Movie mogul Steven Spielberg recently spoke about a life philosophy to pay mindfulness to the “whispers in life.” He attributes some of his cinematic masterpieces to whispers he hears about what he should be doing. It makes sense; a lot of the little inspirations in life may not get the attention they need when everything in life is so fast, loud, and aggressive. Much of this is true about health. We are bombarded with information, and not all of it is quality information.
Every day we are bombarded with marketing, analytics, and psychology which operate on our vulnerabilities and insecurities. Big data companies love to collect data on people’s habits. This has become so commonplace online, that virtually every stroke on the keyboard and click on a smartphone becomes data for some data scientist or analytics professional to decipher and use to increase consumerism, influence processes, and even change a nation’s leadership.
However, if you’re aware of what’s at hand, you can learn to beat the system. Every day companies want your attention and your dollars. But, in your own mind you remain the master. You can listen to your wellness whisper and not their over-hyped nonsense.
This still holds true with your personal whispers about your own wellness. You may drive past several chain restaurants daily. You can masterfully learn to decline their invitation to consume their products. Even when they’re practically shouting at you from the highway, choose to listen to your own whisper.
Wellness is quickly becoming the new money-maker instead of disease prevention. It’s true. In no other time have Americans exercised as much as they do right now (Gallup Poll, 2015). You can even see this impact in fashion. “Athleisure wear” is a monstrous source of revenue for retailers and fashion (Kleist, 2016).
Medical doctors are starting to host health and wellness coaches inside their primary-care private practices (Rankins, 2016). Insurance companies and doctors realize that there is money to be saved when patient prescriptions are not simply written on a notepad but coached along with a professional who can steer willing patients to comply with doctor’s orders.
Employers have dipped into this as well via Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) accessed through human resources departments or wellness coaching made available at work. Insurance companies can offer a lower group premium if employees sustain better biometric health data over time. It’s not just physical health either – care in the mental health area helps decrease employee absenteeism, and when employees are happier they tend to be more engaged and productive.
Be selective about engaging with professionals with true integrity towards your wellness. When you meet someone who you’re considering working with to better your health, what does your whisper tell you about this person? Do they act professionally? What is their track record with supporting wellness? Do you get a sense of integrity from them? Do they look well themselves? Is this program something the employer can cover, and does human resources recommend them? If this is a professional you’re connected to through your doctor, do they have the same knowledge, experience, and bedside manner as your medical doctor? Don’t be afraid to ask them about their resources and connections, either. Many health coaches are networked with nutritionists, dietitians, and fitness professionals. You can sometimes hit a treasure trove through just getting to know one person in this wellness network bubble.
It seems that everyone has their own agenda in mind when shouting at you. Listen to your whisper about what you want to achieve in your personal pursuit of wellness. Keep your wellness your top priority in this loud world.
By Melissa Frank, Psy.D.
CDL Wellness Coach