For me wellness is more than just looking after oneself. Like eating right for instance. Getting enough sleep. Taking exercise. It’s also stimulating our minds. Addressing anxiety. Facing our fears. Taking control and making time for those around us.
Wellness should and must be something we all embrace and share from head to toe. Socially we are technically more connected now than we have ever been. And paradoxically more isolated at the same time. Emojis have crept into our communications in order to humanise our emails, texts and messages. No one expects them to replace actual contact – they’re an abbreviation of course. In some ways supplemental. Much like any other informal gesticulation.
But you can have 3000 ‘friends’ on social media and yet feel completely alone. I’ve found the most powerful thing I can do to lift myself, my family, friends and colleagues is simply to smile.
I learnt at the tender age of six what a smile can do. My teacher remarked in one of my first infant school reports that she looked forward to being greeted with my beaming face full of freckles every school day morning. To this day the thought that my smile – just like anyone’s smile – could have such a positive effect on someone, has never left me. And, at 57 I have very many smile lines to prove it. Pretty much everyday I’ve considered who my next willing victim of my smile’s going to be. And everyday it’s like an invisible forcefield of positivity that’s helped me either untangle problems or help someone sort out theirs. And I’ve also considered the impact of not smiling.
So for me wellness is something you can spread. Like rays of positivity that can delight and diffuse in equal measure.
But it shouldn’t be an illusion. Sure a smile can mask sadness and it has done for myself on many occasions, but sharing a smile makes all the difference and it always in my mind reflects back on ourselves, unselfishly.
We have such a great deal to be thankful for. Wellness is something we can all create and cultivate. Starting every day with a smile helps.
About the author.
Steve Tolton is the Managing and Executive Creative Director at Fuel Integrated.