What’s Love Got to Do With it?

“There is no such thing as too much love, even too much is not enough.”
Author – Unknown

 “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner is not only a song that many of us may not remember well, but it may have been Turner’s number one greatest hit. When it comes to wellness, have you ever contemplated the notion, what’s love got to do with it? That is, what does love have to do with a living life of optimal well-being? This concept has been explored by many in the healing profession.

Three well-known physicians have all commented on observations regarding love and healing. Dr.’s Dean Ornish, Bernie Siegel and Deepack Chopra have all commented on the value of love as a noteworthy element in the healing equation. A journalist once asked Chopra if there was only one takeaway that he could leave people with, in regard to healing, what would it be? Chopra’s response: “to love.” Chopra went on to say that when we are in a mindset where we feel loved or in which we are loving another, there are chemicals released by the brain that help provide a framework for internal healing.

In last week’s blog, I shared a definition of wellness by two researchers from Arizona State University that identified four components to wellness:

  1. The first notion is that we are multidimensional beings.
  2. The second is that wellness is exemplified by positive health in an individual.
  3. The third reflects overall quality of life.
  4. And lastly, a sense of well-being.

Love may not only have an impact on all of the elements of well-being as described in this definition, but it could be stated that nearly every dimension of our well-being could be positively impacted by love. If we think of our emotions, spirituality, occupation/vocation, social life, environment, mental health and even our finances; all can be positively impacted by love.

Feeling loved and sharing love may impact well-being from other vantage points as well. Loving ourselves will likely impact our desire and intention for self-care. Our mental outlook is likely to improve when we adopt an attitude of love. Providing care for others, as well as our environment is a natural by-product of love, which according to research, may positively impact longevity. A purpose and/or reason for living life to the fullest are often born from embracing a life of love. And lastly, our ability to endure hardships may be largely influenced through the motivation of love.

As the famous scriptural quote states: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered and it does not brood over injury. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1st Corinthians, Chapter 13). As we continue to pursue a life of well-being during these difficult times, let us not forget this understanding: “Love’s got a lot to do with it.”  

Greg McCann is 35-year vetted health educator, fitness professional and wellness coach.

Casting Your Wellness Vision

“When you have talked yourself into what you want, right there is the place to stop talking and begin saying it with deeds.”
-Napoleon Hill, Author

When it comes to embracing a life of wellness, one of the first steps often involves this idea of creating a wellness vision. That is, you create a vision of your ideal life of well-being; where in, you see yourself as you would if you are already living it. What does it look like? What are some of the lifestyle practices and details surrounding or supporting it? One thing to consider in making this a bit more interesting is to make it as detailed as possible. Where would you live? What would you do with your time? Would you be working? And if so, what would you be doing? Would you spend more time in the garden, exercising, painting, building, writing or in the great outdoors? Once you have captured the idea, the next step is to write it out. A wellness vision is written in first person as if you were already living it. For example:

“I am involved in meaningful work, while making sure to take time for family and friends. I am fit and healthy in mind and body. I take time for daily reflection, prayer or meditation. I am living my greatest values and ideals. I am enjoying life.”

If you decide to embrace this quest of establishing a wellness vision, there are some questions that may be worth reflecting on.

  1. Who am I really? What are my likes, dislikes, personality traits, preferences, passions, etc.? Although getting these details down on paper may take time, it is well worth the investment when it comes time to determining if your wellness vision aligns with who you really are.
  2. What are my deepest held values? This is another important element to reflect on when considering your wellness vision as your values often are captured within a well-crafted vision.
  3. What are my greatest strengths? Author Marcus Buckingham once described a strength as something you can get lost in. That is, you could spend hours in this activity or activities and never feel worn out from it. Rather than draining you, spending time doing it actually energizes you. Another thing to consider when reflecting on your strengths is to ask others who really know you the question: “What do you believe are some of my greatest strengths?” And lastly, pay attention to potential feedback from those whom you may not know personally…like a statement “You’re really good at that.”
  4. What is it that you want? When it comes to living your life of optimal well-being, what is it that you are really seeking? What areas of wellness have your greatest attention?

If we can answer the above questions honestly and thoroughly, you will have what we need to begin crafting a well-crafted wellness vision. The last two steps are to choose a future date for your vision to be in place (where you are actually living it) and to begin writing some short-term action steps that will help you begin moving in that direction.

Greg McCann is a certified Wellness Coach, a certified Personal Trainer and a certified Yoga Instructor.

What is Wellness?

The word wellness is far from underutilized in today’s world. Not only do we see it applied to all categories of health care businesses, but we also see it used evermore frequently in the pet industry. Even with this extensive use, if you should stop 100 people and ask them for their response in defining wellness, you may in fact hear 100 different answers. It is for this reason, that near the turn of the century, two researchers from Arizona State University began their quest of establishing a uniform definition of wellness.

In their research “Toward a Uniform Definition of Wellness,” Pangrazi and Corbin, came up with this definition: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.” To understand this definition most clearly, it may help to break down each part and examine it for what it is.

1. Wellness is multidimensional – This statement refers to the notion that the well-being of each person is affected by their emotional life, spiritual self, mental health, environment, occupation or vocation, financial framework, social well-being and physical health. It is a culmination of our well-being in all of these areas that provides the foundation of true health for each of us as individuals. This multidimensional concept is often depicted in the form of a wellness wheel as illustrated below.

2. Existence of positive health in an Individual – According to the definition of health as provided by the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Health then, is more than the positive results of a physical, but rather, the complete make up of who we are. If we desire to be truly well, then a positive aspect of health will reside in the majority of the dimensions shown above.

3. Quality of life – The quality of our life is largely an internal perception. What makes up the idea of quality of life for one person may be viewed very differently by another. For example, an individual may not have financial security or even financial stability, but if they perceive their personal quality of life to be high, it likely, will in fact, be high.

4. Sense of well-being – Similar to the quality of our life, our sense of well-being is also highly subjective and will also be determined largely by our perception. Research has shown that even individuals with poor physical health, if they perceive that they are well, are more likely to productively engage in life and work.

Practically speaking, how does this information apply to our individual lives? Wellness is largely a decision, a pursuit and a practice. It is a way in which we approach various facets of our lives and the energy we put into creating the most positive state of well-being that we may have control over for any given period of time. It is both an art and a science. And although there may always be areas of our life where we may not hit our ideal mark, the pursuit toward wellness will have its own reward in helping us reach that much closer.

Greg McCann is a certified Wellness Coach, a certified Personal Trainer and a certified Yoga Instructor.

Staying Well in Challenging Times

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Hellen Keller

Staying well during times that most of us have never experienced is something that takes both awareness, intention and possibly even a bit of creativity.  While living through this worldwide pandemic, it may be tempting to remain glued to the news from what is happening locally as well as around the world.  And although keeping current to evolving information remains important, taking time for yourself and the wellbeing of your loved ones is also important.

The reasonable question that follows then is: How do we do that?  How do we remain well during times such as these?  Here are just a few ways that we might consider remaining focused on our wellbeing.

  • Focus on family – As my wife and I were observing, how many more people do you see walking with their family? How many more couples do you see spending time together outdoors?  I’ve heard stories of families playing more games together, conversing more, and just connecting more in general.
  • Embrace rest – It is well known that many Americans do not get enough sleep. It could even be said, that many Americans have nearly forgotten the value of rest. Rest helps us to reset, reboot and restore. Rest often gives birth to greater mental clarity and even superior creativity.
  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude – It is difficult to remain anxious or worried when our focus is on gratitude. Keeping a daily gratitude journal has proven to be instrumental in combatting anxiety, depression and overall mental and emotional wellbeing.
  • Keep moving – There are very few practices that keep us in a healthy frame of mind than that of regular and consistent physical activity. And even though our fitness center may not be accessible at the moment, that does not have to stop us from moving. We are entering into spring and the weather is becoming more pleasant for spending time outdoors. You might consider grabbing a friend, or collecting your dog and going for a walk, jog or even combine your walk jog with a little strength work or yoga?
  • Hop into a hobby – When was the last time we took time to invest in a hobby or our favorite past time? This could be the perfect time to do that.  Painting, gardening, podcasting, photography or videography, birdwatching, wood-working, fishing.  The list is often only as short as our imagination.
  • Send a letter of encouragement – How many service men and women, health care workers, law enforcement and emergency management personnel, or even small business owners, would brighten to a letter, note or word of encouragement during this time? This could be just one way to give back as they rally to do their best for the wellbeing for us all.

Greg McCann is a Health Zone staff member with certifications in Wellness Coaching, Personal Training and Yoga Instruction. 

Defining Wellbeing

Greg McCann defines the four aspects of “wellness” and his focus for helping clients.