Health and Well-Being are such elusive things. Here today, gone tomorrow. Perhaps we even have had trouble defining well-being and we have all been eagerly pursuing the wrong thing! There have been so many books written on the subject they could fill an entire warehouse. Yet, never before has our society been so unhappy and unhealthy. Depression is fast becoming the most predominant illness in the world in front of heart disease and cancer and obesity and food intolerances prevail.
The Five Guidelines to Health and Happiness came about as a result of twenty years research in the mental health field. People who were in successful recovery from mental illness including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia were asked what it was that enabled their recovery and there finding joy in living again. Naturally there were many things that contribute to a person finding well-being and happiness again but the Five Guidelines to Health and Happiness distils what has been found to be the essential elements in leading a rich, full and meaningful life. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the essentials in the Five Guidelines to Happiness seem apparent when other health professionals are asked what they feel contributes to a patient’s health and well-being.
Of course, when we look at the essentials of the Five Guidelines we see that they are quite simple. There is nothing earth shattering here. However, it appears that it is in the synthesis of the Five Guidelines that lays the potential for well-being and vitality.
The Five Guidelines are:
Spirituality: This does not necessarily refer to religion but rather your understanding and practice of a higher power, goodness, ethics and doing good for others. It may also refer to the time you take to meditate. Meditation has been researched and found to be a contributing factor to health and well-being.
Thinking: This refers to how you think. Do you think positively and mindfully, or do you let your thoughts control you and pull you into a struggle.
Relationships: How do you relate to other people? Do you have a network of ‘real’ friends (not just Facebook friends) that you share time with regularly? Do you have good relationship with the natural environment. Have you taken time to ‘hug’ a tree or go for a walk amongst nature?
Consumption: You need to be mindful of what you eat. Do you have balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables. Many health practitioners advocate a diet more inclined towards vegetarian rather than too much meat. Do you consume too much junk food, coffee or alcohol, all contributors of both physical and mental unwellness? Consumption also refers to what you consume through the sense of sight and hearing. Are you watching too many video games or TV? Do you listen to gossip or negative conversation or do you take time to listen to relaxing music and be around people who are positive and encouraging?
Movement: We are moving creatures. Each part of your body is designed to move. Do you have a regular exercise regime? Walking, swimming, cycling, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, jogging etc are all good exercises which aid both physical and mental well-being
These Five Guidelines need to be carefully considered as being part of your day. They are also interconnected. When there is a lack in one area you will often find a deficiency in another. A healthy life style will include all Five Guidelines.