Total Wellness

There has not been much going on this week in the realm of exercise.
I’ve gone through more cough drops than miles in the last 2 weeks thanks to the Universe telling me to rest.
AKA bring on the cold/allergies whatever the heck this crap is.

I’m a firm believer that powering through illness is just asking for a bigger whack in the arse so I’ve been staying on the DL. I’m going to try to get some miles in tomorrow morning if I get a solid night’s rest tonight.

Even though I haven’t logged the miles I want to mention something really big and important. It was a big eye opener for me this past week.
Total Wellness does not stop at the physical. “Healthy” pertains to so much more than just our weight or cholesterol.

Yes, physical health is important but its only one pillar, one leg on a chair so to speak.
To have total wellness you must have balance, easier said than done.

Balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. All four hold you up to your highest potential.
If more effort is place on one over the others the chair will be unstable and tip.
This is a dance, consistent effort and not an easy feat to undertake, but a necessary one.

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For the physical it’s about our bodies. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and this body is the only one we get to use while on this Earth. We had better learn out it works. What fuel to feed it and how it uses that fuel to undertake amazing feats of strength, stamina, and motion. It’s about allowing for rest and healing when we’ve pushed too far. We can’t experience this life without our physical bodies.

The mental is not about being the smartest in your profession or among your peers. Grades are and will always be irrelevant.  The mental is our thoughts. We are not our thoughts. We are not the Ego’s constant chatter between our ears. Acknowledging that voice that puts us down or raises us up is key to building the lives we dream of. There is a saying, “your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions…and so on.” It begins with managing our thoughts.

Emotional balance stems from the ability to set aside and understand where your emotions are coming from. Realizing you have a choice to respond to a trigger event instead of reacting to it in classic knee jerk fashion. Accepting your emotions as they come up –including the darker ones of rage, despair, and fear. Instead of burying them – and allowing them to fester; you acknowledge them, sit with them and try to understand the why behind them. Hardest of all is letting them go in peace and not allowing them to rule over you.

Spiritual may be the trickiest to discuss. Having a belief in something is the cornerstone (even if that belief is there is nothing to believe in). Spiritual wellness is about nourishing your soul. Stressors in this life will take a toll on every pillar but more so here. Having coping mechanisms whether it be meditation, visualization, prayer, or personal ritual all combine to give a sense of grounding and protection no matter your personal religious viewpoints. Spiritual strength will help you survive when facing unexpected life altering events. And the Universe sure loves those curveballs.

I haven’t posted much on this concept because I haven’t been very consistent on this self improvement area for some time. I put more focus on my physical pillar and…well…time to refocus on more balance.

I discovered Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning and as soon as I started it I could not put it down.  I love the way the he approaches the idea of creating a morning ritual to improve productivity and align your life with your dreams. The downside, he suggests getting up a full hour earlier than you do now. I admit I am considering trying it out but getting up at 4am does not thrill me. I see the merit in the ideal and I understand how it could benefit me in the long run. For now, my body is demanding rest from being sick so I’m going to hold off the drastic change until I am better (and sleep the night through without coughing my lungs into my throat).
Soon there may be some more posts that will not be strictly fitness related but lean more towards this concept of total wellness. Anytime I find great tips and tricks and I’ll be happy to share them. You might find some ideas too “new agey” or “woo-woo spiritual” as many sometimes do; but if it can help you lower your stress and increase your self-worth and happiness is it worth a chance?
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