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Aspects of Healthy Living Essay

Updated August 8, 2022

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Aspects of Healthy Living Essay essay

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What does health and wellness mean to most people? The majority of them will say that staying physically fit, eating healthy diet and getting enough sleep is all that it takes to live a balanced, happy and fulfilled life. And that’s exactly what I thought. But being healthy involves so much more than maintaining the weight you desire and getting eight hours of sleep. Learning recently about all six dimensions of wellness made me realize how important and interconnected they are and how much they contribute to a balanced life. “Staying healthy and living a prosperous life includes a full combination of physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual and environmental areas that compliment one another and described as the dynamic, ever-changing process of trying to achieve one’s potential in each of six interrelated dimensions” (Donatelle, 2019).

Recently having started working on the physical aspect of the six dimension of wellness made me realize the vital importance of the emotional part of the model. It is clear that the two dimensions often overlap and compliment each other. According to the book Health, the Basics, the physical dimension focuses on the “shape and size of the body, how responsive and acute the senses are, the body’s ability to function at optimum levels with adequate sleep and rest, nutrition and physical activity” ( Donatelle, 2019). My attention was directed at the physical side, trying to improve my life by exercise, good nutrition and sleep, completely forgetting about the emotional side until I had a chance to read a wonderful book by Brene Brown The Gifts of Imperfection which mostly focuses on the emotional aspect of the wellness model.

It is important that “attention must be given to all the dimensions, as neglect of any one over time will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health, well-being and quality of life; they don’t have to be equally balanced and we should strive for a ‘personal harmony’ that feels most authentic to us (Stowen, 2017). I started to see the way each dimension influence one another and began to believe that if we forget to take care of one of them it can create a misbalance and life can become very unstable and stressful. In her book, Brene Brown teaches us to accept life’s challenges and confront them in order to overcome them by first accepting of who we are and by living a “wholehearted life”. Dr. Brown (2010) argues that the key to wholehearted living is to have a sense of love and belonging, it is about cultivating the courage, recognizing the imperfections but at the end of the day feel worthy ( p.1).

Taking care if our bodies through regular exercise, healthy eating, sleeping and avoiding harmful habits is crucial. But every day we deal with a lot of external pressures of who we should be in order to be accepted into the society, we strive for perfection and forget about authenticity. The first two guideposts of the book are about cultivating authenticity and letting go of perfectionism. Staying true and believe in ourselves, accept our imperfections, understanding that we don’t have to prove anything to others and believe that we are worthy of love are the main points the author is focusing on. She states, that “authenticity is not something we have or don’t have, its a collection of choices we have to make every day, it’s about the choice to show up and be real (Brown, 2010, p 49). Reading the book made me feel connected as the author shares her own struggles and vulnerabilities creating the sense of realness, realizing that even people we thought had it all together probably struggling with the same issues.

Each reader can find something that he or she can relate to the most in the book. Personally, I felt more connection to her second guidepost where she discusses how to let go of perfectionism and accept yourself for who you are. I always thought of myself as being a perfectionist and having high expectations of myself and it brought more stress into my life. Dr. Brown (2010) explains that “perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best”, and “it’s not about healthy achievement and growth”, but a “ a shield that we create to protect ourselves from disappointments (p. 56). She stresses out the self-destructive nature of perfectionism that can lead to anxiety, stress, depression and insecurities. Even before I read the book I realized how unhealthy striving for perfection can get, interfering with living happy and balanced life and understand that I cannot control everything and its ok to make mistakes.

The author of the article Dimensions of Wellness: Change your Habits, Change your Life is asking us to accept ourselves, embrace the present and not worry about getting it perfect and become the best kind of person we can be (Stowen, 2017). Striving for perfection and the lack of self-compassion easily leads to anxiety and stress that are sometimes the symptoms of unhealthy physical, emotional and spiritual health dimensions. One of the advices Dr. Brown gives in her book that personally helped her to fight anxiety was decrease caffeine intake, increase daily exercise like swimming and waling and getting enough sleep, and that is exactly what I have been following to deal with everyday stresses. Sometimes it can get difficult but I believe that as we make healthier lifestyle a routine, it gets easier, we don’t have to try hard and it become s habit.

Another important aspect is a spiritual one. Before reading a book I thought of spirituality as following our faith and believing in God or higher power, but there is so much more to it. According to the book Health, The Basics, spiritual health “involves creating and expressing meaning and purpose in life, including believing in a supreme being, following a particular religion’s rules and customs, or simply feeling that you are a part of a great spectrum of existence (Donatelle, 2019, p.7). Besides being religious it is important to find our own meaning in life and purpose, to live every day following our values and beliefs.

In her third guidepost Dr. Brown talks in depth about spirituality, resilience and connection. She defines spirituality as “recognizing and celebrating that w are all inextricable connected to each other by a power greater than all of us” and adds that “practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives” (2010, p.64). Brene Brown is explaining that believing in connection is a big part of spirituality and sometimes practicing meditations and praying can help to stay connected with God, believe in ourselves, find love and compassion.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown gave me a lot of valuable insights on self-reflection, self-love and self-acceptance. I did not expect this book to be good, but after reading it I would recommend it to anyone. The author does such wonderful job sharing her own experiences through years of practice and gives good advice on how to work on authenticity and wholehearted living. Everyone who is suffering from stress, anxiety and insecurities should read this book as it has a lot of valuable and inspiring information and has been so empowering to me personally.

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Aspects of Healthy Living Essay. (2022, Aug 08). Retrieved from