The following Six Key Principles provide a roadmap for building and maintaining a wellness manifesto for life. These principles form the roots from which your personal wellness grows.
Principle #1: Self-Awareness
True strength lies in knowing who you are.
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of your thoughts, feelings, motives and desires. It includes your capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize yourself and your behaviors. Self-awareness, coupled with focused energy creates an attentive mind. And when you have an attentive mind you can change how you think, feel, move, speak and behave. This is the power of self-healing.
When you are self-aware, you know when you are in balance — or out of balance — and how to recognize what you’re experiencing. By learning how to access self-awareness, you can activate the healing system that is already within you.
Principle #2: The Mind-Body Connection
Mind doesn’t dominate the body, it “becomes” the body — body and mind are one.
Why is a holistic approach so important for your health? And what does it mean for self-healing?
Ancient teachings and modern science concur: your body, mind and emotions are part of one integrated system, and when you influence one aspect of your system, you affect all of it. Whatever point you begin from — whether it’s your body, your thoughts or your emotions — you can change the totality of your system.
This means that when you activate your body in a positive or negative way, it will have the same impact on your mind. And whatever emotional responses you have, affect what you do, say and how you behave. When you’re physically tired or ill, you’re less likely to be creative, upbeat or calm. Or, when you’re emotionally depressed or down, your posture may reflect how you feel. Everything that is “you” is connected.
Recognizing that you as a human being operate as a whole system helps you find better ways to achieve and maintain your health. The art and science of wellness comes from understanding the importance and power of your body’s dual control — the mind-body connection — as the source and hope of self-healing itself.
Principle #3: Emotional Engagement
Feeling is an art — a rare art. But it must be practiced.
Emotional engagement is the ability to recognize, understand and navigate your emotional states. It’s a learned process that allows you to heal troubling or challenging emotions, change your attitudes and beliefs and acknowledge the emotions of others.
This pivotal skill brings your emotional experience into focus.
Understanding how your thoughts and emotions affect every cell in your body — and learning how to change them in a way that is health enhancing — gives you access to the most powerful and empowering health-creating secret on earth.
Principle #4: Silence and Rest
Silence is the most powerful, accessible and nurturing form of self-care you can practice.
If you find yourself in a vicious cycle of multitasking, overwhelm, and are harried, tired, unfocused and drained — silence can cut through the noise. In the modern age, noise is inevitable. Silence is almost extinct. Yet it’s the best defense you have.
The root of the word “noise” comes from the Latin “noxia,” which means sickness, pain or hurt. Medical evidence confirms that noise of every ilk — even the digital noise of the dings, beeps and swoosh-sounds of your tech — has deep repercussions on your health. Noise can negatively affect focus and sleep, increase stress, trigger anxiety and even cause depression. Taking moments of silence — and rest — are an antidote. They can help you survive.
Productivity starts with rejuvenation and rest. In fact, productivity is a function of rejuvenation. An essential equation for wellness is: the degree to which you expend your energy, is the degree to which you must renew and regenerate your body and mind. There’s a direct relationship.
If you’re serious about high-performance and success, you’ll get serious about practicing high-quality unplugged, disconnected, relaxing and energizing silence and rest.
Your lifestyle choices along with the daily interventions you make, must meet your own individual needs, not someone else’s.
Principle #6: Transformation Through Practice
Whenever you practice something new, something new happens.
Change comes from the habits and practices you embrace and maintain every day. The countless small decisions and actions you take on a regular basis really matter. Integrating new ways of healing to sustain your body, mind and emotions can vastly improve your quality of life. Whenever you water the root, the tree inside you grows.
Give yourself time and sustained practice, and renew yourself again and again. Practice, live, and repeat. Transformation comes through sustaining your practice, and practice gives form to your life.
It takes patience to be good at it, but when you practice something that becomes a habit, it’s enduring. When you live it, it’s miraculous.
The End Game: Integration, Evolution and Change
When self-awareness, mind-body connection , emotional engagement, and silence and rest are personalized to your specific interests and needs, transformation will occur naturally and the rewards will be enormous!
Principle #5: Personalization
Find out where you are so that you can know where you want to go.
Personalization is the act of creating, altering or adapting the practices of self-healing to where you are and how you feel. Your lifestyle choices and skills must meet your needs, not someone else’s. They must relate to you. Personalization is empowerment.
Make sure that the tools and rituals you practice are relevant to who you are — your personality, your unique interests and needs. Ask yourself what’s happening in your life right now. How are you feeling? This is the only way you can choose the right course that has real meaning to serve and deepen your life, and not someone else’s.
When generalized skills become “personal” practices that are genuinely a part of who you are and how you live, they have a high potential to give better results. They become essential to how you live, and more significantly, they create effective and lasting and change.