There are many schools of thought on what wellness is, how it’s defined and what comprises it. One definition is “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.” The key word is “active.” Being healthy and well does not simply mean being free of illness and disease, it means working toward being the best person you can be, physically and mentally.
There are five key components to health and wellness:
- Clean nutrition
- Minimized toxins
- A body free of imbalances (biomechanically and hormonally)
- Positive mindset
Exercise and nutrition are perhaps the most obvious and the most frequently addressed components of health. Most people recognize the importance of eating healthy and living an active lifestyle. Minimizing toxins in our air, food, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, etc., helps keep us free from sickness and disease, as well as helps keep our body free of imbalances. The body can become imbalanced hormonally as well as biomechanically. Common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include fatigue, change in appetite, depression, unexplained muscle weakness or soreness or unexplained change in weight. Symptoms of a biomechanical imbalance include joint pain, numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet, headaches or back pain. Mindset is the final component to health, and while often overlooked as a pillar of health and wellness, many experts say that it is the most important. Mindset encompasses feelings of well-being, happiness, feelings of optimism, hope and positivity. On the other end, it includes depression, hopelessness, high stress levels and pessimism.
Having a positive mindset does not simply mean being happy all the time. That is an unrealistic, if not impossible, goal. Committing to having a positive mindset means actively focusing on the good things in life and expecting positive results. It also does not mean ignoring the bad things or negative emotions, but focusing on the silver lining or the lessons that may come from them.
There are many ways to improve mindset and different things work for different people. One simple way to start your day off on a positive note is to start the day with a positive affirmation, which is a positive statement that can help you stop negative thoughts or limiting beliefs. Write it down, say it out loud or think it to yourself first thing in the morning. It can be as simple as “I am confident in myself,” “I believe today is going to be a great day” or “I am worthy of success.” These simple statements can help reprogram your subconscious mind. Try it for seven mornings in a row, and see what differences you notice throughout the week.
Mindset can also be impacted by the people around you. It’s been said that you are an average of the five people you spend the most time with. Do you spend most of your time around others who focus on the positive and are committed to growth, or people who like to gossip and complain? Seek out positive friends, co-workers and mentors and practice steering the conversation in a positive direction if you notice yourself or others gossiping or complaining.
Journaling is also a great way to increase feelings of positivity. Studies have shown that writing down five things you are grateful for at the end of every day has the potential to increase happiness levels by twenty percent. Other simple things to try that have been shown to boost mood and contribute to a positive attitude are having house plants, taking deep breaths when you start to feel stressed or anxious, forcing yourself to smile (this really works!), eliminating music with negative or demeaning lyrics and choosing movies and TV shows that don’t include violence.
One last thing that can greatly contribute to improving mindset and contributing to a positive mental attitude is maintaining hope. Hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today, and you have the power to make it so. People who have hope have been proven to have less stress, adapt better to stressful situations and have greater feelings of well-being.
Creating a positive mindset doesn’t have to be complicated - think a positive thought, put on a smile, and see what difference in overall health and wellness it can make for you!
Dr. Shannon Maser is a chiropractor at Alternative Chiropractic Center Frisco. She specializes in pregnancy and pediatric care, sports injuries, and nutrition. “My purpose is to inspire others to create new possibilities for their health, mindset, and quality of life, in a way that leaves them feeling loved, connected, and powerful.”
Contact Dr. Maser at Alternative Chiropractic (970) 368-6173 or visit accfrisco.com