Excuse my French but I’m suffering from Wellness Anxiety overload!
With all the diets (excuse me “Lifestyles”), workouts, books, blenders, and endlessly tanned, toned and yoga posed “results”, the whole idea of what wellness actually means is getting lost in the process of translating it from the pages of Pinterest to our day to day struggles to be happy and healthy. So WTF IS wellness then?
The answer is actually pretty simple but something that nobody talks about….
That’s mainly because they’re too busy trying to sell us their “Wellness Solution” and we’re too busy beating ourselves up over not being “well” enough. Most of us either don’t know or barely remember what wellness actually feels like. We get wellness flashbacks… glimpses and snippets of a time when things were simpler…. … as a teenager who could eat anything you wanted… or that time in college when you hiked the Grand Canyon… the days BEFORE having kids or how bout way back when your “skinny” jeans were just your jeans. Thanks to the “Wellness Industry” wellness is one of those crazy concepts that’s got a nostalgic yet in your face quality. Your memories of it are just reminders of how far away it is from where you are right now. Which means for most of us wellness actually feels unattainable (I mean who hasn’t been on the road to wellness for like … forever!?) And just like the truth about the magazine-perfect models and the celebrity life-styles, the real truth about wellness is … shall we say not quite as well-lit, gleaming and air brushed as the facade.
The secret is… it’s ridiculously empowering! Let me explain…[themify_quote]“A doctor knows the human body better, but he can never know my body better than me.” – Shubhra Krishnan from “Essential Ayurveda”[/themify_quote]
When most of us think about wellness we rarely think of ourselves…
We think of ourselves compared to our “Wellness Idols” (we all have them), and we inevitably come up short. But that kind of thinking won’t get you very far. Because the truth about wellness can pretty much be summed up as follows…(pay attention!)
- It’s all in your head – According to Ayurveda ( India’s 5000 year old system of health and healing) all dis-ease or illness (lack of wellness) starts in the mind. Simple idea, powerful message. Because what it comes down to is this…How you think about wellness is how you experience wellness. How well do YOU think you are? And more importantly… where do your ideas of what wellness is actually come from? These days even the details about what wellness feels like come from outside of us…media messages, wellness gurus (bless their hearts) depict wellness in ways that are GREAT for them but often unattainable (or not even suitable) for YOU. Old school wisdom says that your ability to achieve wellness starts in your mind way before you ever put on those Nikes or take that first sip of green juice.
- It changes – Seriously… throughout the day, the month, the year and from year to year as you age your state of wellness fluctuates like a roller coaster ride. Get used to it. Accept it. No, even better… embrace it! Because you’re already strapped in to the wellness coaster. And your options for riding it are eyes open, front car (if you’re that way inclined), aware and acknowledging each hill and dip (with a few screams thrown in for good measure) or eyes shut tight freaked out and wondering when the next drop is coming.
- It’s all about you and YOU alone – Okay so no matter what ANYONE tells you, your wellness is YOUR wellness and yours alone. There is no one else out there with the same combination of physical, mental, and emotional awesomeness that you have (but you knew that). You look, walk, talk, think and experience life differently than every one of the other six hundred and whatever billion people on the planet. I get that comparing ourselves to others is what we do, but for the sake of your own health and happiness, just stop it.
- You’ve already achieved it….sorta – The fact that you’ve managed to stay alive this long (and that you’re still reading this) means that you’re basically doing something right! (cue high five). That feeling that you’re just a five-day smoothie detox and a two-hundred squat challenge (or three) away from really experiencing wellness is just the wellness industry talking. The truth to this whole wellness thing is that you can and do experience it every day to some degree.
The key is to pay attention…
to everything (except that voice in your head that calls you thunder thighs and thinks it’s a good idea to have a Krispy Kreme burger). Yogi’s call it being mindful. I like to call it “Shut up and feel”. Because the simple fact is if you don’t pay attention you won’t recognize or really experience wellness.[themify_quote]“Just because it’s not what you were expecting, doesn’t mean it’s not everything you’ve been waiting for… “- Unknown[/themify_quote]
So the dirty little secret about wellness is out….
It’s not as glossy nor elusive as they make it look, nor would we want it to be. It’s yours and it’s something that you’re already doing a little (or a lot of) everyday.
So what now?
Now… you take action. You stop listening and comparing and wishing and giving up, and you own YOUR wellness! Recognize what it looks, feels, smells, sounds and tastes like, for YOU, right now (not ten years ago). Tune in to how it changes throughout the day, month and year and stop freaking out.
Take the time to learn your body’s language and signals, make friends with your mind and feed your soul. Because they will pay you back in bliss.
Stop following and start leading your own wellness revolution and don’t let anyone tell you different….including me!
This article was originally published on Elephant Journal! If you enjoyed it please share it!