Well-being is a current popular topic – ‘trending’, with increasing recognition that personal energy is a finite resource and dis-ease is not a random name but a description of a symptom, a visible sign from our body that all is not well within it. This suggests that we must each develop an awareness for our personal and communal well-being.
Consider the following process: Sensory organs pick up the environment, sends signals to the brain, which transmits these to the heart causing it to respond with appropriate change in it’s pumping function. The heart monitors itself and then transmits messages to the brain to regulate cognitive function. The Heartmath Institute reports, “This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. (This helps explain why we may often act impulsively and unwisely when we’re under stress.)”
Being well at work can be compromised, by the pressure of actual work or the perception of expectations at work, as well as generally in life. Problems often occur when the level of compromise is beyond normal coping mechanisms. Consider a definition of well-being. “Well-being, put simply, is about ‘how we are doing’ as individuals, communities and as a nation.” Up until now my definition of well-being has been “the state of good mental and physical health that enables optimal performance and success”. Both describe a state, rather than actions.
The compound word is not ‘well-doing’ or ‘well-having’ but well-being, which suggests that it is about who we are ‘being’, rather than what we ‘have’ or ‘do’. Who we are being is about holistic alignment of our actions, possessions and desires to personal values – the principles that are most important to us. If we concern ourselves with actions and acquisitions to generate a being, both must be well chosen.
We comprise Body, Mind and Spirit, so let us briefly identify how we keep each well.
Body: What we eat, drink, our sleep and physical environment usually determine our how well our bodies are. As we mature, it becomes increasingly important that we are uniquely suited to suited to our food, drink, sleep patterns and physical environment. A misalignment would be noticed if we paid attention to our body’s response.
Mind: Our mind comprises the workings of our brain, heart and gut together to guide our perceptions, processing and actions. The interplay between the sensing and processing in the three centres work best when we give attention to their promptings. When our actions reflect what we think, feel and are inspired to do.
Spirit: Our spirit concerns itself with finding meaning in the many circumstances we encounter, finding our calling, and often being involved in something larger than ourselves. Altruism and Charity are positive expressions of our Spirit. It’s very intangible nature relegates the Spirit to the background in a rational world. This makes it no less real.
‘Knowing’ who you are, ‘feeling’ who you are, and ‘doing’ what you are here to do, is a good recipe for being well, for well-being. Discovering a deep understanding of these elements for ourselves, requires an investment. We deserve such an investment because we deserve to be well, even in the midst of the many demands made on us in a fast-paced changing world. Are you prepared to regularly make such investment? No one else will do it for you.
Joseph Ogbonna is a London-based versatile, experienced coach, with excellent supporting skills in strategic thinking, relationship building, mindfulness, organisational development, project and programme management skills, serving a range of public and private sector clients.
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