What Does It Mean, "To Be Well"?


The desire to be well is universal.

“Pathways to Wellness” is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month, May 2013.  In this climate where discussions too often focus on illness, dysfunction, and demonization, the shift to “wellness” is welcomed.  

Wellness is “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards the pursuit of health.”  The World Health Organization asserts that, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Wellness is a process.  My experience is that the process is
1.     Never effortless
2.   Sometimes muddled
3.   Often painful
4.   Usually circuitous
5.   Ever evolving

Wellness is
1.   Multi-dimensional and inter-connected
2.   Intentional and self-directed
3.   Individualized towards one’s full potential
4.   Holistic and
5.   Intrinsically positive and affirming

Mental Health America outlines four steps for achieving and maintaining wellness:
1.   Healthy diet
2.   Regular exercise
3.   Enough sleep
4.   Relaxation

I don't believe anyone would disagree, and yet... These steps require conscious choices supported by decisive actions. Yes, relaxation is an action.  Are we willing?

In my memoir, Power Walking, A Journey to Wholeness, wellness is defined as wholeness of body, mind and spirit.  Using the metaphor of "walking", readers learn how to take steps toward resiliency in mental and emotional wellness. 

In forthcoming posts in this series, we will explore pathways, skills, strategies and more. You may participate in the discussions by sharing your comments and questions.


Be Well.

















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