Well-being or wellness is a term for the condition that many may have heard but the implications of having psychological, spiritual, or medical stress can put a strain on the approach one is able to have to live. The triad of body, mind, and spirit is exceptionally important and can be integrated as to how one can function at any age. If the triangle is in balance then one can be at their optimum in what they do but if one of the points is out of alignment then other aspects of well-being can suffer.
The importance of mental well-being was reinforced by a radio programme several years ago. A group of elderly people took part in a study in which formally they had been interviewed about their outlook on life. The majority of them were depressed, even suicidal, and fatalistic about the future. Intriguingly, they shared one thing in common and that was they had treatable, physical ailments but had not received treatment based on their age.
A programme of treatment for the collective, socially classed as elderly people took place and at the same time, they were encouraged to take up active pastimes. The same suicidal people, six months later, were interviewed and all of them had a zest for life that had not been seen before. There was a vast improvement in their well-being and this they all put down to a combination of motivational stimulation which had altered their outlook on the future and to activities that reduced the decline in their mental health.
The participants in the study all felt that physically what had been achieved was because it was combined with their renewed mental capability and about this they were all incredibly happy. Speed of recovery from different medical procedures can be greatly impacted by mental wellness and belief. Participants in the study felt that physical treatment had been vastly influenced by the stimulation of their feelings towards life.
When I use the phrase ‘you are what you eat, I simply mean the type and size of what is eaten can make a vast difference to health and psychology. Sometimes people may be eating food that can make them fluctuate in feelings of exhilaration and depression but because of the dependency that it causes, they cannot easily alter their diet. At any age, one can become dependent on foods that may have an influence on image, health and extreme self-consciousness.
There was an interesting demonstration of a person so dependent on a pain relief medication, that was no longer necessary, but the belief in them was so strong that it had become a necessary crutch. Over a period of time, the medication was switched to placebo to prove there was no need to keep on taking it and the person reported an improvement in their health and happiness.
In one example of nutritional influence over health and wellness, an individual went along to a seminar for a part-time occupation in the dietary domain and could not believe what was being introduced. The product that was to be sold contained an addictive ingredient and the demonstrator boasted about once a customer had started to take it they would be hooked for the rest of their life. The obvious health negatives in this instance are clear but perhaps more significant is the question of what the implications of addictive but believed to be proactive enhancements to a diet can be?
An interesting idea that can be beneficial and influence areas of mind, body and spirit is an active exercise. This does not have to be extreme or excessive, activities such as swimming and walking can have a positive benefit on how one feels, looks and performs in life. If exercise is combined with mindful, relaxation techniques then the improvement can be shown across multiple areas. I used to daydream a lot as a child and really loved that activity.
In later life, I thought why not create a really mentally enhancing scenario where you can close your eyes and use the experience to relieve day-to-day stress. I have several special places that give me endless pleasure such as being on the beach with the warmth of sunshine, the feel of sand between my toes, the smell and sound of the sea. If I visualise being in the woods after a shower of rain then I see beauty, the birds are singing and the sunlight brings to light the intricacy of a cobweb with coloured drops of rain, I see that overhead is a rainbow and on the branch of a tree, a red squirrel scurries clutching a nut. Positive visualisation can be a technique that can reinforce positive thoughts and the notion that it is so good to be alive.
What limits my creativity is my self-belief. An example of this is when I see my self succeeding at a task, it is very useful to go through the action necessary and feel the satisfaction of success. If I do not believe, I will not succeed.
I think a lot of what I do and feel is down to my psychology and perception of me. How I approach each day will lay the foundation of fulfilment and happiness.
Terry Lloyd is the author of Archaeopteryx. Terry was born in London just after the end of the Second World War.