Foundations in Wellbeing

Foundations in Wellbeing 593 574 The Flyer Magazine

FOUNDATIONS

IN WELLBEING

With Adam Chalmers

At the heart of well-being lies the responsibility for ownership of our behaviour. Choosing as part of our daily routines those activities that uplift our spirits – enriching our physical, mental and emotional quality of life.

Health is more than the absence of disease and well-being is not simply about fitness, nutrition, and looking good. The journey is an intuitive one of personal experimentation and transformation from the inside out. As we grow, learn and adapt to the various stages and challenges of life what was serving our health and development yesterday may not serve us tomorrow. You are the best person to determine what is of greatest benefit to your well-being.

Our bodies communicate subtle messages through feelings, moods, energy levels, appetite, libido, and the skin, hair, and eyes. When these messages are ignored through a lack of awareness, education, or simply being too busy, stronger signals are required to get our attention and disease may manifest. Do you ever find yourself ignoring the feeling of fatigue in order to get an important task done or flicking onto another NetFlix series just when the body is preparing for sleep? Taking ownership of your well-being requires a conscious choice to tune in daily, listening to the innate wisdom within. How do you attune to what your body is saying? Life is distracting, and subtle messages are difficult to hear. For many of us our nervous system is on red alert, overriding any urge to rest and restore, stuck in stress response 24 hours a day. If you are used to the constant stimulation of music, devices, and restless thoughts it will take active responsibility on your behalf to wind everything down.

The journey begins with carving out time for yourself daily to be alone and contemplative, allowing your nervous system to relax, and mind to settle (ten minutes is a great start). Should you feel agitation in your body take extra time to do some deep breathing in and out through the nose, stretch or take a hot bath/shower. Once relaxed and at ease contemplate what uplifts your energy and enthusiasm, including people, activities and places, and write these thoughts down. For example, time in nature, moderate exercise, morning meditation and a stimulating book. Once you have your own list, weave them into your daily routine. Avoid becoming rigid, it’s all about awareness of what you need from moment to moment. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is stop and reflect. With persistence the practice of taking time out – preferably in the morning and evening – will allow you to uncover the unique combination of activities required to thrive.

Taking responsibility for your own well-being is full of ups and downs and takes time to integrate. Trust there is much to be gained from the journey and the rewards are well worth it.