Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a psychology model from the 1940s. It shows a pyramid separated into levels. The bottom level is a human’s basic needs, and the top-level is what he calls self-actualization, a human’s highest spiritual needs. The idea is that we strive to achieve satisfaction at these different levels as we grow and develop through our lives. This model is closely related to the idea of wellness and what that means at different times in our lives. You can improve your wellness by focusing on some or all of the practices below.
A Complete Guide to a Wellness Lifestyle
Your body is the place where you spend your entire life. How it looks and feels, and its shape can have a significant bearing on your wellness levels. If you have too much weight, for instance, you will start to crave unhealthy foods that can lead to sub-optimal wellness levels. If you want to look and feel your best and enjoy the rewards of a wellness lifestyle, you need to look after your physical body.
Looking after your physical body doesn’t have to mean attending the gym three days a week and eating protein bars. You don’t have to do much to look after your physical body; you just need to be aware of it at important times and make sure you get some exercise each day. You don’t have to run a marathon; try taking the stairs or doing press-ups. Even small amounts of exercise pays off.
It’s commonly believed that more money means more happiness, but this is not true. According to studies, there is a threshold for income, after which it no longer contributes to your happiness or wellness. As it turns out, the old sayings are true; you can’t buy happiness. However, if you don’t have enough financial resources to cover the necessities of life, it can significantly affect your wellness levels.
The trick is to find the balance between what you need and what you want. It’s a good idea to safeguard your lifestyle in some way, either through savings or by earning extra on the side. This is the security you will need to protect and maintain your wellness and your happiness. If, however, you start accumulating money for no particular reason, it could be a form of grasping that doesn’t contribute to wellness.
We’ve all had days when we can’t get out of bed. It might be due to illness, low-mood, or simply tiredness due to overwork. At times like that, you wish you had a compassionate employer or someone who understood your situation better. You might even wish you worked for yourself so you could make decisions based on how you feel. The good news is working life has changed significantly for the better.
Today there are far more compassionate employers willing to take account of the mental and emotional needs of employees. There are also employers recognising the benefits of cultivating a diverse workplace that brings together a range of perspectives and backgrounds; this further contributes to wellness at work. If you really want to make your own decisions regarding wellness work-life, why not start your own business.
Other people can have a significant effect on our wellness one way or the other. If we surround ourselves with positive people, our mental and emotional wellbeing can lift, and we feel a resonance afterwards; conversely, if we mingle with negative people, it can dampen our spirits and make us feel unpleasant and depressed. In most cases, there is a mixture of these traits in the groups we attend.
While it can be difficult sometimes to socialise and interact, especially if you’re an introvert or experience low-moods, the practice of attending a gathering is important, even now and again. People can surprise you, and it’s nice to meet others and learn about their lives. While it can be difficult to socialise these days, communication platforms like zoom allow many groups to take place and give you excellent access.
Once all of our basic needs are taken care of, we have enough food, shelter, and social support, our wellness needs begin to diversify, and we need new things to bring satisfaction and joy to our existence. This could be in the form of an artistic pursuit, a hobby, or a lifelong learning subject. Human beings are creative creatures by their nature, and to be completely healthy, we need to consider our creative wellness.
Creativity is also very important for your mental and emotional health. Since the brain is a creative problem-solving machine, it can sometimes find problems to solve where there are none or become creative in unwanted ways. To counter this, choose an inspiring creative pursuit and commit yourself to improving at it. This will occupy your creative brain in a healthy and productive way.
Wellness with Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an ancient spiritual practice that trains the mind to concentrate on the present moment and bring awareness to it. It is often the starting point for many spiritual seekers before getting into more dedicated meditation practices. The great thing about mindfulness is the ease with which you can practice. You can start right now; simply bring attention to the moment you’re in and the activity you’re working on.
The practice of mindfulness is a practice of attention. You can bring your attention to the breath or to the thoughts in your head. Instead of attaching your awareness to the thoughts, you separate it from them and watch the thoughts without any judgement. Continue breathing slowly and in a measured way. If you are engaged in an activity such as cooking or exercising, bring your awareness to that too, and practice mindfulness.
Wellness with Meditation
If you’ve been practicing your mindfulness for a while and want to take it a step further, it’s time to get into meditation. In the past, meditation had a bit of a stigma. Also, many people interested in trying it found it inaccessible. It was difficult to learn or to find a group that practiced well together. Today, the Internet has opened up new possibilities for meditation practice. Not only are meditations more accessible than ever, but people around the world are also benefiting from this ancient human technology.
There are several types of mediation you can try, all coming from different spiritual traditions and with different intentions. There is guided Vs unguided, calming Vs insight, focused attention, visualisation, loving-kindness, and many more. The type of meditation you pursue will depend on your goals and aspirations; it will also depend on your preferences for one over another. A word of caution, meditation can bring up many uncomfortable issues and emotions that you may surprise, scare, or confuse you. Remember to take it slowly and consult an experienced practitioner if you have issues.
The spaces we live in can also have a huge influence on our overall wellness. If we live in a house that’s always cluttered, for instance, or can affect our mind and emotions. A cluttered space can increase levels of anxiety, stress, and worry. On the other hand, a place that is neat, tidy, and clean can have a calming effect on the mind and help support your general wellness. Also, consider your space and how much room you need.
There is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice called Feng Shui that explores the science of space and how it can influence wellbeing. It uses your living environment to harmonise your energy or contribute to different expressions of energy. For instance, in a small room, you might use mirrors to increase the sense of space, and bright, energetic colors might be used in the office to enliven the mind and encourage productivity. Feng Shut is an environmental art form that you can happily practice.
You are what you eat, as the old saying goes. The more you think about it, the more it starts to make sense, especially if you eat greasy foods a lot and experience conditions like low-mood, stress, and skin issues. Conversely, you can look and feel much better by creating a diet with more fresh fruit, fiber, and nutrients.
The body loves nutritious foods and uses the nutrients for all parts of the brain and body. It’s worth noting that the brain uses 20% of all the nutrients consumed, so make sure that what you eat counts towards a healthy system. What you eat is important, but so is when you eat. If you want to lose weight, try not to eat at night after 7 pm.
A Wellness Lifestyle
A wellness lifestyle puts your wellness at the heart of your life and influences all your choices. If you’re focused on wellness, you will maintain adequate exercise, eat wholesome food, and think about where you live and how you live. You will probably also have a routine of meditation and a creative pursuit. If you’re interested in looking and feeling your best and achieve your full potential, you will need to live a wellness lifestyle.
Although a wellness lifestyle is not always easy to achieve in a busy and stressful life, it is important to try and integrate, even if it’s only one thing or the other. Think about what you need and prioritise your wellness activities to suit your goals and aspirations. In a short time, you will notice a big difference in your health, energy-levels, and outward radiance.