Feb
12
2013
Love and Wellness

love

Love isn't just romantic.  Love comes in many forms and all can contribute to greater joy and health.

In last week’s practitioner’s blog, we discussed the meaning of Wellness.  We shared that wellness is more than just physical health.  Wellness is being in good condition physically, spiritually, and economically, and socially.   It is truly about feeling good in your mind, body, soul, and heart.

Oh the tender heart! The body may get sick or injured, the mind may fracture and fade, the spirit may rebel or suffer from conflict, but all those conditions pale in comparison to the suffering of a lonely or broken heart.  A joyful heart can make us feel buoyant and almost invincible.  A heart in pain can reduce the strongest body and mind to a crumpled heap of inconsolable tears.

This week, our calendars grace us with Valentine’s Day.  The celebrated day of LOVE.  Retail stores have exploded in red and pink decorations, boxes of chocolate are heaped by checkout lines, and jewelry commercials are in overdrive.

But is this really meaningful?  Is love dependent on heart-shaped box of chocolate, or a velvety box of sparkly jewelry? Maybe.  Those things can certainly inspire smiles and smooches and represent oceans of true love that make you feel all sorts of giddy and happy. This is good and can even boost other components of well-being such as social satisfaction and better health.  In fact, the media is full of research reports that link a happy love life to better health.

Does this mean you need to go out and find Mr. or Ms. Right to reap the health benefits of love?   No, definitely not.  Love is more than romantic love between members of a couple.  Love comes in many forms and all forms can be inspiring, comforting, joyful, and even healing.  Need a little more love in your life?  Here are the Top Five Ways to Add Love in Your Life by the i spa Health Studio team.

 

  1. 1. Love Your Work

    A fulfilling career can fill each day with joy, improve your relationships with others, and lead to greater wellness.  Conversely, dissatisfaction with your work can lead to stress and stress leads to all sorts of physical, emotional, social, and even spiritual problems.

    If you are not jumping out of bed eager to get to work and devote yourself to your passion, maybe it’s time for a little introspection.  Do you need a different position?  Different job? Different profession? If a change, small or big is needed in your life, what can you do today to step in that direction?


  2. 2. Love Thy Neighbor

    Allow us a broad definition of “neighbor”.  We mean your friends, co-workers, drivers on the road, strangers at Wal-Mart, and even your actual neighbors.  When was the last time you smiled at stranger?  Not because he or she was super cute, but just as a random, momentary sharing of joy?

    A 2003 Psychology Today article stated that if our need for social relationships is not met, we fall apart mentally and even physically. So save your mind and body, and make a new friend today.  It can be hard to reach out to others, to risk rejection or indifference, but those risks can be worth breaking a cycle of unwanted isolation. Loneliness is a killer of the spirit. Make a first move.  Wave at a neighbor, yield the right of way, hold the door for someone, or just say hello.

    One member of our team always compliments cashiers at the grocery store.  She observed that even though cashiers interact with hundreds of people a day, the only word they tend to hear is “Plastic”.  Greet a cashier. Tell him or her that their glasses look great, that their jewelry is pretty, or that they have beautiful eyes.  Use their name when you speak to them and you will see smiles that will light up the store.


  3. 3. Love Your Pet

    According to ASPCA.org up to 7 million companion animals are taken to shelters every year.  At least 4 million of them are euthanized.  If you want unconditional love and have the time and resources to care for a living creature, adopt a pet from your local shelter.

    Pets can add laughter, joy, and adventure to your life.  Pets don’t care if you wore white socks with black shoes or if you drool on your pillow.  They want to spend time with you, have fun with you, snuggle with you, and make you smile.  Yes, there may be the occasional chewed shoe or soiled floor, but the love you receive from a pet is pure and constant.


  4. 4. Love Your Family

    For some, this may be hard.  Families come in many shapes and forms.  There are birth families, adopted families, and the family of friends that we build through life.  Maybe you have a Norman Rockwell Family.  Maybe you have a Norman Bates family.  Either way, being at peace with relatives is a crucial component to wellness.

    If you are more on the Rockwell family scale, enjoy.  Talk often, send cards, surprise each other, have dinner together, and say “I Love You” often.  Celebrate your roots and create wonderful memories.

    If your family ties are a little knotted, what can you do to improve that? Unresolved issues with family members can lead to emotional, mental, and even physical distress.  Can a phone call, letter, email, or even a text make things better?  Are you willing to make the first move?  To say “I’m sorry”?  To be more patient?  Perhaps be a little kinder? What relationship can you improve today?

    Are you carrying a grudge?  Let it go.  It doesn’t matter who caused the issue or who is to blame.  There is a popular quote that says “Not forgiving someone is like refusing to pull a thorn from your foot because you are not the person who put it there”.  If you are carrying hurt or anger, let it go.  Not for anyone else, but for yourself.   Perhaps the person who hurt you does not belong in your life, and that is okay.  We are not suggesting you rekindle a toxic relationship.  We are asking you to consider that if you harbor a grudge, then that person is still with you, still hurting you.  Find a way to forgive and heal, even if on your own.

    Are there little ones in your family?  Read a book to them.  Get down of the floor and play like you were six years old.  Keep them safe, make them laugh, and let them see the wonders of the natural world.  Kids are amazing, curious, pure little creatures who need to be guided, nurtured, and loved.  Do your part to ensure their wellness.


  5. 5. Love Yourself

    How do you feel when you look in the mirror?  Do you smile wide at the pretty girl or handsome chap smiling back at you?  Or are you bombarded with painful thoughts of “not enough”: Not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not smart enough, not rich enough, etc.

    If you feel more inclined to cover the mirror than hug the mirror, we have a message for you. Stop.  Breathe.  You are okay, just the way you are.

    Okay, okay, maybe you have a list of transgressions that you believe make you eligible for self-loathing.  What are you going to do?  What small (or big) step can you take today to feel a little more worthy?

    Take the time to be the kind of person you can admire and love.  Conquering numbers 1 through 4 on this list are great, but don’t stop at 4.  You need number 5.  You deserve number 5.  There is only one you in this whole word.  Maybe that sounds cheesy, but it’s true.  Cherish that.  Honor that. Love that.  Perhaps Dr. Seuss said it best:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

 

Remember, no one can stop you from loving yourself.  No one can forbid you from developing self-respect, self-worth, and self-confidence.  Oh yes, other people and circumstances can make it difficult, but ultimately, your relationship with yourself exists only within you.  Explore this and cultivate a healthy self-love.  Look in that mirror and grin like a fool!

This list is definitely not comprehensive.  There are a lot more ways to tap into the love that is all around you.   Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.  Tell us your love stories.  We’d love to hear them.

 

From all of us at the i spa Health Studio:

Happy Valentine’s Day.

May you create and experience abundant love in your life.

 
     
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i spa Health Studio

The goal of each practitioner within i spa Health Studio is to aid you in your journey to health and wellness. We offer acupuncture, massage therapy, psychology, weight loss programs and facial skin care services. Our wellness center is located in Largo, FL, and is convenient to the Tampa Bay area including Clearwater, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.

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