To have great vitality. What does that actually mean?
According to the Dutch Dikke van Dale dictionary, the word “vital” means:
- Important for life
- Powerful; energetic
I interpret the first definition as those essential ingredients that are important to make life possible. While the second definition indicates how something or someone feels.
Important to make life possible! What is absolutely essential to make life possible? First of all, think of water, light, food, rest, safety, exercise and last but not least love. Loving attention for yourself and the other.
Anyway, in that case I’m doing something wrong. I got up this morning, drank some water and had breakfast in a beautiful house in a safe place in the world, with the sun shining through my windows and my husband and three daughters around me. And yet, I don’t feel great vitality.
How come so many people in this modern world don’t experience a good vitality? Think of all the physical complaints that people experience, but also psychological complaints such as burnout, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, excessive stress. The numbers don’t lie. Fatigue occurs in around 20% of the Dutch population. Around 14% suffer from burnout complaints.
Somehow contemporary humans have messed up the components that make up great vitality It seems as if we have forgotten the essential ingredients or use them excessively. Due to abundance, we have lost sight of our nutritional limits. Eating is not only nourishing for our bodies but also excessively fulfills our need for rest, safety, love and in some cases light itself. Movement, on the other hand, is often not used enough. While a body that doesn’t move literally dies. In the meantime, we no longer have time for rest. We are constantly mentally on the move and our brains are constantly on. Unlike our smartphones, they don’t get time to recharge. Due to constant distraction, incentives, abundance, and boundlessness to mention a few things, we have deviated from our inner compass, out of balance, away from our basic needs.
What does it take to experience strong vitality? To be powerful and energetic in life again?
Vitality has to do with the basic ingredients. It has to do with what you put into your body, your diet. Does that make your body happy or does it have to work harder? It has to do with getting enough exercise, keep stimulating your muscles, i.e. “sitting is the new smoking” idea. It means paying attention to your mental well-being. Do you give yourself the necessary attention, time for reflection, time to feel, time to set goals. And do you also give your social needs the necessary attention, the significant others in your life, whether at home at work or in your community. But it is also about creating a safe resting place for yourself. And by that I mean a place where you can be yourself. A place that contributes to your well-being. In addition to a safe, quiet place, it is also essential to literally go outside. Go into nature, into natural light. Try to grow a plant in a room without windows! We humans must not lose contact with that which we are part of. And that finally brings me to love. Love is the factor that connects all ingredients, gives strength and makes life meaningful. Love starts with love for yourself. Loving yourself the way you are. Only then can you give love to someone else and to this world! Love has to do with self acceptance and acceptance of the other. Be aware of this all-embracing element in you.
Summer is coming and that’s a great time to boost your vitality. To hitch a ride on the energy of the sun, the vitality of the plants and trees and the full bloom of the colorful flowers. Start with yourself! Now is the time for you to shine. Focus your attention on that intention and act accordingly. Look at the basic ingredients in your life and use them for that purpose. So here is a list, the extent to which you feel vital (provided you are medically healthy) is related to:
Physical exercize and relaxation
Safe, relaxing environment
Consciously apply these ingredients in your life. Feel what is needed and seek help if it is not clear what needs to be changed. If you want to feel powerful and experience great vitality this season, all these basic elements must be given attention. So do not adjust your diet without exercise or exercise very hard without adjusting your diet or mental state of mind. Don’t be very social without having your safe, peaceful environment in order. And don’t do your best to love someone else if you don’t feel the love for yourself. The extent to which each element needs te be addressed is different for everyone.
Finally, experiencing great vitality is not a fixed state of being, it is a moving process of adjusting and steering. Use the basic elements as an inner compass on your way to a powerful and energetic life!