Back in the early 90’s, when I was a partner in a “Wellness” Center, people weren’t too sure what we were. It seemed like only those who were suffering a terrible affliction, disease or had recently experienced a “slam on the breaks” life incident came to see us for help. We had no clients that just wanted to live life to the fullest or improve their good health. Wellness, however is much more than simply achieving the absence of disease.
My definition of wellness is “achieving optimal health and well-being and achieving the highest state of “being one’s best self” by integrating each component of lifestyle medicine and of mastering the balance of mind, body and spirit.
According to quantitative statistics, we see that today, many are living much longer than their grandparents. In fact the CDC reports that the overall risk of mortality has decreased 60% over the last 75 years period. However, the incidence of chronic disease (The Top three of which are cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke) is increasing further than expected. Simply put, people are living longer than their grandparents but they aren’t as healthy as they were nor are they experiencing “quality of life.”
You may agree, if you are going to live longer you want to spend every minute at your best…..Optimal physical, spiritual and mental health. You may eat right, exercise regularly, but perhaps you are overwhelmed by stress and the demands of your every day routine that you run out of energy. Perhaps you only experience a few moments of happiness here and there. If this is the case, then you are not fully living. You are merely just existing.
We know now that one’s level of “happiness” may be the missing link to living a full life and being one’s best self. A relatively new area called the “Science of Happiness” has emerged with ground-breaking work of Positive Psychologists such as Martin Seligman, who study, identify and enhance the human strengths and virtues that make life worth living, and allow individuals and communities to thrive.
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