Updated: Mar 11
Stevie Wonder, American songwriter, singer, record producer, and overall legendary music GENIUS, wrote a beautiful song in 1991 titled, “These Three Words.” And in that song are a line of lyrics consisting of only three words, “Sweet and Simple.” Yep, that’s it! If you blinked too long, you missed it, LOL. Sweet and Simple, are three words that I wish life could be ALL the time but, hey we don’t live in a utopia. You know something else I also wish was sweet and simple…. health and wellness. But, before I talk about health, wellness, and simple things I love; let’s talk about this ONE word, “simple!”
When you think of the word simple, what comes to mind?
The word simple emanates simplistic, simplify, simplification, and simpleton. I think there may be more “simple words,” but, I can’t think of them at the moment, and I am not about to create a headache doing so. Haha, it’s a STRONG NO for me! LOL. But, back to my question of what comes to mind when you hear the word simple? Is it a positive or negative thought? While some definitions define the word simple as, “lacking in knowledge or expertise,” “lacking in intelligence,” or even lacking “social and cultural sophistication”; I want to focus on the more positive definitions when focusing on “simple,” “simply.” These more positive definitions define simple to mean, “constituting a basic element,” being “straightforward or plain in manner,” “uncomplicated,” or simply, “easy to understand, deal or use.” Simple does not mean you’re stupid for not knowing something. I believe the definition of using simple to mean “lacking in knowledge or expertise” is true for everyone because let’s be honest—no one person on this earth KNOWS 100% about anything or, everything. This is why we have “A-HA” moments (I mean, think about it--DUHHHH). Or, even the reason we have books on a plethora of topics, issues, and subjects; and also, the reason we have the internet to research what we don’t know or, want to know more of.
So, when it comes to simplifying our health and wellness, why is it so challenging to stay healthy, improve our health, or, achieve holistic living for our soul?
Well, before I attempt to provide reasons for the complications and sophistications bombarding our entry to simplify our health and wellness, I think we need to define what health and wellness are, and differentiate between the two because they are often used interchangeably.
Let’s start with defining health. According to Stoewen (2015), “health is a state of being” that includes “physical, mental and social-well-being;” whereas, “wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle and aims to enhance well-being” (p.983). Your health and wellness can improve or decline, depending on how you take care of your body and other internal and external variables or components that can have an impact. While health is easier to define, wellness is more physical health, exercise, and nutrition only. It is the amalgamation of health, mental, social, and other components that include: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, environmental, and occupational (Grands Rapids Community College, 20210). So, in essence, wellness is the integration of your health and all the other components that contribute to an individual’s overall quality of life. Therefore, no matter how you put it, you want to live a healthy lifestyle (wellness) so that you have a more positive chance of having good health; or vice versa. I feel like it’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg—but, in this case, our goal is to have both good health and be in a positive well-being state. So, depending on your situation, wellness comes first, or vice versa! Just go towards the LIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGHHHTT, LOLOL!
Nonetheless, with all the constant pressures and lack of intelligent information surrounding health from social media, a new fad diet every day we wake up, including a weird nutrition trend to adopt; body shaming, “perfect fitness trends, with perfect fitness models;” daily occupational stress, a lack of connection to your modality of faith, mental stresses, life stresses….I mean the list goes on and on and, it’s no wonder we are HIGHLY confused on where to start. Shoot, do we eat kale or not? Do we drink water out of a glass or box? I meaaaaaann, GOOD GRIEF—our poor little brain and mind can’t process fast enough all stimuli that keep rolling in.
So, where do we start? Is there ONE way to simplify your health and wellness? I don’t think so!
Personally, my Christian faith is HIGHLY important to me. Now, you may not be Christian and that is OK---we can still have things in common. So, don’t leave just yet. I am learning one way of simplifying how I view my health and wellness is to be mindful of what I am thankful for (I am talking about super small things like listening to my grandfather laugh at his jokes or, sitting in Georgia traffic in a downpour, listening to Tobe Nwigwe, while eating a vegan cupcake). Listen, if you are unfamiliar with Georgia traffic IN GENERAL (and then, add on droplets of rain)—THERE ARE NO WORDS! Assign whatever stress level you want and there you have it! LOLOL. PUUUURRREEE FOOLISHNESS! Nerveless, when I can listen to GOOD music in traffic and have a delicious vegan dessert (because I am plant-based/vegan) chile, you can’t tell me NOTHING-NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING. Don’t even part your lips, leeeaaave me alone, while I achieve greatness! LOLOL.
So, those are just a few SIMPLE things that elevate my well-being in stressful situations. Seriously, finding ways to elevate your wellness positively can improve your health (happy hormones, happy bodily systems, happy signals for healing, etc.). “Sweet and simple,” right?
I want you to take 5-10 minutes out of your day to make a “Gratitude” list or collage and write WHY these things matter. And don’t forget to keep it, “sweet and simple!” If you want to leave a comment, I’d like to see what your list consists of.
Here is a collage of simple things that produce gratitude and help improve my overall quality of life. It’s not an exhaustive compilation but, it ranges from being thankful for having FRESH produce to purchasing a cute pair of shades to, seeing flowers blow in the wind.
Alrighty, soooo, I think I’ve talked enough for now, LOL.
Until my next blog post, remember to transform your health and simplify the rest!
1. Grand Rapids Community College (2021). Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved from, https://www.grcc.edu/faculty-staff/human-resources/professional-development/wellness/seven-dimensions-wellness
2. Stowen, D. L. (2015). Health and Wellness. Retrieved from, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4535518/