Tides Wellness is often thought of in terms of physical health – nutrition, exercise, weight management, etc., but there is so much more to it. Integrating physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, wellness involves fueling the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit. While it always includes striving for health, wellness is much more about living life fully and is “a lifestyle and a personalized approach to living life in a way that… permits you to become the best kind of person that your potentials, circumstances, and fate will allow.” Wellness implies good self-stewardship, for us and for those we care about. It is a professional as well as personal responsibility for those in the helping professions, such as us in veterinary medicine. It is our ethical obligation to take care of our own health and well-being in order to provide high-quality services to clients and patients. Self-care prevents us from harming those we serve, and according to the Green Cross Standards of Self Care Guidelines, no situation or person can justify neglecting it.
The concept of wellness encompasses
There are eight dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental. The Tides Wellness neglect of any one of the dimensions will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health and quality of life. It is not necessary, however, that they are equally balanced. Instead, we should aim for a “personal harmony” that feels the most authentic to us. Every individual has their own priorities, approaches, and aspirations, as well as their own perspective of what it means to live a full life. Making the right choices for health and well-being is a challenge. We may know what is good for us and how we can do and be better, but we may not act on it, or if we do, we may, in due course, slip back to familiar ways. When it comes to wellness, self-regulation and habits are of particular relevance because they influence human behavior: what we do, how we do it, and whether we will succeed.
Human functioning depends on self-regulation. A person’s ability to direct their behavior and control their impulses to meet certain standards, achieve certain goals, or reach certain ideals. As a result, we are free to act based on our deepest values, both short- and long-term. However, self-regulation requires mental energy, and the brain is constantly searching for ways to conserve it.
Habits, on the other hand, require very little energy. In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, author Charles Duhigg writes, “Any behavior that can be reduced to a routine is one less thing we must spend time and energy thinking about and choosing.”. With the cognitive economy and performance efficiency of habits, the brain can conserve self-regulation strength for important life decisions and free us up to engage in thoughtful activities, such as reflecting and planning. Habits have a significant impact. In our everyday lives, about 40% of our activities are repeated in the form of habits, which shape our very existence, and ultimately, our future. Habits actually play a vital role in our health and Tides Wellness. Whether for better or for worse, habits heavily influence health, wellness, and quality of life. In order to improve these, you should think about habits, because if you change your habits, your life will improve. A habit is defined as “a behavior that occurs recurrently, is triggered by a specific context, occurs without conscious awareness, and is learned through repetition”. Essentially, the brain follows a formula (or “habit loop”) when it sees a cue: “When I see a cue, I do a routine to get a reward.”. According to studies, habits become encoded in brain structures and cannot be fully undone – only replaced with stronger habits. It’s because of this that they are so difficult to change. Changing the brain isn’t just about willpower, it’s about rewiring. A habit can be changed by creating new routines: Keep the old cue and reward, but introduce a new one.
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