Wellness is a word that gets tossed around very often these days however do we have a clear idea about what we are talking about when we use that word? I have had a few people say to me, “I can’t hear that word anymore”, “It has lost all its meaning” or “It’s a buzz word that is overused”. Well (no pun intended), I wanted to write out what my definition of “wellness” is and what it means to pursue wellness.
Wellness means much of feeling well, as in goodness, is much good, therefore what does it mean to feel well? It is different for every person as to which avenue brings us to such a feeling but overall to be well is quite unanimous. To be well is to be full of energy, vitality and carry strong life force with us throughout our days. It is to have passion, inspiration and motivation to reach a goal or intended life path. To be well is to open our hearts to feel love and receive love. It is to be in balance, it is to be able to cope with our daily stressors and it is to feel a sense of peace and calm amongst the most difficult situations. To be well is to walk through our days with our head held high and unshakable confidence no matter what our situation is.
This feeling of “wellness” can come to us through use of a crutch, ie. Alcohol, drugs, another person, athletics and our position/power at work or school. The true goal is to feel this sense of purpose, elation and pride without grasping for such things. Those crutches provide only a temporary experience and in consequence need more of it to reach that feeling. I can attest to this as an athlete and very active person. To feel that I had accomplished my days’ worth of activity (activity was what made me feel well) it ended up being that I would wake up early in the morning for a swim, walk to and from work then I would cycle up to a soccer game…hmmm this seems like a recipe for an injury and that it was. The last three years I have been re-learning what it means to feel well without access to my crutch of athletics and physical activity; it has been a tough journey but a necessary one.
Someone could argue that travel could be another crutch to feeling well, perhaps a constant search for freedom or adventure. However freedom is a choice. If you read Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for meaning” he shares that he made the choice to feel free. Once we realize we can feel free and happy anywhere this then allows us to experience wellness travel in its proper form. It allows us to take that sense of calm from laying on a beach in Anguilla, that sense of adventure while exploring Patagonia and that sense of connection when you are swimming with the sea lions into your day to day life once you return home.