More than just a buzz word that has picked up momentum in recent years, ‘wellness’ is here to stay and for a good reason too. Meaning different things to different people, wellness is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
Wellness is multifaceted and according to The National Wellness Institute, has six dimensions; emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
Emotional and physical health are two of the core pillars of wellness and they are intimately intertwined in what is known as the mind-body connection. The Mind-body connection refers to the link between a person’s thoughts, behaviours and attitudes and their physical health outcomes.
As Lao Tzu aptly put it, ‘A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.’ No matter where you are on your wellness journey, goals serve as an important reminder of how far we have come and where we want to be.
Concerning how we think and feel, emotional health determines your ability to cope with both positive and negative emotions. Some ways to improve your emotional health include practicing mindfulness, managing stress, developing resilience, finding balance and connecting with others.
Mindfulness and Meditation coach and founder of Soul Alive, Luke McLeod is a big advocate of mindfulness meditation attesting, “I began my journey with meditation in 2010 as a way to help me focus more and reduce my stress levels at work. After a series of personal events flipped my life upside-down in 2015, I turned to my practice to help me get through things.”
Meditation helps build resilience and there are many studies backing up the emotional health benefits too.
The Australian department of health recommends 2.5-5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity, 1.25-2.5 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity or an equivalent combination of the two per week.
While moving your body daily has many benefits, hitting the gym, or the pavement or the pool, does not have to be boring and repetitive. Personal Trainer and founder of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas believes fitness is as important as it is highly personal. For Ben, running is one of the best things for his mental health and physical well-being and it is something he does daily to keep both in check.
Science shows that humans thrive off of a routine, so whatever it is that takes your fancy do it often and stay accountable.
The Key: Goal Setting
Set SMART goals which are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound for better goal setting outcomes.
The second letter in the SMART acronym, around making your goals ‘measurable, is the key for many people, but is also one of the trickiest. Measuring how far you have come is as much about proving you’re making progress as it is a source of motivation to continue doing what you are doing (or change if the activity is not working for you).
Whether it be by connecting with an online mindfulness meditation community to stay accountable to working on your mental health or by using a health tracking app to help you stay on top of your fitness progress, measurable goals are essential. mPort is one such app, which that allows you to track your fitness and health beyond just your weight. The app can track up to 20 different metrics such as BMI, body fat %, waist-hip ratio, waist-height ratio, chest, biceps, hip and many more so it is perfect when it comes to measuring progress.
As J Standford once declared, ‘health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being,’ and we couldn’t agree more. Smash your wellness goals in time for summer and make 2023 your best year yet.
Which leaves us with a question. What aspects of wellness can you be more accountable with and what are some SMART goals you can set to contribute to increased emotional and physical health?
About The Author
Luke McLeod is the founder of Soul Alive (a live stream meditation platform that also has an on-demand option for those who miss the class) and Soul Consulting which is a HR+ Culture service that Luke has owned for the last 5-6 years. His clients include the likes of AMEX, lululemon, Laing O’Rourke, IAG and the like on their culture and stress reduction practises. He also originally started meditating to improve his focus and performance at work after discovering that the world’s top performers including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Steve Jobs and Muhammad Ali all meditate.
Luke was also a founding investor in The Entourage where he headed up people and culture which led to them being named as one of the top places to work in Australia. For the past 10 years Luke has immersed himself in the study and practice of meditation and mindfulness, including spending several months in India to study.
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