I’m sure most of you have heard of the butterfly effect or saw Ashton Kutcher’s 2004 sci-fi/thriller to understand the basic concept. But, in case you haven’t, chaos theory, also known as the butterfly effect, states that small things can have a non-linear impact on complex systems based on a sensitive dependence on initial conditions. In other words, a small change can make a much more significant change happen, or one minor incident can have a considerable impact on the future. The theory is called the butterfly effect because it has been said the flapping of a butterfly’s wings could cause a typhoon on the other side of the planet.
What I refer to as the “wellness effect” has a similar principle as the butterfly effect theory, but as it relates to wellness. With the wellness effect theory, I believe small changes in one aspect of wellness can make much more significant changes happen in other parts of wellness.
Let me explain.
Wellness is a lifestyle, whereas health is your body working as it should. Good health results from a wellness lifestyle. Living a wellness lifestyle is about finding the right balance of all the wellness components to reach your fullest potential.
If achieving total wellness is the goal, how do you get there? In my previous post, you learned that there are eight essential elements of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, financial, and occupational. Eight may sound like a lot, but they all contribute to your overall happiness and life satisfaction. Fortunately, as you start working towards improving just one element, you will find some of the other components begin to change without you even trying or with little effort. Thus, the wellness effect is about how different aspects of wellness feed off of and fuel each other.
For example, let’s say you are unhappy at your current job. Maybe it was never what you wanted to do, but life situations forced you into it. Let’s say this job you’re unhappy with is working in a fast-food establishment. You get free meals when you’re working, so you eat fast food daily. As a result, you start to gain weight affecting your physical wellness. In addition, being unhappy with your job and physical appearance begins to affect your emotional wellness. You barely make enough to make ends meet, and there is not much opportunity for advancement; now, your financial and occupational wellness are suffering as well.
As you can see, the wellness effect is not always positive. But, let’s say, instead of staying in that unhappy situation, you decide to start taking night classes. You earn a degree and improve your intellectual wellness. Then you apply and land the job of your dreams that you love. That gets you out of the fast-food industry, and your eating habits improve, improving your physical wellness. Working your dream job enhances your occupational and financial wellness. And you are now more confident and happier than ever, improving your emotional wellness. It started small, with just signing up for a night class. But it ended up having a huge, life-changing impact.
Unfortunately, as humans, we are often afraid of change when we should be embracing positive change, no matter how small. By embracing what can be the chaos of life during your wellness journey, you actually start taking control of your health and wellness. When you are in control, that means you have power over the narrative of the changes you make and whether they positively or negatively impact your life.
So what exactly does that mean for you? It means you don’t need to get overwhelmed by all the components of wellness or by thinking about how far you still have to go in your wellness journey. Instead, try thinking about just one small change you could start making in your life. If you turned that small change into a habit, how do you think it might impact your life two weeks from now, 30 days, one year, five years, or ten years from now? I imagine there is a good chance your life could be completely different, and in a good way!
It also means that you can start right now making that small change that may have a significant impact on your life later on. If you are unsure of what changes to make in your life, wellness coaching may be the answer to help you figure out where to begin and give you a guided start to your wellness journey.
The purpose of our wellness coaching is to help you create a balanced life. By heightening your self-awareness, you will be able to embrace the change necessary to achieve your goals, discover your purpose, and find joy. Change has to occur in order to balance your life. Otherwise, you would already be reaching your full potential in all areas of your life. If that is not the case, but you are ready for complete life satisfaction, then make the decision right now and don’t put your health and wellness off any longer.
Start with a change today, no matter how small!