Ask 100 people what “wellness” is and you’ll get 100 different answers. Bottom line: It’s doing what you need to do to be emotionally happy and optimistic, mentally challenged and sharp, physically healthy, spiritually content, fulfilled in your job and relationships, and comfortable in your environment. One small change – positive or negative — in any one of these areas affects all the others. So it’s important to be positive because nobody wants an avalanche of negative. Counseling can help you change the way you think and respond to situations, help reduce addictions and relieve anxiety and depression.

Take optimism, for example. When you see the glass as half full, life tends to be a little less overwhelming. That’s because when you have a problem, you know you’re already halfway to the solution. With that attitude, you feel energized and hopeful that you can do almost anything. Positive energy attracts positive people, who give you more energy and can lighten the load even more. As your stress levels are reduced, your health and happiness improve.

Don’t discount how important energy is to your wellbeing – and, remember, you only have so much of it. You can choose to use it wisely or to fritter it away on wasted time, worry, regret and resentment. Once it’s used up, something has to give — usually your immune system or your patience.

Think about the last time you were burning the candle at both ends—working a full time job, trying to keep up a house, be a good spouse and chasing your kids and pets around. Were you pleasant to be around, or did you lack the energy to be patient and forgiving? Were you well rested and feeling healthy, or sick and tired of being sick ad tired? Did have time to attend to good personal habits, or did you use spray deodorant instead of shower, dress in those not-too-dirty clothes from the laundry hamper and eat leftover pizza for breakfast on the way to work?

Personal Strategy
So what does that all mean to you?
It means you’re responsible for/in control of your own destiny. You’re the only one who can prioritize your life, so it’s your responsibility to figure out what you need to be happy and what you need to do to make that happen. …

Just because something works for your partner/significant other or neighbor doesn’t mean it will work for you. Some people would rather die than exercise. Others would rather do anything than go to counseling and talk about the “F” word (Feelings). You have the ability to choose the solution you are most comfortable with. As you start to have less “stress” in one area, everything else will start to improve.

It also means that your energy is precious. Use it wisely and life will seem effortless; waste it and you’ll spend each day swimming up stream. If you have read this far, you believe that you have room to improve, so choose one or two of the suggestions below and see what happens.

Emotionally: Do one thing every day that makes you truly happy. A good belly laugh does wonders. Play with your kids. Get a comedy video. Watch the birds and squirrels in your yard.

Mentally: Try being more optimistic in the way you interpret things. If it’s raining, don’t focus on it being a gloomy day. Think about the good things: It’s cooler it is because of the clouds, or you don’t have to water your lawn today! Find something that challenges your mind or your creativity such as crosswords, puzzles, restoring an old car or redecorating a room in your house.

Physically: Go outside for 20 minutes each day to breathe the fresh air and get sunshine. Go on a 10-minute walk. Let yourself go to bed whenever you get tired for a week.

Socially: Make a list of people you enjoy. Call one of them each day. Send an e-card for no reason, or just take stock of how many wonderful people you have in your life.

Spiritually: Engage in random acts of kindness (See Resources below)

Environmentally: Clean up. You don’t have to be June Cleaver, but a tidy house or work space can make you more productive and generally happier. Get Feng Shui for Dummies and try out a few of its suggestions. Put flowers on your table to brighten up a room. Get some cookie dough from the store and bake your way into a sweet smelling house and very happy children.

Each week pick one area of wellness and experience how small (relatively painless) changes can help you feel happier and healthier in every aspect of your life.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People series by Stephen R. Covey
Please Understand Me by David Keirsey
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series and website by Richard Carlson Ph.D.
The Book of Lists series by Sandra Choron
Books by SARK