Novice

Once you have graduated from the Noob concepts of Wellness, it is time to explore things which are slightly more complex. Novice Wellness principals begin with the concept of habit and how to enact the habit of setting goals in order to achieve that change. From there we will explore the basics behind nutrition, exercise, and wrap up with a discussion of how Wellness can only be achieved through a whole lifestyle change.

In addition, there are concepts which will begin to appear that the Novice will want to familiarize themselves with. These concepts are designed to help Novice wellness explorers overcome the initial hurdles most common in people who consider themselves "unhealthy". While more advances Wellness explorers still implement these principals, they are done so with less conscious effort.

Mindfulness

Habits are the repetitive, routine behaviors we engage in, usually out of subconscious desire. Some habits are done with the conscious mind playing an active role, but in terms of change the habits people want to change are those that they seemingly cannot control. These are also the most difficult habits to address as they have become so ingrained that they require little or no conscious thought.

These habits usually do not appear suddenly, but have developed over a long period of time. Consequently, altering these habits takes a lot of effort and investment in resources. Some habits have become interconnected with a person’s personality, physicality, or sense of self that they can never be completely altered. In these cases, habits are not changed but are merely managed in a more productive way.

For the most part, humans fill their lives with habits. Because of this, a person usually does not simply get rid of a habit. Instead one habit is simply exchanged for another. While this is not always a negative thing, Wellness dictates that we become conscious of ourselves. It is not enough to simply swap out one habit for another. A well individual is conscious of their habit and chooses to engage in behaviors that benefit wellness.

Mindfulness, in this instance, is the act of recognizing behaviors that are otherwise left to the subconscious mind. Drawing habits into the conscious realm allows the conscious mind to manipulate them. This is the most effective way to illicit change as even though the subconscious mind can work in your favor, it mostly runs operations as it sees fit.

Gratitude

Gratitude is an oft misunderstood concept. Many self-help "gurus" are correct in promoting the necessity of being grateful and expressing this state of mind. Where many of them fail is when they try to make everything a positive and optimistic concept. Life is not always blissful, and not all things should be accepted with gratitude.

There is a gradient to life. It is wise to take the time to recognize the positive aspects, and people should express their gratitude for these gifts. It is also helpful to recognize seemingly negative things and approach them with a gratitude perspective as well. Negative things provide the contrast necessary to enjoy positive things, and the lessons and strength derived from hard times should be respected.

Then there are those things which warrant no gratitude. To ignore these aspects of life, or to try to offset their power though the vanity of pretending there is some positivity there is wholly irresponsible. There is no gratitude in my heart for crimes against children, and there should be no gratitude from anyone for this behavior. Some aspects of life deserve curses and the absolute rejection of any form of gratitude whatsoever.

Affirmations

Affirmations are a tool people use in order to change how an individual talks to themselves. Whether you believe in the concept or not does not change the fact that we all have an internal voice which is responsible for much of our behavior and all of our self-image. This voice is not always positive, and more times than not is providing an incorrect perspective of the world.

The subconscious mind can only manipulate the conscious mind through this voice. In turn, the only way to manage the voice in the subconscious is through conscious action. Affirmations are the most common tool used for this purpose, and can be effective if employed properly.

Meditation

Aside from the connotations of enlightenment and becoming some robe clad, temple dwelling, head shaven Zen master, Meditation in essence is taking the time to release as much thought as possible. It is the act of relaxing, and not in the traditional way of sitting on the couch and watching television. Meditation is the separation of the self from all external stimulus in the hope of relieving stress.

For the most part, the technical aspects of Meditation can be ignored. For the Novice, the essence of Meditation is the process of finding a quiet place to practice being at rest. It is the process of recognizing that life can be hectic, but taking a slice of time out of the day is necessary. Outside of sleep, Meditation is a conscious decision to refuse the intrusions of life for a moment in time.

The Novice state is one in which the realization happens that they are not alone in the desire to become well. There are numerous industries and resources available to help people find their wellness path. One thing the Novice needs to understand is that the true nature of wellness is to provide this information free of charge. True Wellness professionals want to make people well, not make themselves wealthy.

Certainly there are a lot of resources out there which are beneficial and which come at a price, but a Novice needs to approach their wellness journey knowing that they should not pay for information or services at the onset unless they are dealing with a complicated medical or psychological issue which should only be approached through a professional. If you are someone who simply wants to enhance their wellness, there is enough free information out there to guide you.

Buyer beware.

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