Achieve complete wellness in 14 steps

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, January 01, 2018

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WE all know how it goes with New Year's resolutions — at the end of the year we are excited about them, but by the second month of the new year they are distant memories. And while you may have grown tired of generating a list of goals that you never actually follow through with, clinical psychologist Dr Pearnel Bell says that this year you should make time for activities that will improve your physical, emotional and mental health.

“It is important that we become pragmatic and recognise that the time to live our best life is now. We should start the new year by committing to live our best life. This could mean that we commit to taking care of our spiritual, physical, emotional, financial wellness. In doing so we could commit to some simple things that could help in attaining all-round wellness,” Dr Bell said.

She explained that this year, complete wellness can be achieved in a few simple steps.

1. Keep busy/more active

Whether you will volunteer more or get more exercise as often as you can, being busy and more active will actually help you to feel more fulfilled.

2. Do more socialising

Sure, this doesn't sound like much, but it is. And this does not include spending hours on social media “socialising”, but rather having face-to-face interactions with family and friends who impact you positively.

3. Get better organised

Getting organised not only reduces the possibility of pressure and stress, but you will also be able to better manage your personal and professional life.

4. Always treat yourself

Whether it's shopping, a spa day, the movies, or something else that you like, always make time for this, no matter how tight your schedule is. Caring for yourself also means that you will be able to give of your best self to all the other important tasks that you so often sacrifice time with self to engage in.

5. Stop lowering expectations and aspirations

It may seem that it couldn't cause much harm — settling for something less than we had dreamed of. But Dr Bell says this can have quite the opposite impact: Lowering expectations and aspirations may lead to stress and contribute to feelings of sadness and gloom.

8. Develop positive thinking

You might have heard it before: If you want something badly enough, then tell it to the universe. So whether you are very religious or not, it is important to meditate and try to always think positively. This approach, Dr Bell says, can significantly improve your outlook on life.

9. Become mindful

Staying in the present and living moment by moment is very important. Stop being a hostage to your past and learn to leave behind all the things that have crippled you. This is the first step to actually enjoying life.

10. Work on a healthy personality

As humans, we all possess characteristics that are desirable and undesirable. Do we allow the less desirable traits to take control, or do we curb them so they serve merely as a backdrop to our positive self? Go for the latter!

11. Develop a social personality

Developing a social personality is as much about you as it is about helping others. In embracing a social personality, you will focus on activities such as imparting knowledge, training, developing, helping people to heal, and solving problems. You will also be able to pull people together and generate positive energy for a good cause.

12. Be yourself

Work on being the best version of yourself that you can be. It is easy to yearn for the life of someone else who attracts everyone's attention, but remember that you are unique. Develop your best traits, be positive, and you will capitalise on being the best you can be.

13. Develop close relationships

Close relationships are positive for your health. They also help with establishing important support systems that you will need in different stages of your life.

14. Make happiness your most important priority

Its placement on this list by no means suggests the place it should take in your life. Your happiness should always come first, even if it means severing ties with people and things that you love. If they hurt you continuously, then they are toxic and you will serve yourself better without them.

In addition, Dr Bell said you should work on being more grateful, perform acts of kindness, and ensure that you manage stress in order to live your best life.

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