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Wellness: Achieving A Healthy Lifestyle

Wellness is a process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy lifestyle. There is no standard or universal model when it comes to wellness. Most wellness models consider physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual as important areas to think about, while others include occupational and financial as part of their wellness model. 

Despite which model you choose to use they all agree each dimension is equally important and interrelated in achieving a healthy lifestyle. 

8 Dimensions of Wellness Graphic with the title in the middle and 8 circles around it with the words: Emotional, Ecological, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social, and Spiritual in them. Here are some helpful first steps you can take toward a healthy lifestyle:

  • Get adequate sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) developed a consensus recommendation for obtaining 7 hours or more hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health among adults aged 18 to 60 years.
  • Exercise and move your body every day. According to researchers, the activities that showed the most substantial benefits include team sports, cycling and aerobic and gym activities. Less rigorous activities are still helpful, such as household chores, gardening, and child care. Mindfulness-based activities with Lower impact like yoga and tai chi delivered more mental health benefits than walking.
  • Eat healthy. It can help you lose weight, have more energy and prevents many diseases.
  • Unplug from devices. Less time on your phones can improve the overall quality of life, help you to recharge (especially from work), sleep better, and improve interpersonal relationships.
  • Learn to spend time alone. The busier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from some solitude. 
  • Do something outside your comfort zone. It helps stave off burnout and is good for your brain. Travel to a new place, try a new activity or meet new people.
Mindfulness:
  • Pay attention to your thoughts. Our thoughts and beliefs affect how we think, what we feel, and what we do.
  • Meditate. Studies have shown mediation can change our brain matter and lowers stress levels, decreases blood pressure, and improves cognitive functioning, creative thinking, and productivity. Top performers like Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, Kobe Bryant, and Oprah have all said meditation was a key element in their success.
  • Practice self-love. Improve your relationship with yourself and you will have more to give to others.
  • Increase your Emotional IQ. Expand your emotional vocabulary and work through difficult emotions to let go of past wounds and trauma through therapy.
  • Increase self-awareness. Being aware of your internal states, preferences, and resources can more effectively help you to understand the emotions of the people around you. 
  • Seek positivity. Listen to positive and inspiring messages through podcasts, YouTube, and Ted Talks, or use affirmations and vision boards.
Connections:
  • Connect with others. Chronic loneliness and social isolation have been linked to higher risks for various physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
  • Choose your spouse wisely. The right partner can determine the quality of a person’s life to a greater extent than deciding on a career path.
  • Have supportive people in your life. Find people you can trust and be vulnerable with. As the saying goes “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.”

If you need help getting started or removing any barriers a therapist can work collaboratively with you to address your unique needs and support you in your journey toward improved well-being. 

Remember wellness is a process of change and as Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step!”

Picture of Dee Gill, Clinical Director
Dee Gill, Clinical Director

With over 35 years experience working in counselling, Dee has stepped into the role of Clinical Director to create a collaborative environment for therapists to work and share in. In her spare time she can be found biking or hiking around Vancouver, planning her next tattoo, or travelling to find unexpected adventures.

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Searchlight Counselling provides in-person and virtual therapy for individuals and couples in Burnaby, Vancouver, and across British Columbia. Specializing in BIPOC & 2SLGBTQIA+.