Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wellbeing Is a Way of Life


by

Valerie Cheong Took

Wellbeing is when we feel good within ourselves: happy with who we are, with what we have and having an optimist view of life in general. To take worries off our minds, we sometimes go for activities that make us feel good - eating chocolates/ice cream/crisps, retail therapy, talking with friends and watching TV shows. There are times when all these stress busters do not work. We feel uncomfortable, not knowing what to do next. There are other times when our worries come back soon after.

Maintaining a positive outlook on life is critical as we move forward in life. The things we do to keep our motivation ongoing can impact our general wellbeing if we become dependent on them. Snacking, shopping, watching movies are all healthy activities when they are done occasionally. Everything is about balance.

Continuing shopping when our wardrobes are already full of clothes or snacking when we have weight problems indicates an unhealthy dependency. There are other forms of dependency. Clutter is another example - keeping things in case we need them in the near future. After 1-2 years, these things are lying around without having been used once. It is sometimes of no use to tell ourselves that we need to declutter, stop shopping or snacking. We all wish it were that simple!

Understand your motivation to keep on shopping though your purse is tight or there is no need to. It is the first step towards gaining back your personal independence. There can be many reasons. Eating habits are sometimes cultural. In some communities, everything revolves around food - family gatherings, celebrations. In the past, these communities had to face food shortages due to war, droughts and financial hardships. Now that food is readily available, a lot of effort and time is spent on meals. Changing our food habits may involve reviewing our cultural norms or beliefs in relation to food.

Retail therapy can be a great booster for our self confidence. Our physical brand is an essential part of who we are. However, it does not define our self worth nor will it help to address the challenges that life brings to us. We are defined by our actions, strengths, weaknesses and what we choose as our core values. Making up for the loss in our self confidence by shopping is a temporary solution. What can sustainably boost our self confidence is facing the challenges, looking at them from a different perspective and letting go of the feeling of "being stuck".

Wellbeing is about building inner resilience and resourcefulness to address our daily challenges. Every answer lies within us. Hiding behind our busy lifestyle or our good looks does not resolve our daily challenges. Life coping skills are learned by doing. There's no other way of acquiring them. Reading books on positive thinking or shifting the blame onto others or procrastinating about them only makes them worse. Addressing them by trying out different options, applying all the empowerment techniques that you have been reading about builds your inner strength and nurtures your creativity.

Changing your habits take time. So think about what you can do as from today to regain your personal power and independence. Take one step at a time and achieve quick wins, ensuring that they become an integral part of your life.

To know more about wellbeing, Valerie provides one to one coaching and workshops for groups. Please visit http://www.valeriecheongtook.com for more information.




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