Wellness-- is a trendy term and, in fact, has grown on me. According to Webster, wellness is defined as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal”.
What do you think of when you hear this term?
In my experience, many people hear the term wellness and immediately think of exercise or going to the gym routinely, but what we are really talking about is wellness as a whole, which may mean many different things to each of us! Some of these thoughts and ideas may include:
- Spending time outdoors
- Making time for the ones you love
- Fueling your body with wholesome foods
Overcoming tobacco use may require one to be creative to find peace elsewhere or determine other ways to get that dopamine fix that is missing.
Research shows physical activity provides a release of dopamine, has been shown to improve mental health, and can be helpful for those overcoming addictions. There is even talk that physical activity should be prescribed just like other medications as it is crucial for well-being. It has been found, with exercise, one gains confidence through practice and mastery- which in turn can be measurable goals and something to focus on versus using.
Meditation and yoga provide great practice to focus on being in the present moment and being aware/in tune with one’s body. Specifically with addiction, practicing mindfulness (by being aware) one will recognize their signs and symptoms to use and transition them to acceptance and a reduction of impulsivity.
Make the space for those who are important to you. Using tobacco can sometimes place a wedge in close relationships, leaving individuals feeling alone and isolated. Humans are social beings! A quote stumbled upon at Mayo Clinic from William Mayo himself says, “No MAN is BIG enough to be INDEPENDENT of others.”
Spending time in nature and fueling your body with wholesome food can be seen as practices of self-care or as a practice of spirituality. Making these positive choices can increase energy levels, allow space for choosing other healthier options for food or activity, and increase overall mood.
The moral of the story is…. When you feel good you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to!