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The 8 pillars of wellness- How to reset your life

Monday Canyon Ranch Ride

Sometimes you just need a “do-over” to reset your life.

Unfortunately, there are many things in life that you don’t get to do over.

However, when you have the opportunity to right the ship, you can jump on the chance. When you hit the reset button on a computer, video game console, or even at the bowling alley, you clear everything. Nothing is saved, and you start over.

You might need to hard reset your life.

But, oftentimes, a gentle reset will work out.

It allows you to restore and rewire. You can leave what happened in the past and move towards possibility.

In sutra 2.16, Patanjali states Heyam Dukham Anagatam, “The pain which is yet to come is to be avoided.”

You can’t change the past.

Whatever you are in the midst of, there is not much you can do but change your relationship to it.

However, you can change what you do going forward. You can hit RESET.

Eleanor Roosevelt said so eloquently, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it The Present."

How you act today can set in motion change for the future.

Instead of thinking you must write off a whole day, year, or decade because of a bad moment or a series of unwelcome moments, you can decide to hit reset.

This takes some mental commitment and reframing since human brains are hardwired to look for the negative.

How do you get yourself out of that rut?

You can’t just put flowers on top of a bad mood and expect to feel better.

You need a quick reset at the moment.

Go for a walk. Put on a piece of music. Move into a new room. Make a call. Anything that cues you to shift focus and rewire.

This is your cue to reset your life, be it in the moment or for a longer-term.

It’s a good time to take stock of what areas need a little refreshing. As Irwin Corey said so simply,

“If we don’t change direction soon, we will end up where we are going.”

When it comes to your well-being, you can choose to hit reset in any area of your life.


Here are some suggestions on how to reset your life when you take a close look at the 8 pillars of wellness.

If you are going to begin the process in any of these areas, make it something that:

You want to do.

Is possible.

Is easy to remember to do.

Reset your Physical Realm

This applies to anything related to the body and taking good care of it. To name the basics: exercise, sleeping, nutrition, understanding the mind-body connection, and the wisdom of the body.

  • Sleep—get 6-8 hours a night.

  • Create a nighttime ritual.

  • Eat foods without a label and make your diet colorful.

  • Move your body—walk, run, swim, do Zumba, do yoga postures, or other exercises you love.

  • Get a wellness coach—a wellness coach can help you follow a healthy lifestyle plan.

  • Reset your Emotional Realm

Our mental wellbeing encompasses coping with life’s ups & downs, being resilient, managing emotions, having a growth mindset, cultivating mindfulness, gratitude, and compassion.

Begin a Meditation practice or, at the moment, simply follow the STOP Exercise (Stop, Take a breath, Observe and Proceed.);

  • Journal—what are three things you are grateful for today?

  • Breathe—inhale for four, pause, exhale for eight. The breath is connected to the mind. When you change the way you breathe, you change the effect on the nervous system and the mind.

  • Do yoga—when you do yoga, you initiate a process that turns off the fight or flight response and turns on the relaxation response. The deep breathing, the stretching, the movements that release muscle tension, the focus on being present in your body, and getting out of your head have a dramatic effect on the body and emotions.

  • Get a wellness coach—a wellness coach can support you with stress management.

  • Yoga can help you reset your physical and emotional realm.

  • Reset your Social Realm- This aspect is about having satisfying relationships, social networks, good communication, empathy, and compassion. As humans, we are wired for connection. A lone human on the savannah was usually a dead human.

  • Make a call—don’t be shy. Reach out to family and friends. Simply call an old friend.

  • Join a club—connect with people with the same interests.

  • Set an intention to listen more mindfully. Mindful listening is the practice of granting our full attention to what is being shared with us at any moment. Mindfulness guides us to take in what another person is saying with openness, curiosity, and non-judgment. Chances are when we are being listened to mindfully, we feel heard, understood, cared for, and honored. This can have a profound effect on a relationship.

  • Join a sangha and do yoga—yoga is a community of people supporting each other.

  • The act of gathering with like-minded people is uplifting.

  • Reset your Spiritual Realm- This is not some ethereal experience. Perhaps you have a strong sense of religion, from which your beliefs and value systems come. However, being religious does not equal spirituality. Instead, this aspect encompasses having a set of beliefs and values, purpose, and meaning. This understanding of your “why” helps give direction to your life. A sense of purpose makes people live longer, feel better and stay physically healthier.

  • Breathe & Meditate—breath and meditation practice invokes a sacred pause that takes you deeper into your true nature;

  • Journal and answer the following:

a. I feel most alive when? 
b. What is most important to me? 
c. How can I make the world a better place?

  • Get out in nature—spending time in nature can be a spiritual experience. When we are outside, we open up our vision to a more panoramic view and pay attention to what is around us. This results in the magical sense of “Aahhhhh…”; Do yoga—originally, the context of yoga was spiritual development practices to train the body and mind to self-observe and become aware of one’s own nature. Yoga guides you in a set of ethical principles, helping you to live and go right to the heart of your actions of body, speech, and mind. Universal themes such as love, kindness, and compassion for others are inherent in the practice.

  • Reset your Environmental Realm-How do you interact with your environment and, how does it support your wellbeing? This aspect is more than taking care of the earth and paying attention to climate change. It also pertains to your surroundings, at home, at work, or wherever you spend a lot of time. It comprises both your social and natural surroundings;

  • Declutter consciously—getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidy space opens you up to possibilities.

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • Refresh your home—plants, candles, colors, and being near natural light can refresh a home or workspace to be more conducive to your wellbeing. Embrace Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga. Ayurveda has an intimate relationship with nature. The five great elements in Ayurveda are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. All are made up of these. Nothing is separate, so we must harmonize ourselves with the forces in the universe. Hence to take care of your environment is to take care of yourself. Work with an ayurvedic practitioner—find out what your dosha is and how to live in

  • Reset your Intellectual Realm-We are called “homo-sapiens sapiens”—the one who knows. Learning and life-long interests are important for us to thrive as humans. Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. We need to be intrigued and creative. We know from the science of neuroplasticity that the brain changes in response to new stimuli.

  • Read a new book- Reading a good book is a great way to reset your Intellectual Realm.

  • Listen to a podcast or audiobook;

  • Watch an informative Youtube video;

  • Take an Online Course;

  • Do a Puzzle;

  • Do yoga - Svadyaya means self-study. When you study yoga by reading the Sutras or other texts, you deepen your understanding of yoga and all that it entails.

  • Reset your Occupational Realm- It is not always possible for our jobs to be aligned with our values and beliefs or our best creative interests. However, if you cannot have it in your job, you can find this gratification in other ways by learning new skills.

  • Start a new hobby.

  • Volunteer at that special organization.

  • Write that article.

  • Analyze your activities—think about what activities put you in a state of flow and bring you meaning.

  • Reset your Financial Realm- This last realm involves managing finances for short- and long-term plans, life planning, understanding our money mindset, and perhaps deciding where to skillfully donate your money. Finances are reported as one of the biggest stressors to couples, college students, employees, and probably everyone else. Align your budgeting and spending with your values. Work with an advisor on a plan. Reset Money mindset—what is your relationship with your finances? Be generous with your time and energy, not necessarily money. Even small acts of kindness and generosity can give your brain a dopamine boost.

Reset your Life

Well-being means experiencing vitality and feeling good about yourself.

It implies mental and physical health and improving your overall emotional resilience.

Your well-being is affected by each of the 8 realms of wellness.

Reset your life and set everything for a remarkable year.

Learn to be present.

Get active.

Connect with others.

Challenge yourself with new things.

Enhance your surroundings.

Practice gratitude and generosity.

Find your why.

RESET NOW. There’s no time like the present. Carpe diem.

Whether it’s a hard reset or a gentle reset, it requires self-awareness.

Sometimes knowing and awareness are not enough. We all get stuck in the Know/Do gap. It’s part of being human. That’s where a coach comes in to help you out. You define where to reset your life and a wellness coach helps you find your way.

Which of these realms needs some kind of attention and a little reboot?

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