Have you ever been in conversation with someone and one of your all time favorite movies gets brought up? You think the acting was spectacular, the cinematography enchanting, and the story absolutely riveting. You share your love for the movie with this person, only to find out that they detest it! They found the movie cheesy, boring, and poorly executed overall.
Once you get over that soul-crushing feeling, the “how could you think that way about THIS movie?!” exchange, you are suddenly reminded of how your perception of any given thing can be vastly different from another person’s.
While we can boil this example down to different tastes in cinema, I think it is a good example of how we perceive the world around us, and how many different ways it can be perceived.
For most of us, we are taught how to perceive and approach the world using the glasses given to us by our past experiences, our parents, teachers, culture, friends, etc... We have a unique perception, but how is our perception working for us? Is our approach getting us where we want to go? Or is it holding us back?
There are two main categories for perception, which can be broken down to 7 different approaches. The two main categories are known as “catabolic” and “anabolic”. Catabolic perception is generally negative, restrictive, resistant, and breaks down, while anabolic is typically positive, accepting, expansive, and creative.
When you think about your approach to health and wellness, what category do your thoughts and actions fall under?
Let’s zoom in to the 7 Approaches to Health and Wellbeing to determine where you are and where you want to be.
We’ll start with a common situation related to gaining control of health and wellbeing, which is the concept of having enough time to prepare meals, exercise, meditate, or get adequate sleep. Let’s say you have a busy schedule for the week ahead. It’s full of work and obligations. Here are some different approaches to this situation.
Level 1 Approach: (The Victim) I am so overwhelmed by my schedule this week, there’s no way I can find time to prepare meals and exercise, there’s no use in planning because my plans always fall apart, if I ask for a half day my boss will think I’m lazy, I’m afraid if I ask my friend to help me with the kids they would think I was a burden and a terrible mom, why does this always happen to me?
Level 2 Approach: (The Fighter) I’ve had it with my boss, they are so inconsiderate of my time, all they do is take take take from me and never compensate the way they should, I’m so frustrated by my schedule, I’m angry that my siblings aren’t stepping up to help take care of Mom and Dad, did the school really have to schedule parent-teacher conferences this week? I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.
Level 3 Approach: (The Rationalizer) I just have to get through this week and then I’ll be able to start my health journey; it’s ok, my boss just doesn’t know any better; maybe I can tell people I’m not feeling well and can skip some of my obligations this week
Level 4 Approach: (The Caregiver) It’s really important to me that I’m there for people this week; I want to help others as much as I can; I’m grateful for my job, friends and family; I want to make healthy choices this week so my kids are healthy as well; I want to take care of myself so I can be there for my friends and family
Level 5 Approach: (The Eager Learner) I know I overbook myself sometimes, I wonder how I could organize my schedule so it doesn’t overwhelm me as much? There are many opportunities throughout the day to make healthy choices, it just might not look exactly as planned. Everything will work out for the best.
Level 6 Approach: (The Visionary) I enjoy the job and activities I’ve chosen to do. My family and I can create a healthy life together, share duties, cook together, come up with new ways to exercise, and have fun while doing so. This is a valuable experience.
Level 7 Approach: (The Creator) I am the creator of my life, there is no good or bad, everything is at it is. I create my reality, and I choose unconditional love over fear.
Could you feel a shift inside of you as the levels increased? Woo, I know I could. What approach do you resonate with most? What approach felt best to you? What would change for you if you tried out that approach? How would you feel? What stops you from using a new approach? Let us know in the comments!
It may be no surprise to you that most of our society operates from a Level 2 Approach. While no level is right or wrong, you get to choose which one serves you, your loved ones, and your wellbeing the best. You are so very powerful! Use your power wisely, friends.