Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise Thompson: The aspects of wellness we're overlooking

When we feel at our most whole and complete we are attending to what I call 4-dimensional wellness: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. Photo / Getty
When we feel at our most whole and complete we are attending to what I call 4-dimensional wellness: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. Photo / Getty

True wellness is so much more than what we eat and how we workout. Those things are important of course, but real, 360-degree wellness is so much more than that.

We all know people who "eat clean" and are impressively diligent with the preparation of each meal, but who are routinely miserable, or stressed to the max. There are also all too many people who might have the "perfect" beautiful body but who are riddled with self-doubt, and second-guess themselves at every turn. I've worked with some professional athletes whose seriously impressive physique belies the continual emotional turmoil just below the skin.

Tips and techniques to improve physical wellness are everywhere, we live in a tsunami of information on what to eat and how to move, but there is so much less focus on the other three - equally critical - facets of true wellbeing.

Physical wellness is highly desirable, but it really is only one part of the equation.

When we feel at our most whole and complete we are attending to what I call 4-dimensional wellness: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. It is by applying strategies for growth and health in all four areas that I believe we live life at our best.

Mental wellness is often overlooked, until we are really struggling - only really being attended to at the point of illness, rather than an on-going strategy for health and sharpness.

Integrating simple strategies that we can lift our every day level of mental focus and concentration make a huge difference to how productive we are, which reduces overwhelm and increases happiness.

Strategies for mental wellness that enable us to act decisively. Create boundaries we can stand behind that support our best life. To come from a place of considered consciousness rather than panicked kneejerk reactionism - a massively powerful part of our wellness.

Similarly emotional wellness can get taken for granted until life hits a massive speed bump. However there is so much to be gained by deliberately attending to emotional wellness on the average ordinary day. When we understand what our emotions are for, when we are not denying them, avoiding them or burying them in booze, shopping, food or digital distractions we come from a clean and calm emotional place. When we are not being driven by worry and panic.

When we have strategies to be able to be fully emotionally present at home and leaving the office at the office everyone benefits. When we understand our triggers around stress and have ways to manage it that work for us, rather than coming home and snarfing a heap of cheese and crackers and a large glass of Sav as a treat we are not letting our emotional state sabotage our physical goals.

Spiritual health is also important and not at all woo-woo. We are more than just the physical meat suit we live in. We are all, whether we agree or acknowledge it or not, spiritual beings. We gain energy, clarity and focus when we learn how to engage with our spiritual self. When we are connected to our passions, and to our purpose. We live our happiest life when we are hooked in to a reason for doing things that's bigger than ourselves. Being in flow. Finding those states where we are truly present and absorbed totally in what we are doing. That's spiritual connection.

True wellness is 4-dimensional and we are so much more than what we eat. Real wellness acknowledges and informs how we think, how we feel and how we connect. When we attend to those pieces the physical wellness choices tend to just fall into place. We eat good food because we want to not because we "should". We move our body because it's a joy and a privilege to do so, from a place of loving it not punishing it for what we did or didn't eat. When we start the balance all 4 quadrants of wellness not just our health, but our life starts to fall into place.

• Louise will be talking 4-dimensional wellness with Mel Homer from Mix on Sunday, 10.45am at the Be Pure Live well festival.

- NZ Herald

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Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise is a corporate escapee turned wellbeing pro. After 17 successful years on the commercial side of media a serious health crisis led to a complete lifestyle overhaul and a brand new direction. As a life coach, and the first Martha Beck accredited coach in New Zealand, she loves nothing better than to help her clients get inspired, get happy and make their own rules for a connected, passion-fueled life. Her first book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness, aims to motivate people with practical solutions to step up and live their best lives. A qualified yoga teacher she also runs her own yoga studio and leads corporate wellness seminars. Louise loves to run, cook and dance, and is an incurable travel junkie.

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