Posts for: July, 2018
When most of us think about our individual wellness the first thing that often comes to mind is our physical wellness. Am I sick? Am I overweight? Am I in shape? Am I eating enough fruits and vegetables? Am I drinking enough water? Do I have energy and strength to do the things I need and want to do?
Our physical health and wellness is something that we have an amazing amount of control over. This component of our individual wellness is not only very strongly connected to all of the other dimensions of our individual wellness (take a look back over previous posts on dimensions of wellness), but it is one that is heavily determined by the choices that we make on a daily basis. Our physical wellness is dependent on our lifestyle choices and the habits and routines that we develop.
Physical wellness is contingent on our diet, sleep quality and amount, water intake, and physical activity level, among other things. In order for our body to perform in the ways that we need and ask it to, we must properly fuel it, hydrate it, exercise it, and rest it. We are each given one body and we must treat our bodies like a temple, not a tent.
Tips for physical wellness:
- Eat a more plant-based diet. Reduce or eliminate animal protein.
- If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or don’t know what an ingredient is on the label, don’t eat it. Eat real food.
- Try and eat meals that resemble a rainbow. (Your plate should be complete with a variety of colors). For example- a salad with tomato, carrot, yellow bell pepper, avocado, cucumber, kale, purple cabbage, chia seeds, olive oil, black pepper, and grated turmeric.
- Drink at least two liters of water a day. Give up soda and other sugary drinks.
- Take Juice Plus+.
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours every single night.
- Exercise regularly.
- Opt to walk or bike instead of drive.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Take your dog and or your kids outside to play more.
- Move MORE.
- Get rid of excess weight, especially excess belly fat.
- Consult a naturopathic doctor to identify food sensitivities that can lead to inflammation, digestive problems, headaches, and other ailments.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
A beautiful and life-changing chain reaction will occur when you start taking care of your physical wellness. When you are physically in shape and well, you will feel more confident, healthier, stronger, more energetic, happier, and more capable of self-love and acceptance. Your physical wellness can greatly affect your emotional wellness, as well as all of the other dimensions of wellness. It is far easier to maintain physical wellness than it is to regain it once it’s long gone. Everyone has to start somewhere though and there is no day like today to start taking charge of your physical health and wellness.
Small changes in our everyday choices, habits, and routines can make huge differences in our physical and overall wellness. The choice is always yours.
Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” There is a significant amount of truth behind this quote, especially on an intellectual wellness level, which we all know by now (take a look at the last two blog posts if you need a refresher) connects to all of the other six dimensions of wellness.
Our intellectual wellness is dependent on our commitment to lifelong learning. It is dependent on our ability to stay curious and engaged in learning new things. This dimension of our wellness includes exploring creative activities, reading for pleasure, taking a class or course, participating in cultural or community events or clubs, and seeking answers and solutions to questions and problems that cross our minds.
While the brain isn’t a muscle, we should treat it as if it is one. Muscles need exercise, proper nutrients, and sufficient rest in order to grow stronger and perform in the ways that we want them to perform. If you want to be able to run a marathon, you must train your body to carry you that distance. You must build your muscles and your endurance through continuous training that is backed by the right type of diet and enough recovery and rest time. Our intellectual wellness is built and maintained in a similar fashion.
We must stimulate (exercise) our minds in order to keep them sharp and strong, especially as we get older. Intellectual stimulation is key to intellectual wellness. The way in which you decide to stimulate your mind is entirely up to you and what you are interested in or drawn to. It can be as simple as:
- doing a crossword puzzle
- reading the latest edition of National Geographic
- preparing a meal following a new recipe that peaked your interest on Pinterest
- watching and playing Jeopardy
- taking an online course to learn how to take better photographs
- listening to a podcast about living mindfully
- visiting a museum
The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless.
We also must feed our brains with “brain food,” such as:
- dark leafy greens
- dark chocolate
- sunflower seeds
- olive oil
- green tea
Ample water (at least two liters a day) and sleep (7-8 hours a night) are critical to brain and whole-body health and wellness too.
It is never too late to learn something new, and it is never too late to start taking care of your individual wellness, even if you start by just focusing on one dimension at a time.
A major component of your individual wellness includes your emotional wellness. We’ve all heard the phrase, “stress kills,” and there is actually a great truth behind this statement. Our mental and emotional state can directly affect our physical state.
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we know that the best approach to health is a holistic and preventative approach. Taking care of your emotional wellbeing will benefit more than just your mind, mood, and mental state.
Your emotional wellbeing is dependent on how you manage your stress levels, how much sleep you regularly get, how organized and productive you are with your professional or school work, the support you receive from your friends, family, and or a therapist, your activity level, and your spiritual wellbeing (check out last week’s blog post), among so many other essential elements.
According to the American Psychological Association, mismanaged stress keeps roughly 40% of adults up at night. Insufficient and restless sleep only further perpetuates stress levels, so this cycle is quite detrimental. Stress has been linked to heart disease, insomnia, depression, anxiety, obesity, headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, the common cold, and even certain types of cancer.
Most of our everyday lives contain multiple potential stress-causers: work deadlines, pressure from our bosses, family responsibilities, financial obligations, social commitments, unforeseen expenses and events, health issues, and just everyday life tasks. It is a common feeling to feel like there is never enough time in a day. While we are trying to accomplish everything that we feel is important, we often overlook or push to the backburner aspects of our own wellbeing, including our emotional wellbeing.
While no one’s life is completely void of stress-causing events and situations, those who learn how to manage their stress, prioritize their to-do lists, seek support, and make their emotional wellbeing an important dimension of their overall health and wellness, will be far healthier, happier, and all and all better off.
Tips for emotional wellbeing
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Seeking therapy doesn’t mean you have failed or are incapable.
- Make sleep, a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine, and a little “me-time” a top priority.
- Create an obtainable routine.
- Pick your battles.
- Learn to breathe and mediate.
- Journal or make lists before you go to sleep and or in the morning.
- Spend more time with the people who bring you the most joy and peace.
- Spend more time outdoors and in nature.
- Accept that no one is perfect, no one can do it all all the time, and that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.
Last week, we introduced the seven dimensions of wellness from a holistic approach to health and wellness. The seven dimensions are spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, and occupational. At Parker Dentistry, aside from being an advocate for preventative healthcare, we are also a strong believer in holistic health, meaning that we believe all parts of our physical and emotional being are connected and shouldn’t be viewed or treated as mere parts.
For example, periodontal disease is detrimental to more than just our gums and teeth; it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In this example, our oral health is connected to our cardiovascular health. The seven dimensions of wellness are all interconnected and in order to obtain optimal wellness, we must take care of all seven dimensions.
The first dimension of wellness that we will take a closer look at is our spiritual wellness.
“Spiritual wellness is a process of understanding beliefs, values, and ethics that help guide your life. Whatever your preferred approach, spending time asking and exploring your spiritual life can be an important part of your overall wellbeing.”
While spirituality can be obtained through religion, it isn’t necessarily dependent on a religious belief or practice. Our spiritual life is the life that we live internally. Research has shown that when we learn to and practice introspection, mindfulness, forgiveness, compassion, and gratitude, we are more likely to be able to achieve sustained feelings of peace, calmness, and joy, as well as a decrease in our stress, anxiety, and depression levels.
One of the most important relationships of our entire lives is the relationship that we build and nurture with ourselves. Practices like yoga, meditation, journaling, arts and crafts, walking, gardening, or any other creative, physical, or nature-involved activity helps us to connect with our inner selves. Finding something that you love to do that is just for you is truly invaluable.
Our spirituality can be whatever we want it to be. For some, spending time in the ocean is spiritual, while for others sitting on the patio and watching a storm offers a similar reflective experience. The idea is to disconnect from the distractions of your everyday life and outside influences so that you can connect with your inside world.
The more in touch we are with our feelings, our desires and dreams, our areas that need improvement, our creative side, our inner voice, and how we connect with the world from within, the better off we will be on all levels. Our spiritual wellness is linked to all other dimensions of our wellness.
Tips for spiritual wellness
- Take a yoga class
- Learn how to meditate
- Spend more time in nature and outdoors
- Pursue a hobby that you have always been interested in
- Regularly set aside time for solely you
- Attend an inspiring seminar, class, or workshop
- Detox daily from electronics, even if just for an hour
The Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness blog focuses a lot of wellness. We talk about wellness as a whole state of being and that through certain choices and habits, we can achieve optimal wellness. We’ve shared with you in the past some different ways to improve your health and wellness through preventative practices, diet and Juice Plus+, sleep, exercise, and yoga and meditation, among other beneficial habits. We truly believe that the more you know, the more capable you are of making the right decisions for you and your family.
Wellness includes far more than just our physical wellbeing and state of health though. The holistic approach to health and wellness is actually made up of seven main dimensions that are all interconnected. It is important to understand what each dimension includes and the ways in which you can promote wellness in each particular dimension in order to promote wellness as a whole. Holistic health involves looking at ourselves and our health as a whole and not in parts. What is happening in one part of our bodies or our lives affects every other part. Our existence is cyclical.
Our wellness is in our hands, and it is definitely helpful to be given valuable tools, resources, information, and tips to help inspire and teach us how to live out our healthiest and happiest lives. That is what the Parker Dentistry blog really aims to do. Over the next seven weeks, we will break down each of the seven dimensions of wellness, offer tips on how to improve each particular dimension in your life, and illustrate how each dimension is connected to all of the rest.
The first question we will answer in this informative, inspiring, and wellness-promoting mini-series is what the seven dimensions of wellness are.
The seven dimensions of wellness are: