“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Teilhard de Chardin
In Western culture, we are now beginning to understand the importance of the physical, emotional and spiritual connectedness of overall personal wellness. I believe that in order to be well in one area - for example, physically - all other areas must also be well. How does one achieve this overall wellness?
Let’s break it down by category to give a brief overview of each, and then tie the three parts together to complete the picture.
Physical Wellness - Physical body, appearance, health, mental state: Food, quantity and quality of sleep, exercise, hydration, physical health, stress management, dis-ease prevention and management.
Emotional Wellness - Thoughts, self-love and appreciation, emotional intelligence: Self-reflection, self-perception, perception of others, communication, managing expectations and capacity to love unconditionally, forgive and experience gratitude.
Spiritual Wellness - Religion, faith, belief system: Meditation, prayer, journal writing, positive affirmations, positive thoughts, slowing down, deep breathing and time to oneself.
There are many schools of thought on the origins of dis-ease, but most can be traced to some form of physical tension or stress in the body, which is often caused or exacerbated by emotional distress or discomfort. Whether one believes that specific emotional distress causes specific physical ailments, we all understand that the effects of prolonged stress on the physical body and emotional state can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can significantly affect your body, mood and behavior. Stress can also contribute to headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, decreased libido, stomach upset, sleep disruptions, irritability, lack of motivation and focus, over- or under-eating, drug or alcohol abuse and anxiety.
Ensuring adequate nutrition, hydration, exercise and sleep is one way to relieve the stress of daily life. While tending to our physical needs, it is also very important to build our tribe of support around us to help us with our emotional needs. Developing a spiritual practice of regular prayer or meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga or gentle stretching and energy work such as Reike, build the foundation for healing, restoration, and nourishing the body, mind and spirit.**
**As a coach and as a living human being, my approach to all areas of life is holistic in nature. I will only share insights that I believe to be helpful, reminding you to check-in with yourself, your physician or mental health care provider. Sometimes it takes a team of experts to bring us back into balance physically, emotionally and spiritually. When you have the right team in place, you are more likely to reach the level of success you desire. If you have not found answers to your questions, I highly encourage you to keep asking until you find an answer that provides a viable solution that not only meets you where you are, but takes you where you want to be in terms of your physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.