This is the first in a series of discussions looking at wellbeing, what it means to be well and how to achieve it. Here we will delve into the many avenues that together assist in the attainment of wellness and for lack of a less cheesy phrase… indulge in the journey to getting there.
Recently there has been a global surge in fitness, health and wellbeing. Did you notice? If not… where have you been? Either way, it is brilliant! Highlighting the need for health and wellbeing, self-awareness, self-care is finally becoming a mainstream focal point. – Imagine that! Looking after ourselves… crazy!
In an increasingly digitalised society it has become relatively easy to pay little attention to the physical beings that are ourselves. In times of uncertainty and apathy we need to check in with ourselves and assess our wellbeing.
Although being something most of us aspire to have, there seems to be difficulty in giving it a precise meaning? Perhaps that is exactly the point of it all. We are not who we are because of one definitive factor. There are many different attributes, positive and negative that account for who we are. So logically it would take a multitude of factors to define wellness, that feeling of optimal wellbeing.
So, what does that mean? What is wellbeing? What does it mean to be well?
The Oxford dictionary would say…
‘The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.’
This definition may leave you the question, why “comfortable, healthy or happy”? The words they have chosen as the defining aspects of wellbeing make sense. To be comfortable, to be healthy, to be happy, these are all optimistic connotations of a positive life. There is however, no reason that it needs to be categorised as one, or the other. The ‘World Health Organisation’ (WHO) described it as ‘a state of mind which an individual is able to realise his or her own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’ The headspace you are in, the way that you perceive yourself, in comparison to the way you would like to be perceived. How you manage day to day trials and tribulations and whether what you do matters.
The answer can only truly be found in self-reflection. Looking into your life and where it has taken you thus far. There is no straight forward, tangible way of achieving wellbeing. The whole ethos of being well, in the broader sense, is something subjective. We are in constant discovery and rediscovery of what that means to us as individuals, whether we mean to or not. So of course, it is an important aspect of life.
Ultimately, it comes down to self-care. To identify how we feel physically, how well we look after our bodies. Mentally, keeping the mind strong and focussed. Emotionally, an awareness of mindfulness, how we feel in ourselves, in certain situations, and environments. Addressing these mindsets collectively to find out what needs to be done to work towards achieving wellbeing.
Do a little soul searching, find what wellbeing means for you.
Follow this series to look deeper into wellbeing.
Words contributed by: Julia Jordan