We celebrate with someone when they lose weight, right? We can all agree that when weight loss is needed to improve health that it is worth celebrating. What about those small changes that are also so important to overall wellness such as drinking more water or pausing to reflect on spiritual beliefs or committing to an exercise routine? Can you see a group of friends clapping for you because you decided to meditate before work or chose to take the stairs instead of the elevator? Those small victories need to be valued and celebrated and encouraged, too.
For Whole Person wellness to improve, attention needs to be given to all areas of life. A person can lose a lot weight, but eat empty foods. A person can still be stressed, aggressive, depressed, volatile, irresponsible, cruel, dismissive, addicted, lonely, unhappy, or inactive even when part of their health improves. When taking steps to improve health, the whole person needs to be examined. What needs to be added to this life? What needs to be removed from this life? For starters, remove sugar and negative people and thoughts. Add intentional living to improve whole health. Ask yourself, “What am I eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner tomorrow?” “What time will I be able to go for a walk?” “When I feel stress, I will ….” and so on. Creating a plan may help you focus on many areas of your life. At best, you will be able to stick to your plan and productively move through your day. Often, things are out of our control like having a flat tire or an unexpected lunch meeting arises or a child becomes sick. When this happens, adjustments are made and the plan is redesigned.
I’ve wondered if some people wake up and go about their day without any thought to their future much less the day itself. To meander through a day without intention seems as if it could eventually lead to hopelessness. To live intentionally, you must consider several things: Why am I living/what is my purpose? How can I be a better person today? How can I help someone else? How can I help myself today? Pondering these questions can help you find meaning and direction in your life. In doing so, you will likely be improving your life satisfaction and level of well-being. As the National Geographic research called Blue Zones discovered, a common characteristic among the longest living individuals on earth are those who feel that they have purpose. They have something that they value to engage their mind and heart. They have a reason and a way to make a difference in this life.
So, to those of you living with purpose, I’m cheering for you! If you are taking the stairs instead the elevator or cutting out sweets, I’m cheering for you too! May we all lift each other up rather than judge and encourage rather than spew hatred. May we simply pause, be mindful and look at the areas in our lives that need attention and live intentionally to improve our life and the lives of others.