If you ask anyone what “wellness means,” you are likely to come across many different responses.
Let’s start with the Webster Dictionary definition of “wellness.”
“The state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.”
But what does that actually mean? “The state of being in good health” with regards to what?
In our society, we have taken this definition of wellness and primarily applied it to our physical health, pertaining solely to the body. But what if we look at wellness from a broader perspective, from a bird’s-eye view?
Wellness is much more than just the physical body, in fact, there are several aspects of the body that refer to wellness. One of those aspects that is gaining more and more attention and focus is the mind.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently determined that depression will be the next epidemic the world will face by 2025, and approximately 9 million people will be suffering from depression.
Imagine being in space looking back at Earth and seeing the size of the United States, breathing in and out depression. This depression comes from the mind, or we might say, the disease of the mind. There is a fundamental disconnection to that which is greater than the mind. That which is always present and when we are living solely from the mind, we live in a limited and narrow view of life, which is causing this depression or suffering. Unless we connect and become aware of this obsessive, self-centric thinking that is happening within the mind, we will not be able to overcome this depression and live a life of freedom and joy—of wellness.
Our society takes great measures in conditioning the body, the lungs, the muscles, the heart, and so on. We spend hours each day cultivating an “image” of wellness. We have become masters at external wellness, but what about inner wellness? What about taking better care of when you find yourself stuck in that incessant, obsessive self-centric thinking? Even our practices of external health, fitness, and wellness have become an obsession for the mind. In this state of obsession, the body and our connection suffer. There is a disconnect. The mind takes over.
In looking at a more holistic view of wellness, one must bring attention to the mind.
In the practice of meditation, we cultivate awareness. Just like we cultivate physical muscles and we begin to see them change, when we cultivate this awareness through meditation, we begin to see the inner workings of the mind. We begin to see the thoughts in the mind. We see how the mind only lives in the past where we experience hurt, disappointment, regret, or projects us into the future causing us fear, anxiety, or worry. This awareness is like a headlamp allowing us to see what is happening inside, what stories are being told about the past or the future, which once again, is taking us out of the present moment, keeping us in a state of disconnection.
The great beauty about awareness is that when we truly begin to see the truth inside, naturally the charge or the suffering thoughts flowing into the mind will lose grip on your experience and like watching a movie, you will watch your own mind without resistance to what the thoughts are. The outcome?
Presence, peace, connection, wellness.
We are living in an age where we constantly distract ourselves from any pain, we constantly are on the lookout for pleasure. And in this continuous push/pull from pain to pleasure, we suffer. It keeps us from truly experiencing the present moment and in this disconnected state, disease sets in. We live in wellness no more.
When we live in a connected state, a state in which we are present, wellness happens automatically. Our body shines radiance, our health is perfect, our minds are calm. There is a higher intelligence that leads our life, that guides us to take what steps are needed for wellness. A natural flow in life begins to happen and wellness is a part of that flow.
We are meant to live happy, healthy lives in body, mind, and spirit. Make a commitment to yourself to cultivate more awareness, to connect, to breathe, to watch the mind and be in the present moment, and then notice the radiance that naturally illuminates from your being!
This is Wellness!
To learn more, feel free to join us for upcoming wellness sessions we will be leading, open to everyone in the Route 91 family. “Are We Related?” on July 29 concerns how relationships with your family extend to your mental wellness, and “Wellness—Inside & Out” on August 26 will cover a kind of intelligence that makes us feel truly well, physically and mentally. We also lead monthly meditation/mindfulness sessions for those approved for integrative services, the next of which are scheduled for August 5 and September 2. Visit the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center’s Calendar page for information about other events that may enrich your sense of wellness.