Who’s Cheering You On? By Jessica Pass
One of the great things about DEFINE that sets it apart from all of the other fitness studios out there is the emphasis on wellbeing: both body and mind. It’s not just a place to work out and then leave–it’s a place to grow, connect, get involved, find balance, challenge yourself and renew. As both an instructor and mental health professional, this unique formula is so attractive. The concept not only encourages wellness from the outside (physical results), it encourages wellness from the inside (emotional) by providing key aspects to achieving comprehensive wellbeing that can translate to all aspects of our lives.
The four main spheres of influence (Wellbeing, Atmosphere, Community and Giving Back) detailed on the DEFINE website perfectly describe the elements that all come together to make DEFINE what it is and help clients produce life changes on a daily basis.
Only you know what a balanced lifestyle looks like for you; what feeds you, energizes you and what makes you feel cared for and whole. No one else can technically determine your wellbeing, however, Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, gives clear direction in his Well-Being Theory as to what helps to define such an elusive and vague concept. He asserts there are five components to wellbeing that when in balance, provide enhanced wellness: positive emotion, relationships, engagement, meaning/purpose and accomplishment. His take on happiness is that in order to find it we must first take into consideration what makes us flourish, which is a direct result of how we are feeling and thriving within these five components.
Looking for ways to enhance these aspects of wellbeing in your life can have a profound effect. Consider implementing these ideas, tips and strategies for each element and experience encourage a shift in your overall sense of wellness and satisfaction in your life.
Positive Emotion: Wellbeing demands positive emotions! We need them to find optimism, enjoy life, experience connection and laugh. It is absolutely important to maximize enjoyment, especially in the moment and with awareness. These emotions might include gratitude, joy, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, encouragement, hope, curiosity or love. Finding ways to incorporate these emotions into your daily life will raise your life satisfaction meter dramatically. Keep in mind that in order to do this though, you must first consider each one and decide what creates these feelings for you, then take action and create more opportunities to experience them on a daily basis.
Relationships: Where are you investing your emotional energy? How satisfied do you feel in your relationships? If you’re committed, what ways can you let your partner know how much you love them? What relationships might be suffering and need some TLC? Start by examining your ties; work relationships, friendships, family relationships and intimate relationships Do you feel invested? Exhausted? Encouraged? How are you relating and what, if anything, stands in your way of authentic connection? It’s important to nurture relationships with time and being engaged and in the moment (putting that cell phone down!) Where might you be able to incorporate more of this in your day, week or month? We need relationships like we need air…spending time focusing on how you can deepen your relationships or disconnect from unhealthy ones will dramatically affect your wellbeing.
Engagement: This one is a good one. The idea is that when we are engaged, we experience “flow.” Meaning, when we are truly engaged, time seems to stop, we lose ourselves in the project, experience or task and find deep concentration in the present moment. Can you recall a time in your life where you’ve felt this disconnection with everything else except for the thing you were taking part in? When does time stop for you and what pulls your attention so much that you feel energized, excited and alive? This type of engagement falls in line with your strengths and unique skill set, (remember the “Define Your Strengths” post? Review it here and find out what your top 5 strengths are now) and improves your work ethic or connection to what it is you are trying to accomplish. Focus on your strengths, look for opportunities to maximize when you are in the “flow”, and nurture relationships that are in line with what creates this aliveness for you.
Meaning and Purpose: What gives you meaning and purpose in your life? Is it your family, friends, career or being of service? We all need a sense of purpose and often times it gets covered up with the day-to-day wear and tear that stress, responsibility and practicality often brew. Finding what contributes to your purpose on this Earth and in this life will improve how you feel about the mundane aspects of your journey. If you are struggling to recognize what ways you cultivate and nurture your purpose try volunteering, spending time with a child, being in nature and practicing meditation or mindfulness – any one of these is sure to spark some thoughts, connection and remind you of the bigger picture.
Accomplishment: What causes you to want to be a better person? Complete a goal or master a skill? Where do you feel a sense of accomplishment or achievement for your own sake, no one else’s? And by that I mean, competitive in a good way, as opposed to winning just for winning’s sake or bragging rights. This one is challenging to not take too far in one direction, either burning yourself out or achieving a goal to prove a point. However, when maximized and understood, this aspect will greatly improve self-esteem and self-efficacy (Look for Lori Bertrand’s post on Stages of Development, Generativity vs. Stagnation this month) and produce much success in your life. What is also important to highlight about this aspect is that it is important to continually check it with all other aspects to make sure it continues to stay in balance.
Each of these elements exclusively can result in positive affects in your life, however, each one, combined and balanced out with the others produces a life-changing result of connection, empowerment, inspiration and motivation. Remembering Martin Seligman’s Theory of Well-Being and understanding DEFINE’s unique approach to fitness makes flourishing not only a goal, but a destination. We’re here to cheer you on (relationships), inspire you (engagement), help you attain goals (accomplishment), be a part of something bigger (meaning and purpose) and help you aspire to be your best you. What other communities, organizations or relationships help you on your journey to flourishing?
Let us know by leaving a comment or sharing your experience. We love hearing from you!
DEFINE’s Emotional Wellness Expert, Jessica Pass, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Instructor at DEFINE body&mind. She has a private practice in Houston, Texas, specializing with children, adolescents, individuals, couples and parents. Jessica’s approach incorporates mind-body integration, education and practical strategies to improve emotional wellness, emphasizing all aspects of who we are to live fully and thrive in our relationships.
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