Many people think wellness means eating right and exercising. But wellness is much more than that. Wellness is an attitude and philosophy that addresses the body, mind and spirit while striving for optimal levels of functioning within all the areas of your life: Emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, financial, environmental and physical.
So how do you know where to start on a quest for total wellness? Think happiness (emotional wellness). According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, lead author, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, University of California, Riverside, found that “Happy people frequently experience positive moods and these moods prompt them to be more likely to work actively toward new goals and build new resources.”
Finding happiness means doing some research into what makes you tick. What are your core values? What will make you happy long term? These are simple, yet tough questions and need to be answered. One resource out there to help you navigate your road to emotional wellness is the Happiness Project www.happiness-project.com. The Happiness Project is an interactive website and blog by New York Times best selling author Gretchen Rubin. She spent a year testing out studies and theories on how to be happy and shares her research in the book, The Happiness Project. Check out Gretchen’s online toolbox, filled with ways to get you started and keep you going on your own personal quest for happiness.
If Rubin’s system doesn’t fit your style, keep searching. There’s lots of resources and websites out there to help you. For example, “change your habits, change your life” at Habitchanger.com, where you’ve got forty-two days to change your ways. Or forge new habits and change your ways at Habitforge.com. Set firm goals and watch your achievements at Stickk.com.
But don’t be fooled. Striving for true happiness doesn’t mean every day is going to be great. In fact, according to Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, “people don’t realize that point of pursuing happiness isn’t eliminating pain. Negative states (of mind) cue us into what we value and what we need to change.”
Whatever route you take towards your emotional wellness goals, and however small your changes may seem, remember achieving wellness is a mindset. Strive to constantly make choices that have a positive impact on your mind, body and spirit.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama.