The Traits of Well-Being
Years ago physicians and health authorities focused on being “healthy.” We were encouraged to eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away, get a good night’s sleep and drink lots of water. The focus was on physical well-being.
These days the buzzword is “wellness” or well being. But what does wellness really mean? In my work over the past 20
years I have focused on wellness, which encompasses body, mind and spirit. It’s more of a holistic approach that encompasses all three.
Highly respected publication Scientific American published an interesting article recently listing 11 traits that define well-being based on a number of studies and models.
- High positive emotions
- Low negative emotions
- Life satisfaction
- Environmental mastery
- Personal growth
- Positive relations
- Purpose and meaning in life
- Engagement in life
Today I want to share my thoughts on the article. When I look at all these wonderful “traits” of well-being I really see them as positive symptoms.
One trait, in particular, really stands out. Number 8, self-acceptance, should really be the number 1 trait in my opinion. And number 9, “purpose and meaning in life,” should be the next priority. These are the two biggest issues for everyone.
Knowing that you are a person of value is so important. In other words, not living your life to be “safe,” but to make a difference and live what you think. That’s where you will find meaning and purpose. I’m not talking about money, but fulfillment! I’ve known people who were janitors who had roaring success.
If you can achieve internal calm and peace and wellness and meaning of life and
self acceptance and all of these positive traits listed above then you will be at peace no matter what your externals are, and secondly you’ll be much better equipped to be happy.
A good exercise is to go through each one of these traits and rank them on a scale from 1 to 10. And ask yourself, are they permanent or temporary?
I’ll give you an analogy to consider -- take introverts versus extroverts. It’s interesting to me that yes it is absolutely true that you tend to be one or the other, but is it permanent or temporary? I’ve worked with hundreds of people who when I started working with them could confidently state, “I’m an introvert” or “I’m an extrovert.” After working with them, however, they would often come to the realization that they weren’t!
It’s pretty common knowledge that people who are extroverts to the point of being the class clown, the life of the party, etc. sometimes have the worse identity and
self worth of anyone. All the external confidence is just a mask hiding their insecurities. They are ignoring their inner self by “showing out” so they don’t have to listen to their internal voices. They may be the life of the party, but they go home and behind closed doors they are miserable.
There was a teaching I used to use quite often: the what, the why and the who. These are three simple things to take into consideration when you think about who you truly are behind closed doors.
The what is your actions and what you do and that is what most people focus on most of the time, even the experts. Why is why you do it. Who is why you really do it. And most people never get to the who, even the experts. At most they get to the why. In order to change everything about ourselves, we tend to change the why, but if you don’t address the who you will relapse.
A great way to really take a deep dive into the who is to take some tools that are highly effective, such as my Trilogy or Memory Engineering tools and my new Rapid Eye Stress Release, and do a little bit of spring cleaning of all the junk cluttering your mind. These tools will help you greatly reduce the negative emotions in your life. Then you can begin to see who you really are. But until you do that, you will have trouble knowing if that’s the way you are wired or a symptom of a problem.
Most of the experts, again, put the cart before the horse. They want to explore the external well being before the internal well being and that will never work. And when I say internal I don’t mean your emotions and negative thoughts because those are symptoms, too. I mean your core, your essence, your spirit, who you are at the core of your being. That’s where the emotions and thoughts come from, but until you are peace with the who you are, you’ll be putting out emotional fires the rest of your life.
Here’s to achieving wellness. Have a blessed, wonderful day!