When we make the decision to lead a more introspective life, we start to discover the patterns of our thoughts, the instinctual reactions to emotions, and the beliefs that have been passed down to us by society and our families.

As we have learned, simply becoming aware of our thoughts, patterns, emotions, and beliefs can help lead our lives into alignment with our true selves. Every day we are inundated with different beliefs and notions on what is healthy, what is the best way to lose weight, how we can live our lives in a state of well-being.

This week, we will break down our own definition of health and wellness, and work towards reprogramming our beliefs on what truly is healthy for our minds, bodies, and spirits. What is health? What is wellness? What does it really mean for us to want to “be healthy?” In my own opinion, I link the term health to how our bodies function on a daily basis.

We sometimes forget that our bodies are living, breathing, complicated machines with different organs performing different functions. So much goes on inside of us at every moment of every day, and it is our job to take care of this body that guides us through life.

With that being said, being healthy and striving for health, is getting in tune with your own body and listening to the messages your body tells you. If you are tired, get some rest. If you are in pain, back off from what you are doing. If you are hungry, eat nutritious foods.

Wellness, I believe, is when your mind, body, and spirit are in sync, when every action you do benefits your highest and greatest good. We are well and healthy when every action, thought, and idea has purpose.

As a society, we’ve shifted our thoughts on food from something that nourishes the body and mind, to what we can get our hands on those tastes good. I always remember the phrase, “eat to live, don’t live to eat” and I think that rings true.

This week, let’s create our own beliefs on health and wellness based on what really works for us as individuals. No two people are the same, so it’s silly to think that what works for me will most certainly work for you.

I am offering some take-away thoughts that may help guide you to develop your own definitions of health and wellness. Take some time to think about what is really best for you and your body, contemplate the take-away thoughts and start to create a healthy, mindful life suited just for you!

First, health-and-wellness is a state of mind, and a way of life. By simply being present to all your intake and noticing how your body feels each time you do so, you are living from a healthy, mindful place.

Recognize that the best foods are grown, not created in a factory. Opt for plant-based, organic foods from local farms. Avoid products grown with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Do your best to avoid genetically modified foods. Look for labeling on pre-packaged products that states “your food is non-GMO.”

Preparing your own meals is the surest way to know what is in your food. Have fun with it, cooking doesn’t have to be a chore. Create meals you know your body will love and your mind can be at ease knowing that you specifically chose each ingredient going into your meal.

Finally, accept that no one is perfect and that each day is a new day to try something new, incorporate a new healthy concept, and start over again. Be gentle with yourself and look at your life as a fun and exciting adventure of health and wellness!

How do you define health and wellness? What are some of your healthy habits? What do you think you can let go of to become more in alignment with your own personal health and wellness?

Lisa Roper-Parolise

Lisa Roper-Parolise, a resident of Los Banos, is an author, life coach and owner of KreaTive ChanGes (#Kreative ChanGes).