What is Wellness?
Wellness is to assume responsibility for the quality of your life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. Wellnessis the complete integration of body, mind and spirit---the realization that everything we do, think, feel and believe has an effect on our state of well-being. Wellnessis an alternative dependency on doctors, drugs, to complacency, to mediocrity and to self-pity, boredom and slothfulness.Wellnessis an Attitude.
To best describe wellness, I will share a traumatic personal experience which occurred more than thirty years ago….
As a young adult, I worked as a shift supervisor for a major manufacturing corporation in Augusta, Georgia. One evening while at work, I entered a storage room, which had a large wooden overhead door, it was 12-14 feet high and weighed 600 pounds. As I came under the door, that evening, the door mechanism broke and it came crashing down, full force on top of my head. You don’t have to be a scientist to calculate that the weight and force was enough to have killed me. It was a miracle that I survived. After a brief stay in the hospital, doctors did not find any broken bones, but I was left with excruciating pain in my head and neck, along with shattered emotions (due to fear of not recovering).
Before the accident I was your typical couch potato. Exercise was the farthest thing from my mind even though I was overweight, I was not motivated to exercise. After the accident, I experienced chronic pain and had difficulty relaxing the muscles in my shoulders and neck. For more than six months, I went from doctor to doctor in search of relief and a strong desire to return to “normal”. I was on my way up the corporate ladder. The fear of not reaching my career goals and being crippled for life intensified the physical and emotional pain.
My friends said that I would never recover and that I should sue the company. There was clear negligence for failure to fix the overhead door. I later learned that key personnel knew the door was faulty prior to my accident. But my desire was not to sue the company, I only wanted be “well” and to get on with my life and career. I was not looking for a “free ride".
To help with the pain and anxiety, doctors prescribed various pain killers and antidepressant drugs. But my emotional state worsens; the root of the depression was fear of not recovering. The company provided the finest medical care, but I did not want to be dependent on prescription drugs for the rest of my life. I was determined to be drug free!
One day I went to visit a psychologist; I will refer to him as an “Angel” sent by God. This “Angel Doctor” told me that he jogged for relaxation. I looked at him in disbelief and asked “you do what to relax?” He described how exercise helps the body and mind relieve stress. Up to this point, I had associated exercise as hard work, certainly not therapeutic or fun. Well I was desperate to try something besides prescription drugs. I went out bought a pair of athletic shoes and began to walk.
As I walked around my neighborhood, I began to not only feel better, I was having fun. A short time later, while walking, I met a friend who motivated me to begin jogging. Within five months I was completely free of prescription drug, started teaching aerobics classes and participating in 10k road races. The rest is history, I became “sold out” on the benefits of exercise as a means to heal, and become well. Other benefits of my new healthy lifestyle included weight loss, improve attitude, and increased energy.
Now that I looked back on this accident, it was indeed my wake-up call to my life mission; which is to educate, and inspire others to improve their health and well-being. Wellness is a focus on the whole person, spirit, mind and body! Stay tune next week for part II.
To Your Health and Happiness,
Dot High-Steed is a Life Coach, who has over 25 years of experience in health/wellness, ministry, business and education.
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