Let’s begin by talking about the concept of wellness, a term that’s thrown around so carelessly that it’s beginning to lose all meaning. Definition.com states that wellness is, “The quality or state of being healthy in body and mind.” Not all that helpful, so what does healthy mean? Simply put, the same website said health means, “Freedom from disease or ailment.” I would disagree. That seams more like the idea of optimum health. Can someone with allergies be well or healthy? Of course. But how about someone with heart disease or cancer? I believe they can too. This is because wellness is not a destination. It isn’t simply an absence of health problems. Wellness exists on a continuum. You can have degrees of health. There are two ends of the spectrum, which are optimum health and death. Every day, we make choices that move us closer to either end of the spectrum. So what are these choices we make? Dr. M.T. Morter Jr, one of the great pioneers in my profession, simplified these choices into 6 easy categories, which he named the 6 Essential Choices. They are as follows:
What we eat
What we drink
How we rest
How we exercise
How/what we breathe
How we think
I won’t get into the details of each category in this post, but for the most part every post from here on out will deal with one or more of these concepts. I suppose that’s why I’m covering this concept first. In the end, the main idea I want to get across today is that there are many things in life that we simply have no control over. These are stresses we must live with and adapt to. Following the 6 Essential Choices simplifies a complex health picture and empowers you to take control of what you have control over. If you aren’t satisfied with your health or how you feel you need to ask yourself where you can improve in each of these categories to begin making better choices.
I’ll end this post today by offering perhaps a more complete definition of wellness. To me, wellness is an active process by which people make choices that lead to a more optimal existence in all aspects of life, be it physical, mental or spiritual.