Facilitated by Ferroudja Meghenem (CEO Wellness Values)
This workshop had two main objectives: learn some keys to enable participants to better know themselves through the wellness path and be able to identify their individual areas of improvement in order to increase personal well-being.
At the beginning, I shared wisdom from the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius, which resonates with me and was I felt a good way to introduce the topic of Wellness: “The plant which grows very easily will never flourish when exposed one day to sun and ten days to cold. To be able to grow, the plant needs to be exposed regularly to sun.”
Before presenting the wellness concept, I first asked each participant their own definition of Wellness in one word spontaneously. I was not really surprised about the answers. The main words that emerged are the following: “balance”; “harmony”; “well-being”.
In France, the term ‘Wellness’ is applied in many ways. In particular, it has long been used by the SPA and thalassotherapy industry. If we search for a brief definition on the internet, it is usually translated by “well-being”/“bien-être”.
This workshop was a great opportunity for me to share, with people in France, another definition of Wellness. That used by the National Wellness Institute in the United States. This is the definition that I personally use and that I support as part of my professional activity: “Wellness is, above all, an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”.
The word ‘active’ is important since it suggests the responsibility of each of us for our individual growth.
I presented to the group the six dimensions of Wellness developed in 1976 by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI):
- Occupational: Our personal satisfaction through work and the ability to establish balance between work and leisure time.
- Intellectual: Our desire to open ourselves to new experiences in order to continue growing.
- Emotional: Our capacity to understand our feelings and manage behaviours related to our emotional states.
- Social: Our behaviour towards each other, our contribution in our environment.
- Spiritual: Our capacity to discover meaning and purpose in life.
- Physical: Our capacity to take charge of our health by making conscious decisions to be healthy.
Based on this interpretation, we can state that our flourishing on earth or our sense of well-being is a combination of each of these dimensions with our own ratios of each. Even if we all have common needs, everyone is unique, so ratios may not be the same from one human to another. It depends on multiple things, such as our identity, our personal interests, our culture etc. Nobody on earth can achieve 100% on each dimension. The most important thing is be aware that we can improve some things in our life in order to better appreciate it.
Once the six dimensions of wellness had been presented and explained at the level of the individual, it was interesting to show how they also can be applied in the corporate environment. Indeed, as individuals should be aware of their own areas of improvement, so to companies should make the move to incorporate wellness as a core company value in the interest of both their employees and their bottom line.
The second part of the workshop consisted of presenting successful corporate case studies of organisations which have integrated wellness as part of their being - such as SAS Institute (US) or Brocade (US).
The last part of the workshop was intended to engage participants in an enjoyable experience. Participants were first asked to complete a questionnaire in order to assess their whole-person wellness. A discussion of their results in small groups followed. A spokes person from each group then presented a brief summary of their deliberations to the entire group.
The exchange was very rich in each group. I really appreciated the whole hearted participation and enthusiasm of each participant. Everyone was able to identify their areas of improvement. Some participants were positively surprised by their results and this has encouraged them to pursue their wellness journey.
Wellness is a delightful engaging topic and in the future we will have a lot more to say about it, at both the individual and corporate level in France!
Ferroudja Meghenem (Committee Member NWI International Standing Committee) is the CEO of WELLNESS VALUES, a strategic consulting firm specialized in Wellness. Ferroudja started her career in audit and strategy & organizational consulting. For several years, she advised important and medium size groups. Ferroudja Meghenem is also a passionate Woman who actively supports the values related to health and beauty of body and mind. As part of WELLNESS VALUES mission statement, Ferroudja helps companies and brands integrate a Wellness strategy within their organization and rethink their customers and employee experience.