Wellness is to assume responsibility for the quality of your life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle. Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel and believe has an effect on our state of well-being. Wellness is an alternative dependency on doctors, drugs, to complacency, to mediocrity and to self-pity, boredom and slothfulness. Wellness is an attitude. Wellness is a lifestyle.
To best describe wellness, I will share a traumatic personal experience which occurred more than 25 years ago….
As a young adult, I worked as a shift supervisor for a major manufacturing corporation in Augusta, Ga. One evening while at work, I entered a very large storage room, which had a large wooden overhead door, it was probably 20-30 feet high and weighed 600 pounds. As I walked under the door, that evening, the door mechanism broke and this humongous overhead wooden door came crashing down with full force on top of my head! You don’t have to be a scientist to calculate that the weight and force was enough to have killed me. It was a miracle that I survived. After a brief stay in the hospital, doctors did not find any broken bones, but I was left with excruciating pain in my head and neck, along with shattered emotions (due to fear and anxiety of not recovering).
Before the accident I was your typical couch potato. Exercise was the farthest thing from my mind; even though I was overweight I was not motivated to exercise. After the accident, I experienced chronic pain had difficulty relaxing the muscles in my shoulders and neck.
For more than six months, I went from doctor to doctor in search of relief and strong desire to return to “normal.” I was very focused on moving up the corporate ladder. The fear of not reaching my career goals and being crippled for life intensified the physical and emotional pain.
To help with the pain and anxiety, doctors prescribed various pain killers and antidepressant drugs. The depression and anxiety worsened, the root cause was fear of not recovering. The company provided the finest medical care, but I did not want to be dependent on prescription drugs for the rest of my life. I was determined to be prescription drug free and well!
One day I went to visit a psychologist, I will refer to him as an “Angel” sent by God. This “Angel Doctor” told me that he jogged for relaxation. I looked at him in disbelief and asked “you do what to relax?” He described how exercise helps the body and mind relieve stress. Up to this point, I had associated exercise only as hard work, certainly not therapeutic or fun. Well, I was desperate to try something besides prescription drugs. I went shopping and purchased a pair of athletic shoes and began to walk, walk and walk.
As I walked around my neighborhood, I began to not only feel better, I was actually having fun. A short time later, while walking, I met a friend who motivated me to start jogging. Less than six months, I was completely free of prescription drugs, started teaching aerobics classes and participating in 10K road races.
The rest is history! I became “sold out” on the benefits of exercise as a means to heal and become well.
Other benefits of my new healthy lifestyle included weight loss, improved attitude, and increased energy.
Now that I look back on this potential fatal accident, it was a wake-up call to my life mission; which is to educate and motivate others to improve their health and well-being. Wellness is a focus on the whole person, spirit, mind and body!
To your health and wholeness.
Dot High Steed
Dot High-Steed is a Health and Life Coach, who has over 25 years of experience in health/wellness, business and education.
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