In this modern age of corporate business, more businesses are embracing the idea of improving the wellness of their employees by offering training in this area. It is said that an effective Wellness Program can improve employees productivity, lessen leave of absences and sick days, create a happier work environment and help employees communicate more effectively, all of which reduces the cost of running the business which can mean less cost and better efficiency for the businesses customers. In the not too distant future SCS will be rolling out just such a program for its employees. Here at SCS we are committed to finding unique ways to improve our productivity and efficiency. As part of my role here at SCS I have been helping to create a Wellness Program so that our employees, right from the top of management to the casuals that are employed on a casual basis, can have access to knowledge that if they choose to implement may indeed improve their daily lives. For us it is not about using someone else’s program, as we are spending a decent amount of time and money creating and tailoring our own unique Wellness Program that we believe will fit our particular business. For myself personally, just studying about all the aspects of Wellness has opened my mind up to many more possibilities and choices that have improved my own Wellness. I believe that to teach it I have to live it and the greatest part about that for me is that it works.

First of all I would like to explain just what our particular Wellness Program is all about and the intricacies of the processes we have created.

It is said that Wellness is  an active process of becoming aware of and learning to make healthier choices in ones daily life . Of course this is an individuals choice and not something that can be forced on people to do but part of Wellness is of course being aware that maybe there are a few things in ones life that they would like to change or improve on. Wellness is not just about physical aspects of life like eating, sleeping and exercise. Wellness is also about ones state of mind and for many people, spirituality as well. There are also social aspects to Wellness like friendships and effective communication, being able to express what ones needs may be without feeling judged and or ridiculed for ones way of life, opinions and beliefs. So in general Wellness and Well Being can affect all of us at different stages in our lives.

In my opinion, often we can be working so hard that we can forget to take notice of how stressed out we are getting. Stress is said to be one of the biggest killers of people in this modern age and yet for alot of us working hard is a necessity just to be able to survive. Often it may be that we just do not know how to deal with the daily stress of raising a family and working hard to put food on the table and so we may form habits that in the big picture of things can lead us to an early grave or long periods of sickness and unwellness both physically and mentally. So I believe personally that if people are given the information to form and put into action some thinking that creates more Wellness for them and those around them then together we can create not only a better environment to work in but also a better world to live in.

So here are some of my thoughts and opinions on this concept of Wellness and also some interesting scientific

facts and figures. Have you ever heard of Neuroplasticity? It is the science of how our brain works and the reasoning behind why we can think the things that we do and therefore create habits and behaviors that can be either a positive or negative experience in our lives. Have you ever tried to change a habit or behavior and given up because even though you try your hardest you are unable to and so just continue on as you always have? The science of Neuroplasticity explains how and why this may be the case for any individual. As we experience events and situations in our lives our brain responds by building pathways within the nerve cells (neurons) that then create a response or reaction from us emotionally and physically. Habits are formed simply because our brain figures out the quickest and most productive way to create the same experience so that it can function at its best and this then creates our subconscious behavior which is doing alot of the tasks that we dont normally think about E.g. blinking our eyelids, walking, talking etc.

Alot of the things we do in our everyday life just become subconscious behaviors and normal habits due to our brain building these pathways. The good news is that if we choose to we can build new pathways that then cause the old pathways to fade off into the background. So it is possible to change any habit or behavior by just repeatedly acting out and doing the new habit or behavior. Though it is a bit harder than it sounds it is still possible. My opinion is that by understanding this science of Neuroplasticity and how our brain works we then can use that understanding to manipulate our brains into doing what it is we want it to do and this then becomes an act of conscious behavior, which is something we can control.

The fact is that our brain is a muscle and needs to be exercised, when I first learned this fact and really thought about it. I thought about all the years that I have been going to the gym and exercising to keep fit and build my muscles. I had never thought of my brain as needing the same sort of attention. I had for years been focusing on the strength of my core or stomach muscle region as I was taught through martial arts training and even my doctor ( to fix my sore back ) that my core strength was pivotal to my punching and kicking power and also my general feeling of well being. Of course being fit does play some part in making me feel good but my point is I hadnt thought much about how my brain works and its need for exercise as part of the muscle building process. That maybe my various periods of sadness and depression, bad habits and behaviors had something to do with how I was not exercising my brain or the way I was exercising it. Through my studies to help create the SCS Wellness Program  I realised that I should find out the best way to go about that and so the start of my real interest in Neuroplasticity was born.

The truth is that it is not my core that needs the most attention but my brain, it is my brain that is the central part of my whole being and so it now makes sense to me that by focusing on the true needs and operation of my brain and mind that I can implement some real changes in my life. Of course this is just one part of Wellness but using an analogy of building a house, it is the strong foundation of the base of the house that needs to be built first, the foundation is the pivotal and most essential part of the house, the stronger the foundation the stronger the house, I can focus on the roof later on in the process, So if that is the case for a house then in my mind my brain is the most pivotal and essential part of me as a human being and also the foundation for my journey into Wellness and self awareness. To answer the question of this blogs title ” Are Wellness Programs Worthwhile?” Yes it has been for me and the things I have learned about my own journey and Wellness have been not only life changing but well worth the effort.” Effort” you say? Yes Effort, I have learned that the more effort I put into something then the value of it increases and the rewards are equal to the amount of effort I am prepared to expend.

From my studies into Neuroplasticity I learned about something called the “Comfort Zone” and how it is scientifically proven that we learn more when we put ourselves out of our comfort zone and by understanding this concept, our lives can become richer and full of new and exciting experiences as we push ourselves to learn new things. By actually trying this myself I can truthfully say that it works and I am excited to be in the position of being able to teach others to go beyond what they ever thought possible for themselves.

As I have already mentioned there are many aspects of Wellness and so to write about it all in one blog would be too much of a task. So in the interests of keeping the reader curious I shall add to this blog over the coming months and explain our Program in more detail.

Cheers

Graeme