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Home >> Wellbeing  >> What does it mean to be well?
 

What does it mean to be well?

We’re often asked the question: “How are you doing today?” While we tend to answer in a positive, even cheerful tone most of the times, the truth might be somewhat complicated. Are we truly well? Before we think of an answer to that question, we must first understand what it means to be well.

Those of us who are battling diseases might feel that once they address their issues, they would be well once again. On the other hand, those who are free of ailments might experience a lack of motivation or low energy levels. Even those who are physically well and energetic might be facing psychological problems or crises in life. Indeed, there is no one-stop solution to achieve wellness.

Wellness is a complex concept that encompasses myriad factors pertaining to the human body and psyche. And to be truly well, one needs to pay attention to all these areas. Soulveda delves into what contributes to wellness and how one can achieve it.

To be devoid of illness

Even though it is not the only factor that determines an individual’s state of wellbeing, absence of illness is indeed crucial for us to lead happy, productive lives. A sound body, as they say, has a sound mind. And together, they help us achieve quality life. Unfortunately, many of us tend to fall chronically ill at some point in our lives.

Modern lifestyle makes us prone to illnesses of all kinds. Long hours of sedentary work, stress and unhealthy food habits lead to a gradual deterioration of our health, paving the way for obesity, metabolic and skeletal disorders and hypertension. While many a time, we contract illnesses due to factors out of our control, it is fair to say that our choices do play a big part in leading a healthy life.

According to a study published in the Iranian Journal of Public Health, a balanced diet, exercise, good sleep, recreation and study (which is called ‘exercise for the soul’) are essential for a healthy life.

To have a healthy mind

A mind that is at peace is crucial for overall wellness. However, the fast-paced, competitive lives we live today constantly challenge our mental wellbeing. Chronic stress in personal and professional lives, often combined with traumatic memories, lead to individuals developing mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.

Depression, as research has proven, can happen to anyone. It is a state of mind in which an individual feels utterly hopeless, as if they’re stuck in a painful situation from which there is no release. When combined with anxiety–a state of panic–the condition of the mind is even worse.

Besides anxiety and depression, there are other psychological issues that an individual may face. In most cases, a qualified psychologist can effectively diagnose and get to the root of the problem by talking to the patient over multiple sessions. Sometimes, however, a chemical imbalance in the mind might be to blame. Medication, in such cases, may be the answer. Indeed, this can be supplemented with lifestyle changes discussed earlier, as a healthier body can buoy the individual’s spirits as well. 

Being spiritual does not mean taking an expensive yoga class. To be spiritual is to live in a mindful way that unleashes the boundless potential of human life. 


To be profoundly happy

Hard as it may be to fathom, an absence of physical or mental illnesses alone may not signify wellness. It is important for one to be happy in the truest sense of the word. And as the popular saying goes: “Happiness is contentment.” If you are truly content with where you are in life and grateful for everything you have, happiness will flow through you like a river.

According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, happy people are more capable of handling the ups and downs of life. They can even handle misfortune or a fatal illness better. As happiness makes people resilient, they are more successful too, reveals the study.

But this state of being is also quite elusive. We chase happiness all their lives and fail to achieve it. So how does one become happy? Some research says good relationships are the key. Others say one’s relationship with oneself is what matters. Maybe there is some truth to each of these findings.

High self-esteem, a positive attitude towards life, inspiring yet realistic goals and a healthy social life may all help one get the most out of life. When all these things are in order, every day is full of possibilities. One may spring out of bed without the need for an alarm clock and work towards making the best use of their time and resources to accomplish their goals.

To engage in spirituality

Being spiritual does not mean taking an expensive yoga class. To be spiritual is to live in a mindful way that unleashes the boundless potential of human life. It means looking at the universe sans the divides set by the human race and feeling a sense of oneness with it.

This, of course, requires a certain maturity and equanimity that needs to be developed over time with guidance and practice. In the words of mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev: “If the soil, sunlight or stem of a plant is in a certain way, it won’t yield flowers, you have to do something. You have to take care of those things. So if you cultivate your body, mind, emotions and energies to a certain level of maturity, something else blossoms within you–that is what is spirituality.”

Upon pursuing the spiritual path, an individual is likely to build a greater sense of awareness. They learn the ability to respond and not react to the curveballs that life may throw at them. They have more energy to tackle life’s challenges and appreciate the myriad possibilities it brings along. They are closer to discovering the meaning and purpose of their life. 

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