Wellness is a paramount aspect of living your best life and regaining your identity after a substance abuse disorder. It goes beyond just not being sick and focuses on identifying your ideal well-being. Intellectual wellness will be the focus in this post.
There are a number of sub-groups to wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, financial, occupational, and social. According to the World Health Organization wellness is, “”a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Wellness is an important topic to discuss in regard to recovery for a number of reasons. First off, because it can help a person avoid relapse. Figures from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate forty to sixty percent of people who go into recovery will relapse within one year. The flip side to this statistic is that as much as sixty percent of people in recovery don’t relapse. Another reason wellness can be helpful is that it offers people recovering with the necessary tools to create a healthy lifestyle. Recovery is a lifelong process that takes place gradually. The further into recovery a person goes the greater their opportunity to build good habits one after another.
We can associate our intellectual wellness with how we use our mind: how vitalized we are, how often we actively pursue new endeavors, our creativity, and our critical thinking. It primarily accomplishes two things. Intellectual wellness allows us to grow our knowledge and develop new sets of skills while also providing us with the opportunity to share these skills and lessons we’ve learned with our peers. It motivates us to participate in activities that stimulate the mind and encourages us to get our creative juices flowing. We can develop this form of wellness in a variety of ways ranging from traditional means like furthering our education or less traditional methods such as taking on new hobbies.
Intellectual wellness stresses the value and importance of learning above everything else. When our intellectual wellness is on display we become like detectives. In other words, we become fascinated with the world around us and curious to explore its secrets. Our curiosity is energized by our intellectual wellbeing. This influences us to seek out new experiences. In addition to this, it serves as a catalyst to stimulate our understanding of our role in the world around us. The most important thing to remember when looking to expand your intellectual wellness is remembering to keep an open mind. With that being said, what does intellectual wellness look like? Here are some of the sign (courtesy of University of New Hampshire) that show intellectual wellness:
- Developing good study skills and time management
- Having the ability to challenge yourself to see all sides of an issue
- Being a critical thinker
- Developing your own ideas, views, and opinions
- Exposing yourself to new ideas, people, and beliefs that are different from yours
- Becoming aware of who you are and what you value