23 May, 2010

The five cornerstones of wellbeing

Today I started to think about things that make me tick, things that make me happy, things that I enjoy. In general, things that bring me satisfaction and enjoyment in one way. I could think of several such things: most sports, philosophy, studies, close friends etc. They all fit this category. But they also are very unlike each other in some ways. Could these be fit into some kinds of categories? After some consideration, I could think of the following list:
  • Affection
  • Physical body
  • Intellect
  • Imagination
  • Playfulness
No surprise really that I considered relationships to be important. I'm sure that everyone knows that relationships to family, friends and especially a significant other are paramount to our wellbeing. But this category goes beyond just those. I feel that the importance here is on our ability and will to share and receive love and affection in general. I include things such as charity work, helping out friends and simply not being a jerk in this category.

Physical body
Ok, probably not everyone agrees with my view of the importance of bodily action. I've always done a lot of sports and feel very strongly the need for physical action. I have to shake that stress off to switch into a state of relaxation. This category encompasses physical action beyond sport, for example playing drums, skateboarding or dancing would belong here.

I need to think about stuff to stay interested. I hate things that are non-challenging and include only following some preset guidelines. I want to use my mind. Intellectual actions are anything from puzzle-solving or philosophy to reading the newspaper or a novel.

I'm a dreamer, that's no secret. I've read countless fantasy books in my youth and are still a big fan of imaginary stuff. Movies, books, poems, music, they all spark my imagination and cast visions of a different future, present or past. It can be useful in many ways: therapy, creativity facilitation or just being simply fun. Which brings me to the last and maybe most controversial category.

I believe that being a child and playing is vital to one's mental health. Some people think I'm an geeky idiot (not necessarily a false statement for other reasons) but I've always loved games, be they board games, video games, roleplaying, boffer fighting or whatever. It's really relaxing, you should try it out sometimes :) Playing is another sort of escapism, really makes me forget about my worldly troubles.

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