Vitality is akin to wellness but much more immediate. Wellness is the backdrop for vitality and can be conceived of as a state of living fully, finding maximum fulfillment from all areas of life: your occupation, family, finances, relationships, education, spirit, and of course, your body.
Wellness is not simply the absence of disease. Healthy is a very personal thing, a state of thriving, not simply surviving. Some have put it very clearly when they say that wellness means adding life to your years, not simply years to your life!
Ten Descriptors of Retirees Who Live Life With Vitality
Have a high self-regard: They seem to think favorably about themselves even in the face of trial and tribulation. They harbor an internal sense of “all rightness” at their core that appears undisturbed by outside pressures. Certainly, they can become upset and irritable at times, but they regain composure rather quickly and emerge without damage to themselves.
Value their physical health: They monitor their body and are aware of its needs. They are kind to their body in the sense that they don’t overtax it; they give it proper rest, grooming, exercise, medical attention, etc. They have realistic expectations about what is appropriate for them in their stage of life.
Have a high sense of personal worth: they see themselves as valuable; they recognize their accomplishments as successes, and can easily understand how useful their work is to the overall project. They enjoy a high sense of utility; they believe that what they are doing is worthwhile.
Have faith in themselves: They understand at deep levels that they are capable, resourceful, and enduring. They enjoy an appropriate sense of personal confidence, which is seldom, if ever, overstated. They seem to possess an aura of stability and security.
Expect success: They have a hard time believing in failure. What other people might call failure, they seem to recognize as just another learning experience. They expect good things to happen right from the outset of a project or task.
Enjoy productive and supportive relationships: Perhaps because of their internal confidence, they enjoy people. They don’t fear that they will be unfairly criticized, and if someone does become upset with them, they can handle the situation with appropriate social skills.
Take optimal care of their body: They like the feeling of knowing that they are doing what is necessary to keep the marvelous machine of their body in top running condition. They feed it correctly, get proper rest, maintain a regular exercise program, and perform other healthy maintenance and promotion activities, which allow them to perform maximally.
Engage in stress reduction techniques: Regular exercise, mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, a power nap, prayer, soothing music, appropriate “self-talk”, or any of many other stress-reduction techniques; they know several and use them regularly.
Take good care of all their gifts: They know their gifts and talents as individuals and maintain an active interest in the development and growth of their talents. They seem to appreciate what they have been given and are not particularly envious of others’ talents and gifts.
Make continuous adjustments to their attitudes and behaviors: They seem to know innately that their attitudes are the bedrock of their personality and that they need to keep on top of which ones need modification and in what ways these modifications can be made. Attitudes can become antiques, useful yesterday, but quite out of function today. Sometimes we neglect to trade-in our antique attitudes for newer, more functional models.
Vitality means searching for the spark that exists right here, right now. Vitality is proactive, productive, positive, and spontaneous without being impulsive. Vitality means living to the fullest extent possible, under whatever conditions are presented to you. Vitality means finding the luster that exists in each and every situation; finding the love, finding the miracle. Vitality means grabbing the “gusto” that’s always there.
Vital living depends very little on the outside and is almost entirely dependent upon one’s internal world. Vitality is not blind to one’s life circumstances, but vitality can be the force to help us look at what enhances us rather than what tears us down.