don't pretend you aren't. When you admit your feelings and deal with them responsibly, you can quickly get back into alignment with yourself. Once you've expressed and released the repressed energy of your emotions, you'll increase your overall stamina. A significant source of depression is harboring repressed feelings that you refuse to admit you have. Science now knows emotions change your physical chemistry.
Don't be afraid of your constricting (-) feelings. Fear thrives on ignorance to ignore it. Even the Bible says, "The thing you fear the most has come upon you." Like energy attract like experiences. Instead, seek to understand it. After all, isn't that what love does? Seeks to be understanding? Wellness emotionally is about understanding your feelings to take responsibility for them, and express and release them. Every emotion you have has a message for you.
• • • • • Mental Level • • • • •
Being mindful and conscious of how we relate and think about ourselves is the first step toward mental harmony. Monitoring your self-talk is the key to establishing a deeper level of inner peace. What do you tell yourself? Am I afraid of getting sick? How about focusing your mind on, "I'm doing everything to stay healthy and well." Affirm that to yourself.
Mental Wellness: A robust and empowering mind begins when we consciously repeat thoughts of what we desire and want vs. what we don't want. Every thought you think your subconscious mind is literally using as instructions. "I have insomnia, I'm a terrible sleeper, I always wake up at 3AM!" Guess what? You're commanding your mind to keep doing that even though you don't desire it. We become our own enemy, and our minds start to sabotage our lives.
Instead, when you notice your negative self-talk, stop yourself and mentally repeat, "CANCEL — CANCEL" (regarding the last thought). Then, mentally tell yourself (affirm) what you want. "I'm am learning to get a great night's sleep; each night, I sleep better and better." When you affirm what you want versus what you don't want, you begin programming your mind for change that leads to wellness vs. illness.
Mental Illness: The first step to having mental illness is to believe you are powerless. You've let your ego convince you that your mind doesn't matter. Your beliefs and attitudes, emotions, and decisions don't influence the quality of your life. Because of this lack of personal power, a person ends up living their life as a victim and giving their power away to circumstances that appear to be beyond their control.
During this flu virus health epidemic, to ensure my own wellness, I'm continually thinking this affirmation throughout my day, especially if I feel vulnerable in a public situation. "I AM ALWAYS at the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME for MY HEALTH, SAFETY, and WELL-BEING!"
• • • • • Spiritual Level • • • • •
All healing is a return to wholeness and well-being. To be whole, you must honor all parts of yourself, including your Soul and Spirit.
This fourth level of your being is the most elusive because it is the least physical, yet it contains our very life-force energy. Our ego can easily measure the body and knows what feelings are. However, the mental and spiritual parts of ourselves are harder to measure and define and easier to dismiss. Unfortunately, many people do just that. But as you begin to value your mind and spirituality you take a giant step toward greater empowerment and overall well-being.
Spiritual Wellness: Your spiritual body is your Soul and Spirit, which makes up the electromagnetic life-force energy absent in a deceased person. Wellness spiritually begins to happen by understanding that you have a connection and relationship to Source/God/Goddess/Universe.
For those who prefer a more scientific approach to life, I use this analogy to help others understand the Divine intelligence that governs life. If I were to set off an explosion of any kind, most would agree that it creates total disorder. An explosion is chaotic and disorganized, correct? Well, when the 'big bang' explosion of the universe occurred, it has become organized with an innate intelligence that governs and directs all forms of life toward greater harmony and evolution.
Each cell in our bodies has intelligence. When I cut myself, my body instinctively knows how to heal the wound. That is intelligence. That is my Soul and Spirit. It's the spiritual dimension of life. There is an intelligence that is a part of everything that exists on earth and the universe.
Everyone is spiritual. Everyone has a relationship with their Soul and Spirit. Many deny it. They have turned their backs on it, which leads you away from spiritual wellness toward illness. Spiritual vitality emerges when you begin to value and honor your spiritual nature and learn to tap into your inner wisdom. Every human being has a connection to the Divine consciousness. However, our free will allows us to deny, ignore, and pretend it doesn't exist.
Spiritual Illness: Is to believe you're alone, disconnected from life. That we as humans don't matter, we don't really belong and aren't good enough. This is our ego, who only focuses on the physical world. We end up with depletion of spiritual vitality, and this lack of spiritual awareness leads us towards entropy and lack of life-force energy.
When you move toward wellness in all four categories of your being, they will support each other, creating a synergy of well-being.
Each of these four bodies will be adequately nourished and exercised to help you live an empowered life and gain greater control over your destiny. You will have a solid foundation to build greater resilience that fosters clarity, strength, adventure, and personal peace.