When the new year rolls around, most of us focus our goals in three areas: fitness, career and social life. It’s natural to narrow our sights on these three areas of our life; they’re the most tangible and always at the forefront of our minds. You look down and see a little tummy roll pooching over your pants. You make the same commute every day to the same job. You stress over the social scene and the dynamics of your social group daily. We naturally focus on these three aspects because we address them day to day.
However, if we want to make a lasting change in any of these areas, we must look at all the factors affecting them. Our wellness consists of seven different dimensions: physical, occupational, social, intellectual, environmental, spiritual and emotional. Each component affects the others and when we narrow in on a few and neglect the rest, we will feel that in our health.
Taking a holistic approach to goal setting and incorporating every area of wellness will help you see real results this year. Here are some tips from health and wellness experts on incorporating every area of wellness into your goals.
Our intellectual wellness is what keeps us curious about life and full of wonder. Our intellect is responsible for how we process information, which helps us read and understand our emotions better. Feeding our intellect also boosts our creativity and makes us active learners.
Carol Dweck, the author of “Mindset,” explains there are two mindsets: fixed and growth. A fixed mindset means you believe your skills, intelligence and traits are unchangeable. This mindset tells us we were born a certain way and no matter what we’ll always stay that way. A growth mindset says it is in our power to make changes to our fundamental selves through practice and dedication. We all experience both mindsets.
Moving into 2019, we can expand our intellect and foster a healthy wellness by living with a growth mindset. Dweck says asking the right questions of ourselves will keep us acting with a growth mindset, questions like “How can I do this? Where can I improve? Who can I ask to get help?”
Healthy social wellness comes from making true and deep connections that result in a support system you can rely on. In the longest study on happiness conducted by Dr. Robert Waldinger through the Harvard Study of Adult Development, researchers found that the thing most correlated to happiness in adults was meaningful relationships with friends and family.
In 2019, we should all focus on building healthy and meaningful relationships with people we enjoy and care about. For many of us, that means reducing our social media time and supplementing it with genuine phone, FaceTime, or in-person conversations.
Environmental wellness stems from how your spaces affect you. Your surroundings have an effect on your health. Everything from organization to your carbon footprint to your amount of time spent in nature plays into your environmental wellness. There are things you can do to create healthier spaces that promote a positive environmental awareness.
Organizational expert and keynote speaker Lisa Bodell believes simplifying your surroundings will help “kill [unnecessary] complexity” that bogs you down and creates stress. By organizing your work and home space and adding live plants to your surroundings, you will usher in a more productive and healthy 2019.
Many people conflate spirituality with being religious. While religion is a common expression of spirituality, spiritual wellness is about connecting to something larger than yourself, and there are many ways to achieve this. Many people turn to meditation in order to disengage with life’s trivial problems and connect to the world around them on a deeper level. Meditation also helps regulate your stress levels.
There are many mobile applications that will teach you how to meditate, starting you off for a short amount of time and extending your practice as you grow.
Occupational wellness refers to how your work affects your health. At the most basic level, it refers to whether or not your work serves as a safe and comfortable place for you. On a deeper level, occupational wellness asks whether you feel fulfilled and happy with your work. Are you doing something you’re passionate about?
Stanford Professor and Organizational Change expert Robert Sutton wrote the bestseller “The No Asshole Rule” to help us deal with workplace jerks who threaten our occupational wellness by creating hostile work environments. He stresses the need to practice open and honest communication in order to protect and uphold your feelings and beliefs in the face of a bully.
Physical wellness is what we most associate with health. Most of us already have a good grasp on what constitutes healthy physical wellness. This dimension differs greatly from person to person so it’s hard to prescribe specific tasks on how to improve physical wellness. However, something we can all do to be more mindful in 2019 is to cook healthy meals at home more often, eat more fiber, and try to get 30 minutes of activity daily.
As previously mentioned, each dimension of wellness affects the others, and we tend to notice when there is something off in our emotional response. When we picture someone emotionally healthy, we generally picture someone very even-tempered who is happy and positive. While this can be an emotionally healthy person, there’s a lot more to it than that. Having healthy emotional wellness means feeling, understanding and processing your emotions, whether they’re positive or negative.
A productive first step to being emotionally healthy is to journal daily. This will let you confront your emotions and log how you handle them. It will also show your growth over time.
(Featured image by DepositPhotos)
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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