Comprehensive Wellness

Comprehensive Wellness
Posted on 02/07/2022

Comprehensive Wellness–Mind, Body, and Soul
By: Christine Harper

  When we talk about “wellness in health,” I think our minds immediately go to physical fitness.  However, I’ve learned over the years that there is so much more to that.  It is physical/body, but it is also mind and soul, and they all affect each other.  Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental outcomes.  So, instead of just surviving, we move into a place in our lives where we are thriving.  Practicing healthy habits…I’m guessing eating a bag of Cheetos in front of the TV every day is NOT a healthy habit!

We are in a season right now where we have to be diligent about our comprehensive health.  Let’s start with the body and our food intake.  There is quite a bit of research out there that supports the idea that sugar has the same kind of addictive quality as cocaine.  I was shocked when I read that.  And then I wasn’t.  Can we be hooked on sugar?  I know when I “crave” sugar, I usually eat way more than I planned, and then it becomes this vicious cycle of craving, overeating, and so on..  Sugar fuels every cell in the brain.  Your brain also sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more, and it becomes a hard habit to break.  We have to have a healthy balance of protein, vegetables, fruit, and healthy grains and very minimal intake of the unhealthy sugar found in candy, syrups, and sodas.  We have to be careful of our starch intake as well, like white rice and white bread.  I could probably write this entire article on what we should and should not eat!

Exercise is a necessary component of the well-body, too.  Exercise releases those feel-good endorphins, which helps fight the stress we face on a daily basis.  Exercise increases your overall health and sense of well-being and is definitely better for you than the sugar fix.  And here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment.  Twenty-thirty minutes a day is what you need to get those muscles working and the endorphins flowing.  Even in the winter, turn on that upbeat music and dance around your house!

For a very long time, I have been a believer in the idea that “you get what you focus on.”  So, if you are always focused on the negative, then that’s what you will get and what you will see.  If you are always worried about the “what if,” then that is what will consume you.  Every morning before I leave the house, I literally stop and count my blessings.  I stop to make sure I have an “attitude of gratitude” for what I have in my life.  You get what you focus on.

There are a lot of people who think I shouldn’t talk about this next thing.  I take medication for anxiety/depression and have for 8 years.  I wish I would have started taking it a long time ago.  I have always worried about everything.  Whether or not I was doing a good job of raising my son, whether or not I was doing a good job in my job, what people thought about me, what I was going to do when I became an empty-nester.  Everything.  Unfortunately, there were times I allowed myself to think the world was falling.  It finally came down to my best friend telling me, “You aren’t ok.  Talk to your doctor.”  So, I did, and it was the best advice.  My medication has given me some balance and allowed me the opportunity to focus on the good things in my life and not worry about the stuff I can’t control.  I’m not saying medication is the answer, but it was for me, and it is an option.

You get what you focus on, and we are in a time right now where we need to take care of and focus on our mind, body, and soul.  We need to take care of each other.  Find your balance.  Keep your balance.  Feed yourself with healthy food, healthy activity, healthy thoughts, and healthy people.