Nutrition Tidbits by Lisa Metzgar, PhD – The Definition of Wellness.
What does wellness mean? Wellness is an individual term that can only be defined by you. Living in the real world we all encounter stress in one form or another. It is how we respond to that stress that defines our wellness. Some people overeat, some people become couch potatoes, and others exercise to extreme. Lifestyle choices are key to being able to deal with the stress that comes along in everyone’s life. If you make healthy choices your body and mind has an easier time dealing with the effects that stress has. Finding a balance and knowing how to counteract the stressors that come along will lead you to health and wellness.
The first thing you need to define what wellness means to you is to take inventory. There are many areas of wellness you can evaluate. Start with just 3 areas of health. For example…Do you drink enough water? Are you satisfied with your weight? Do you exercise enough? Do you eat a balanced diet? Are you satisfied with your relationships in your life? Do you get enough rest?
Once you have defined 3 areas of your health that you would like to work on, the next step is to make goals for these areas. The goals must be SMART…Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timeline. For example…I will lose 20 lbs in 6 months so I will look good at my sister’s wedding. This is specific, I can measure the progress, it is attainable in this time frame (assuming you are realistic…if you are 5’7″ and weigh 120lbs. you probably will not lose 20lbs), it has to mean something (I really want to look good at the wedding), and it has a timeline. The stronger your “why” the better chances you have of attaining your goal. For example…if I don’t lose weight my blood pressure puts my health in jeopardy, I really want to be able to play with my children without getting out of breath, and my favorite…I want to be a positive healthy example to my children so they learn to make healthy choices for themselves.
The next step is to take each goal and define an action step. These action steps need to be baby steps, something that you can start today. Small steps make a huge difference in very little time. If you make the goals or action steps too big, then you probably won’t attain them. For example, try adding one new healthy food to your diet today. Drink more water, take a walk around the block or take the stairs instead of the elevator, go to bed half an hour earlier than you normally do. Every small change leads to big changes if you keep doing them. How will you stay accountable to your goals? Find an accountability partner that you check in with on your progress. Make sure you check in on a regular basis.
Next, make a list of your biggest stressors and your reactions to them. Define how you will counteract that stress when it comes up. A few examples of diffusing stress are deep breathing, take a short walk, go to the gym, tai chi, yoga. Instead of your normal reaction, try using one of these techniques. Again, it helps to have an accountability partner who you can talk to if you feel like going back to your old patterns of coping. They will be able to encourage you to stay on track.
The final step is to write a detailed description of what your life would be like if you attain your goals. Be as descriptive as you can. Your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is imagined and what is real so the more details you have, the more real it will be in your subconscious.
Start today! You only have your wellness to gain.
If you would like more information about wellness programs you can go to my website at www.lisametzgar.com
LisaMetzgar, PhD, has been in the alternative health field since 1996.Shereceived her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic HealthPractitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutritional counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families in a healthy lifestyle. Follow Lisa on Twitter at LisamWellness4u and her Facebook page ConceptsIn Wellness or e-mail her at conceptsinwellness (at) sbcglobal.net