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Well-Being and the Whole-Living System Approach

By Raúl Carral - Academy of Well-Being


By Raúl Carral | Business Developer - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 13:00

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Recently, we have seen an increasing interest in people and organizations in well-being. More than ever before, people want to feel better and be at their best. People realize that the high demands of modern living imbalance their personal lives. This results in disease, emotional instability, pain, unhealthy living, and disconnections from people close to them. From an       organizational viewpoint, we have seen a significant trend of employees leaving their jobs due to job-related stressors or employees not performing at their best, impacting the organization’s results (see, Why Should We Infuse Well-Being Into Organizations?). People and organizations realize they need to do something to improve their employee’s well-being. But they often need help figuring out what to do or where to start. 

We have seen organizational well-being programs that only scratch the surface of problems. Often, these programs create disinterest, confusion, and short-term impact. There is a focus on improving isolated parts of the whole-living system rather than on the roots of the problems. A whole-living system approach can produce greater clarity, vitality, flow, thriving relationships, and the long-lasting impact many people search for.

A significant first step for organizations is to try to do something about the well-being of their employees. However, there needs to be more information and an understanding of what to do. Well-being experts are often too specialized in narrow, isolated areas of practice. Still, they must cover many considerations to produce long-lasting positive employee impacts. Results must be monitored, and interventions should remain flexible.

We have seen three common misconceptions when organizations design their well-being programs that lead to unsatisfactory results for organizations and people.

Misconception 1: “Well-being is achieved through wellness” – In this common misconception, we have seen well-being programs that focus on the physical body, such as having people do more physical activity, adopt healthy eating habits, and sleep hygiene. Some of these programs can impact the physical body, which is excellent but disregards the emotional, mental, and energy elements of a person’s whole system.

Misconception 2: “Well-being is achieved through psychological treatment” –Organizations create programs that focus on providing employees with needed therapy and treatments for mental imbalances and diseases. It is excellent and very much needed for organizations to support and encourage employees’ mental wellness. But by enhancing the physical, mental, emotional, and energy elements of the whole system, many employees can gain expanded awareness and optimize their mental function without needing a treatment model of care.

Misconception 3: “Well-being is achieved through sporadic retreats, activities, or programs.” - Intermittent retreats, activities, or programs can help people revitalize. The problem is that after finishing these events and “recharging the battery,” people go back to living their lives with the same daily stressors, low-quality relationships, and challenging conditions. Therefore, well-being requires solutions that can foster new sustainable baselines.

It is encouraging to see organizations care about their employees and engage in well-being programs. These programs can be tailored to make their best impact possible. We have seen that long-lasting well-being is based on a whole living system approach. This approach considers the totality of who we are as human beings. In the whole living system approach, we must take care of the human being's physical, mental, emotional, and energetic components. These components must be balanced within oneself and with others in the working environment. Also, the working conditions and well-being programs need to support long-lasting positive impacts. 

We nurture the whole living system approach at the Academy of Well-Being. This stems from the wisdom of the science of life (commonly known as Ayurveda), Caring Science, and modern scientific discovery in heart-mind-emotions. This approach goes beyond the body and mind-body. Caring Science includes concepts from philosophy, ethics, ecology, and mind-body-spirit medicine. Also, Caring Science provides an advanced guide for people to grow their inner capacities and talents by looking beyond the physical and mental by adding emotional and energy components. A whole living systems approach is an excellent foundation for organizations to design programs with long-lasting, effective results. Also, this approach allows people to gain greater clarity, vitality, flow, thriving relationships, and well-being. 

A new baseline for well-being is essential in building a thriving organization. This thriving organization is made up of a high-performance workforce producing superb results that the CEO and the board of directors would be thrilled to see. It is essential to design a whole-living system approach to well-being programs for the people within the organization.

Photo by:   Raúl Carral

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