Updated: Jul 30, 2021
Sociology defines Lifestyle as “way or style of living” and if the year 2020 has taught us anything, it's that our lifestyles are way more than just the quality of products we use in our lives. A small lifestyle products brand that was initially created for people to convey what exactly goes on in their minds and heart has now taken this one step further and looking at the bigger picture, we are focusing on meliorating lifestyles through not only our products but also rigorous research, especially in the Indian context where terms like wellness and holistic lifestyle are still associated with only its physical aspect to a great extent. To understand more about us, allow us to help you to understand a little bit about topics that drive us. This article is the first one in the series of many to come and we hope with all our heart & soul, that after you are done reading it, you will begin your pursuit of turning your life into the most amazing one.
What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word “Wellness”? Having a stable job that provides financial support? Stress-free life? Success? Enjoying ‘Gup-shup’ over a cup of chai with your friends? Playing a game of cards with your whole family? It can mean different things to different people because to a teenager, wellness may mean spending the day out with friends and having fun whereas to an elderly person, the highlight of their day could be getting out of bed to do simple tasks. Maintaining an overall state of wellness - be it exercising regularly, spending enough time with yourself or having stable relationships with those around you – is the key to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Here’s how WHO defines it:
'Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’
The definition stands correct for its objectivity but wellness is much more than that. Wellness, though underrated and still unknown to many, is a lifestyle and an act of practising healthy habits daily to attain better Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Intellectual, Occupational and Financial well-being. Wellness is an umbrella term covering all aspects of life right from finance, occupation to the environment around us and our physical health.
Mental Wellness involves balanced thoughts, emotions, resilience and coping skills.
Emotional Wellness involves connecting with and understanding emotions and efficient control over them.
Spiritual Wellness is being aware of yourself and your surroundings and having inner wisdom to reflect on the meaning of life.
Occupational Wellness is a work-life balance that promotes health and personal satisfaction.
Financial Wellness involves financial literacy, financial resilience, control over finances and stability.
Physical Wellness is getting an adequate amount of sleep, being responsive to bodily needs and level of physical activity.
Intellectual Wellness is being open to new ideas, thinking critically, drawing inferences and rational decision-making.
(The art in the image above is copyright of H&S)
When one of the domains gets disturbed, other factors get affected as well. Indian families, too, function that way. In the Indian scenario, wellness has a completely different meaning. It focuses only on physical health and well-being. Our culture emphasises togetherness, large social connection, affiliation and interdependence, with the family forming the focal point of this social structure. It’s not uncommon to see 3-4 generations living in the same household, which is run by certain beliefs and norms that are to be followed by everyone.
For instance, Expressing Anger in an Indian family is seen as a sign of disrespect to other family members, so suppression is promoted more than expression. This anger accumulates into defiance, aggression, resentment, passive communication which leads to toxic relationships and in the absence of harmonious resolution, often manifests as physical or psychiatric disorders.
Crying is seen as a sign of weakness where men are always expected to stay strong and carry the responsibility of their family. We feel uncomfortable seeing a ‘Man’ breakdown, after all, ‘Mard ko dard nahi hota’ which roughly translates to if a man expresses himself emotionally, he’s not a man. This has led to a high depression rate amongst the male population and affected holistic wellness.
Our mothers use Emotional Atyachaar (Emotional Blackmail) by saying ‘Beta jab zaroorat padegi na, tab rishtedaar hi kam ayege.’ to get us to talk to their dur ke mama Ji, who, by the way, we had met millions of years ago in a wedding and never talked again. Even though it seems like a day-to-day scenario, something is disturbing about how normal and deeply rooted they are in our culture.
For many decades, the term wellness has had a very generic meaning: “state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.” But, with evolution and more awareness, the term in the contemporary world has a very different meaning. It is more holistic, including different aspects. It is a very subjective concept and holds a different meaning for different people. For instance, if you are someone who is over 60 years, wellness may mean maintaining your physical health whereas, if you are a teenager, wellness may mean being in the right mental headspace or maintaining a good relationship with your friends.
While a lot of people don’t realise this but in reality, these different aspects of wellness all are interdependent which in turn, affect the quality of life. When one aspect is affected or if there is some sort of an imbalance created in one aspect, it affects all other aspects as well. For example, your struggle with your finances may result in you being in a constant state of worry and restlessness. This will not only affect your physical wellness but also affect other aspects of life. It will take a toll emotionally and mentally which may affect how you perform in your job. It is a continuous loop and eventually, this imbalance will lead to long term consequences and cause a disruption in your overall lifestyle. It is very crucial to understand the importance of maintaining a balance between the different aspects of wellness. Various factors can cause a state of imbalance. These factors range from simple everyday problems like not getting sufficient exercise to stress, poor time management, peer pressure, and not spending enough time with yourself and so on. You may notice how these are the problems that almost everyone goes through but not all of them realise that it is these problems that lead up to the bigger problems in life like underperformance, overworking, exhaustion and can also cause a strain on your relationships with your dear ones or overall emotional imbalance.
Realising these small problems is your first step to achieve a holistic lifestyle. Spending time with yourself and introspecting has proved to be one of the most effective ways of overcoming these problems. Getting in touch with your emotions, understanding, and acknowledging them is important.
Many activities have proven to be helpful to achieve a happy and healthy lifestyle. These include journaling, yoga, meditation, and activities that promote self-growth. Heart and Soul aim exactly at this. We want to help you achieve a holistic lifestyle through our grind. As the name suggests, we want your heart and soul to do well, add value to your everyday lifestyle and ensure that we are of help to the maximum.