The mind, body, and spirit aspects of health and wellness are three of the major elements of any wellness plan. However, they could have different priorities for each individual. For starters, some individuals may perceive the mind as being the leading player in bringing happiness, whereas others may see the physical aspect as being the path towards optimal health. In addition, the spiritual side is a major element that can help to balance out your wellness plan.
So how do the mind, body, and spirit elements tie into overall wellness? The information below is designed to provide more insights into these particular wellness elements.
Mind and Wellness
Your mind plays a major role in your wellness plan. For starters, your mind—specifically your brain—controls much of what your body does throughout the day. However, your mind also plays a role in your everyday health. It is where you form thoughts, memories, learn new tasks, form new relationships, and develop emotions. These elements all play a role in your overall health and wellness in various ways:
Emotions are a part of everyday life that sometimes can be overlooked as being related to hormones. However, it seems that emotions and the support you get from others can be a player in your health and longevity. Epidemiologic studies have shown that having emotional support may help prevent premature death from all causes, as well as prevent illnesses.1
While emotional support falls into the categories of social and mental wellness, these elements nurture the mental aspect of your overall wellness plan.
Cognition, or the ability to learn new things, is something that many individuals take for granted. However, the ability to learn new tasks, ideas, or facts may be an element that can boost your overall wellness. It seems that when an individual has a high level of wellness in one dimension, cognition may be protected by taking away from another dimension.2
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In other words, if your financial wellness is soaring high, your cognition, or mental wellness, could also be high as a result of taking away from a different element of wellness. While this is not necessarily optimal, having a high level of cognition throughout the aging process could serve some value.
One element of the mind that affects your overall wellness is the social aspect, which can be a combination of social and mental wellness. Studies continue to show the benefits of social relationships when it comes to having optimal health and wellness.
These studies demonstrate that having a sound social support network and optimal relationships can affect mental wellness and physical health.3
Considered to be one of the most notorious elements in wellness, the body, or physical aspect, can be a major player in your life. Let’s consider how the body can be tied into your wellness, along with some of the perks you may experience throughout your wellness journey.
Perhaps one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about the body is your overall health. Health is often a subjective term that is used to describe general well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.”4 With this in mind, your health is a combination of a variety of aspects that help boost how well you live physically.
When it comes to your wellness plan, there may not be anything more important than your physical activity habits. Regardless of whether you perform general activities throughout the day or if you frequent the gym, your activity levels play a major role in your health and wellness.
Studies have shown that ample physical activity can play a major role in your health, with a linear association seen between physical activity and health.5
One often overlooked aspect of a sound wellness plan is sleep. Sleep is the way for the human body to regenerate and to recover from each day. During your sleep cycle, the body secretes hormones that are designed to help your body function better physically.
Studies show that disruption of sleep can lead to increased blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, as well as behavioral problems.6 Getting the right amount of shut-eye each night could be a major benefit to your overall wellness plan and is especially important for your body.
For starters, a healthy diet can serve as a foundation to body weight management for many adults who struggle with obesity and weight gain. In addition, a sound diet may be important for healthy lifestyles, behaviors, as well as for mental wellness.7
Spirit and Wellness
The final major piece to the primary areas of wellness is the spiritual aspect. There may be many differing viewpoints as to what the spirit entails, but in a general sense, it represents “hope” from within. There are a few ways to achieve spiritual wellness, which are described in greater detail below.
One of the most notorious ways to achieve spiritual wellness is to have a religious following. Religion is a practice in which individuals study, read, or listen to a particular word of some God, or creator. This part of spiritual wellness connects you to a greater being and helps shed light on death, life, and purpose.
Meditation is the practice of being present and focusing on breathing. This type of practice is something that certain religious backgrounds may follow, but in a general sense, you do not have to believe in any higher being in order to meditate.
Meditation connects you to your inner peace by focusing on something, which is usually your breathing, as a way to quiet the mind, which could affect your overall health and wellness.
Having a sense of belonging to a group is something that has been important to humans for centuries. Belonging or being actively involved in activities in which you believe can help boost overall spiritual wellness.8 While some people choose to belong to a religious following, it seems that being a part of something that you value and is in line with your personal beliefs is a way to channel your inner spiritual self.
The information above should give you plenty of background on how the mind, body, and spirit play a role in wellness. With that in mind, it is best to strive for optimal wellness through each element.
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