What would it take to be a better you? As I continue to talk to women about wellbeing, I know how hard it is to put new habits into place. One friend I was talking to realized she could give herself more energy management. After a busy weekend of speaking and traveling, she allowed herself a day of down time. Before, she would have kept plowing through, to the detriment of her health. What are you beginning to notice?
We talked last week about social, physical and career/purpose wellbeing. This week, let’s look at financial, community and spiritual wellbeing. Let the following questions guide your vision of a healthier you!
Financial Wellbeing- How content are you as you spend your money?
Interestingly enough, money doesn’t buy wellbeing although it is needed to have enough for food, shelter, transportation- the basics. Without those basics, finances can be stressful. After basics are met, the positives of money come from being able to spend it on others. Studies show that spending it on experiences and creating memories also have a lasting effect on your well-being, rather than on material things.
What is your financial outlook? Where are you on the financial scale,1-10 (with 10 being easy-peasy to give away) of spending money on others? What about on experiences? What visions and intentions do you want to foster for your financial wellbeing?
Community Wellbeing- How well do you like and are involved in your community?
Community has to do with where you live and play. Do you feel safe in your community? How active are you in your community? Attachments to a community are first based on security, then personality, family, interests and personal pursuits. For my husband and I, we chose the Madison, WI area because of the university, availability of work, the beauty and the friendly Midwest culture. What made you choose the community you now live in?
After living in the city for 26 years, we ended moving to a beautiful, oak grove outside of Madison. I was suffering from daily headaches at the time and needed the quiet. The older I got, the louder the interstate traffic got near our home in the city. We made an intentional choice for our well-being. What a difference the beauty and the quiet have made for both of us! What community changes may you need or want to make for your well-being?
Spiritual Wellbeing – What spiritual practices can connect you to better health?
According to research being done at the University of Minnesota, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates spiritual practices are associated with better health and wellbeing.
One of the major ways to spiritual wellbeing considered are contemplative practices, those practices that guide you to a specific focus, often an inward-looking reflection or concept. These contemplative practices are shown to increase compassion, empathy, and attention as well as quiet the mind.
Some of these contemplative practices include:
- Mindful meditation, in which you take time to focus on your breathing has shown to induce feelings of calm and clear-headedness as well as improve concentration and attention.
- Prayer, a belief that there is a higher power that has a level of influence over your life, can provide a relaxation response as well as feelings of hope, gratitude and compassion. People who believed God was at work in their health and wellbeing responded to better to treatment more than those who did not.
- Journaling, considered a contemplative practice in that it helps you become more aware of your inner life and get connected to the thoughts swirling in your head. By placing your thoughts on paper, you have the opportunity to make meaning out of what is going on in your life.
For me, this has been my greatest area of growth for my health. By taking the time to pray, reflect and quiet my mind daily, I have been restored to hope, joy and contentment. I have a more healthy mind, released from the anxiety and depression I experienced early and I am grateful.
What is your vision of wellbeing?
From these last two blogs, how do you begin to envision and create your own pathway to a life of better wellbeing?
Physical – What choices do you make every day?
Career/Purpose- Do you like what you do each day?
Finances – How content are you with how you spend your money?
Community – How well do you like your community and how involved are you?
Spiritual – What spiritual practices are connecting you to better health?
A vision board helps you visualize a preferred future in each of these areas. Scientific studies reveal that when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action.
One athletic study proved that visualization enabled nationally ranked gymnasts to execute several complex tricks for the first time. Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!
In other words, your brain can be trained to create outcomes you most want.
So, begin to gather those visions in each area. Join me and other women April 1st for a day long retreat in the Stoughton, WI area and invest in a day for yourself to create your well-being vision. Check out the details on my facebook page and contact me for more details. Now is the time to set your vision and intentions to move forward on your wellbeing. You’ll be glad you did!
Nancy Booth is a certified spiritual director. She walks alongside women who are seeking God’s fingerprints in their lives and want more awareness of what their own true identity is. She helps women shed hurry, worry and disconnect as they seek to hear God’s voice in everyday living. She has a private facebook group that also prays for one another that you can join. She would also love to pray for you. Send your request for prayers and to join the closed Sacred Moments Seeking God facebook group to firstname.lastname@example.org