Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

What is Wellness?

Apr 16, 2015

Victor S. Sierpina, MD

The term “wellness” is much less frequently mentioned in health-related topics than is illness. Not being sick is not the same as being well.

High level wellness incorporates any and all of the following: implementing a personal wellness plan; a conscious commitment to excellence; high self-esteem; integrated and balanced lifestyle; development of a supportive environment; personal responsibility to health; and orientation to positive payoffs.

A wellness life is dedicated to whole person excellence and is at the positive end of a spectrum that might start with low-level “worseness,” middle level mediocrity, or intermediate level tinkering with health.

You can live a wellness lifestyle even if you have a chronic illness and have perhaps made some less than optimal health choices in the past. These don’t matter as much as starting today with a consciousness focused on being well, being the best you can be, and accepting yourself with love and respect. This is far better than trying to live a life focused on merely avoiding disease, disability, and death.

So start today. Change your mindset to promoting good health rather than just not being sick. This will involve trusting the ability of the body to heal itself, small but persistent changes in lifestyle, diet, movement, and meditation. It will always require you to be honest with yourself in terms of feelings, regularly assessing your priorities, developing a wellness plan and maybe a wellness team to help you achieve it. This team can include a health coach, tai chi or yoga instructor, a dietician, physician, nurse, chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, exercise physiologist, sports psychologist, or energy healer. You know what you need and who can help you get there with the resources of time, energy, and commitment you have now.

No matter where you are, you can start today. Remember this inspirational quote: “Your business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” (Thomas Carlyle)

You know what you can do to start on your path to high-level wellness. So what are you doing now? Take a step, any step, and see what happens next.

Be well!