How often have you started an email, “Hope you’re well”? Or when someone asks you how you are, do you routinely say, “Yeah, I'm ok thanks"? And then how often do you say, "Yeah, I'm Really Well, thank you”, and genuinely feel it?
Here at EVNLY we’re on a mission to help people find their own Really Well. That’s being able to authentically say to yourself that you are genuinely feeling well. And to absolutely mean it. Maybe not all the time, but at least most of the time.
Really Well for us is when you’re in complete alignment, mentally and physically. That feeling on the inside is matched by how you radiate health on the outside. It’s this balance that will help you deal with the challenges of the outside world – even one as full of uncertainty and risks as the one we’ve experienced in 2020.
The resilience that comes with real wellness helps you cope with anything that rocks your boat. When things aren’t going so well financially. Or when external forces like relationships, bosses, and personal circumstances are far from great. This article is the beginning of a series of blogs about how to elevate yourself to this state, brought to you through a blend of personal experience, insights and contributions from leading writers around the world.
Think of it as your hack to personal mastery, balance and fulfilment.
What does Really Well feel like to you?
You can probably take in all of the key points we suggest and put them in action. And just by doing so, you’ll probably start to feel good, if you’re not already of course. However, nothing is permanent in this world, and as soon as we think we’ve mastered something, we can quickly get distracted and end up right back where we started (albeit a little wiser and knowing ourselves a little better).
It takes time, but we think, that if you’re not already there, you can evolve into a state of Really Well, and just as importantly, learn how to get yourself back there if you drift. Think of it as an inner and outer journey on the way to understanding what makes you as an individual feel Really Well.
We think it goes way beyond just your physical state, in terms of how you’re feeling, and taps more into your psyche – how you’re thinking. This delicate balance between mind, body and soul, and the alignment that can follow, is what fuels a flow state. This is an effortless, heightened state of awareness where everything is just as it should be. You’ve probably experienced it while doing something you’re good at and enjoy – whether it’s driving, cycling, playing tennis, writing or skating. Anything where you cease to have to consciously think about what you’re doing, you just do it beautifully and naturally.
Of course with so much bad news and so much uncertainly, it’s easy to see why many of us feel like we’re more in survival mode than Really Well. And that’s OK. That feeling is real and it’s symptomatic of a world that’s not been so well itself as of late. Whether it’s political leaders driving a greater divide, a continued sense of unease from injustice and imbalance, extreme weather patterns and their causes, or the current epidemic and the uncertainty around us. The world is sick. Let’s not try to gloss over that. Really Well starts with how you think.
Really Well is an attitude of mind before it’s felt physically. We can personally state from experience that you can feel Really Well even with a sore back, poor sleep, financial uncertainty, imperfect relationships, even with elements of personal unfulfilment.
There’s wisdom in that old saying that “It’s not what happens to you, but it’s how you deal with it that counts.” So it’s more about how you think than what you think, or even what’s happening around you – although that can’t be ignored. We don’t subscribe to that bullish approach of powering through, based on blind, forceful positivity – that often misses the reality of the situation. While blind determination may be empowering in itself, it doesn’t really allow us to be real about where we are, and what it is that actually might need some attention.
We feel that the starting point to Really Well is optimism. Whether your default is to look at the glass half empty, or half full, there’s an inner belief that it can be constantly refilled.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines optimism as “the tendency to be hopeful and to emphasise or think of the good part in a situation rather than the bad part, or the feeling that in the future good things are more likely to happen than bad things.”
Thought leader Simon Sinek talks about optimism, rather than the denial of reality. He says: “Optimism is the belief that the future is positive, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re heading there, together.” This is in contrast to blind positivity. Simon is clear that optimism isn’t the denial of reality, but instead the steadfast belief that the future is bright.
“Optimism is the belief that the future is positive, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re heading there, together.”
Simon Sinek in London
An example from my personal life is my uncle. He has mouth cancer that’s been cut away, taking with it his ability to eat and swallow, something which the rest of us take for granted. This mouth cancer has unfortunately become a recent feature in our family, also claiming my mother just a few years ago. However, rather than wallow in self-pity and resign himself to the cancer, he has stayed positive, and has even enrolled onto a distance learning course to deepen his interests and gain new skills.
Make no mistake, he is real about the fact that the cancer could consume him, but he doesn’t stop too long to think about. Instead, he puts his faith in his medical team, and focuses his mind on staying healthy, active and learning new things. He’s still doing his 10k steps per day – even when confined to his home, and he even camps out in his garden some nights for a change of scenery. Young or old, we all have a finite time on this planet. My uncle is an inspiration to embrace life to the full every day, no matter what cards you’re dealt. But is optimism alone enough?
Probably not. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, the author and alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra stated that he is still an optimist, but “a very guarded” one. “If you are realistic right now… optimism is not enough,” he says.
We agree optimism isn’t a universal panacea to health and happiness. But we believe it’s the most fundamental first step any of us can take to getting on the track to real wellness, and provides the right foundation for the journey. It feels like optimism is exactly what we need as we close out 2020. Things seem to be changing for the better, and we will soon have a vaccine to help the most vulnerable and take away much of the pressure of our health systems, kicking the epidemic sideways from crisis to manageable normality. In fact, if we look at the current situation, maybe this is part of a positive transition. Maybe we can make ourselves and our planet Really Well again?
So even though you might be a realist, or maybe even a pessimist at heart, you can still choose the optimistic route through life, and on into the world around us. That frame of mind is the first step in the right direction to being Really Well.