Wellness

Wellness – Building Your Capability for Employees

What is Wellness?

Broadly defined, wellness consists of being healthy in body, mind and spirit.  At mwah. we recognise that you will spend a significant amount of time and effort at work and, accordingly, your work life will be a significant contributor to your overall health and wellness.

In partnership with Energex, we look at wellness in a simple and practical way by couching it in terms of ENERGY, which is supported by the fuel you put into your body, the fire you need to keep driving forward, the feelings that connect you to yourself and others and the focus to do the things that create more energy, (and say “No” to the things that deplete your energy).

For most of us, we’ll spend ⅔ of our years and close to ½ of our waking hours at work. In fact, some futurists say that we’ll soon be working into our 80’s. So, of course, our work, and particularly the type of work we do, is going to be a significant contributor to our overall health and wellness.

Beyond work we are faced with the strange paradox that we have more information about how to be well than we have ever had in human history, yet we are more unwell as a human race than ever before. Obesity, heart disease, stress, mental health issues, lack of fulfilment and loneliness are all literally at epidemic levels.

Before we ask ourselves why, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the definition of wellness. Dictionary.com describes it as this:

  • the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
  • an approach to healthcare that emphasises preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasising treating diseases.

While the definition is well-intended and spot on, the simple truth is that we’ve never really been taught how to “be well” in a holistic way.

Most of us have a good general idea of why wellness is important, an inconsistent understanding of what we need to do to be well, and are pretty crap when it comes to the how or “deliberate effort” as mentioned above.  

A simpler and more practical way to think about wellness and what needs to be done, is to consider things in terms of ENERGY.

We intuitively know how things impact us from an energy perspective whether that be the thoughts in our head, how we feel after spending time with people, after we’ve eaten and everything in between.

The key is to turn that intuitive feeling into ENERGY INTELLIGENCE. This is essential, as every choice we make in life has an impact on our energy.

We need to build our energy intelligence in the same way we would learn a language or how to surf. We start by checking out the curriculum, then we learn the basics and over time with practise we take on more advanced lessons so we can become an expert.

If there’s one thing we should all be an expert in it’s how to lead the most energised life we can. Don’t you think?

The feeling of being energised is something we can all move towards. It’s desirable in a meaningful way because we know it contributes to our quality of life.  

We feel it very viscerally when we are ENERGY DEPLETED. In fact it’s easy to see and feel if others are depleted when we engage with them too. We’re so conscious of this that the thought that we might be branded an ENERGY VAMPIRE is something to be avoided at all costs.

The symptoms of lacking energy can turn up in many forms. It is when you have multiple symptoms that increase in severity over a longer period of time that we are at risk of an ENERGY CRISIS, where our wellness and ability to handle stress is detrimentally impacted.

You could be lacking energy for any combination of these reasons:

  • You’re unhappy physically
  • You feel unfulfilled
  • You lack direction
  • You’re having poor quality sleep and wake up tired
  • You experience a lot of negative self-talk
  • You feel isolated and lonely
  • You’re feeling stressed.

To overcome these symptoms, marketers and celebrities tell us we can buy our way out if it, (as if it’s an expensive toothbrush on a supermarket shelf.) The reality is that being energised isn’t something that can be purchased, and the only person who can increase your energy is you.

So just pause for a moment and imagine that you already have everything you need to be more energised. All that is required is a little extra help to understand what you need to do and how to do it.

As each of us is unique, consistently experimenting and practising how to be energised builds mastery or ENERGY EXCELLENCE.

When it comes to your wellness, what should your employer be responsible for?

The reality is that most businesses are still learning when it comes to wellness. After all, you’ve just discovered that the key to wellness is energy intelligence and energy excellence so it’s likely that your employer is only just discovering this too.

This means that you have a role to play in looking after yourself first. So here’s what you can do.

  • Take as much responsibility as you can for your own wellness by improving your energy intelligence and putting the steps in place to build energy excellence. No point in waiting on this one!
  • Share your knowledge with colleagues and also with the people you care about outside of work.
  • Get involved in building an energy plan for your business. A complete plan should connect the personal, leadership and business context. Read the leadership articles as well to learn more about what needs to happen here.

How will I know when I’m energised?

Well, of course you’ll feel it. It’ll start in your core and radiate outwards. Others will tell you they notice it too. Plus you’ll also be able to say these things with confidence:

  • I know what energises me physically and I invest in myself consistently
  • I’m energised because I know what I’m great at, I get to apply my strengths daily, I love what I do and why I do it
  • I spend my time with people who energise and challenge me in positive ways
  • I’m energised by feeling valued and knowing how I create value personally and professionally

How does that all sound to you? Pretty good?

You can have all of this by choosing to improve your energy intelligence and building your energy excellence. So why not start now?

Take the free mini energy excellence assessment at www.energx.com.au today.

© 2017 All rights reserved
mwah. making work absolutely human

An Introduction to Energy Intelligence and Energy Excellence

We know that looking after our wellness requires us to consider both body and mind, however breaking this down further is essential to get practical about wellness.

A simpler and more practical way to think about wellness is to consider things in terms of ENERGY.

We intuitively know how things impact us from an energy perspective. The thoughts in our head, spending time with people, what we’ve eaten and everything in between affect our energy either positively or negatively.

The key is to turn that intuitive feeling into ENERGY INTELLIGENCE. This is essential, as every choice we make in life has an impact on our energy.

Energy intelligence has four dimensions – the Energx 4Fs:

  • FUEL: The quality, quantity and frequency of food and water, fitness, sleep and recovery.
  • FIRE: Deeply understanding your strengths and how you can apply them to what you care about so that you love what you do and why you do it.
  • FEELING: This starts with feeling connected to yourself as a foundation for feeling connected to others – your tribe who energise and challenge you in positive ways.
  • FOCUS: This is your energy diary. How you create space for the things that energise and add value to your life personally and professionally while removing or reframing anything that depletes.

Therefore the definition of energy intelligence is:

  • The capacity to understand, become aware of, and control the impact of the Energx 4Fs internally and externally

Let’s start by assessing your energy intelligence. Simply rate yourself in terms of your knowledge of the following essential contributors to wellness. Complete your own wellness assesment using the attached form below.

Total Energy Intelligence Score

Add up your results to get your total energy intelligence score.

Whatever score you got, try not to judge yourself. It is what it is. In fact just going through this has increased your energy intelligence from where it was just minutes ago.

From this moment forward you have nothing but an opportunity to continue to increase your energy intelligence and in doing so you’ll be looking after yourself better too.

So what’s next?

It is essential to turn your energy intelligence into energy excellence

So now you understand half of the story. Like anything, intelligence without application or action is meaningless. That’s why in order to be energised we need to turn our energy intelligence (what you know) into energy excellence (how well you apply your knowledge).

Energy excellence is defined as:

  • The consistent, competent and ongoing application of energy management exercises towards mastery, with the objective of a creating an energised life.

If you haven’t already assessed your energy excellence today take the free four-minute mini assessment at http://energx.com.au/exam/.

At the same time, you’ll set yourself energy goals for three months’ time. Now it’s time to work out what to do to achieve them.

Building energy excellence is worth the effort

Energy intelligence and energy excellence combined create healthy people and healthy business.

Like learning the guitar we don’t just do it once and achieve sudden mastery, it takes experimentation, trial and error and sometimes focusing on one small detail at a time.

The Energx 4Fs framework gives you the basic foundation of energy intelligence. Now it’s up to you to incorporate energy building exercises into your lifestyle across all of the 4Fs.

It’s useful to understand what this looks like at a business level to work out what you can do personally as opposed to what your business might do for you as a benefit of employment.

How do I rate my workplace in terms of energy intelligence and excellence?

In a workplace setting, we focus on energy excellence. These are the business behaviours that demonstrate that the workplace has translated energy intelligence into action.

Before we do this, it’s important to understand that while businesses should take responsibility for the energy impact they have on their employees, it is still the responsibility of the employee to manage their own wellness by improving their energy intelligence and then applying this knowledge consistently to achieve energy excellence.

Only when the business and employee jointly take responsibility can we achieve the greatest impact.

Consider the following to assess your business on the spectrum of wellness responsibility.

FUEL

Some things you might look out for are:

  • FOOD:   Education through to the supply of healthy meals
  • FITNESS:  Access to fitness activities, subsidised wearables, policies on walking meetings, availability of standing desks
  • SLEEP:  Education through to incentives
  • RECOVERY:  Holiday leave balances are actually used, additional leave policies, flexible working, focus on output vs time, switch off policies

FIRE

Some things you might look out for are:

  • Business purpose and values are widely known and understood
  • Real and meaningful cultural symbols in place to place to demonstrate purpose and values in action
  • Clear alignment from business purpose to team purpose to individual purpose

FEELING:

Some things you might look out for are:

  • Regularly challenging limiting beliefs and assumptions in the business. Not accepting the status quo or “the way we’ve always done things”.
  • Diversity and inclusion are part of the business DNA
  • Established mentoring networks

FOCUS

Some things you might look out for are:

  • Shared goals are the norm and competing priorities are rare
  • Each team and individuals are clear on the value they contribute and rewards
  • People leave feeling valued every day

 

Your Total Business Energy Excellence Score

Add up the results above to get your total business energy excellence score:

Don’t assume that your business doesn’t value wellness because they don’t currently score highly. It could be that they are just starting their journey and need the right strategy and education in place to create real change.

It is the combination of energy intelligence and energy excellence at a personal, leadership and business level that turns intent into the experience.

Looking after one another’s wellness

The world is just a better place when we care for each other right? The four dimensions of energy intelligence give you a multitude of options to help, connect and recognise positive energy behaviours in others.

Here are some ideas, we’d love to hear yours too:

FUEL

  • Why not start a fitness or sports group? It’s way more fun when you work out with someone else or have the support to achieve a personal best in half marathon.
  • Try to get at least 2-3 walking meetings in a week
  • Organise a weekly shared healthy lunch. Take turns organising.
  • If you notice someone who has a lot on their plate offer to do something for them that you know they’ll appreciate
  • Have a team daily water challenge. One person a day is assigned to fill up water bottles so everyone gets their 2 litres down the hatch.

FIRE

  • As a team, get together and find a charity or social enterprise that could use skilled volunteering support
  • Have regular completely non-work related conversations with colleagues and discover what they are really passionate about and why
  • Appreciate a colleague or friend by sharing with them three strengths that you value in them and how it made you feel to see them use them
  • Choose a team theme song that gets everyone on their feet

FEELING

  • Insist that everyone gets away from their desks at lunchtime and encourage them to really slow down and enjoy their food. Maybe even try a mindful eating exercise, it’s great for your gut and mind health.
  • Talk to people in the lifts and ask them what is energising them. When you say, “How are you?”, mean it. Remove, “I’m busy”, from your replies.
  • Organise a bring the kids (fur babies are included) or bring the parents to work day
  • Become a mentor and allow yourself to be mentored as well

FOCUS

  • Get the team together and decide what work you are collectively going to say, “No” to going forward
  • Have a weekly team reflection where you share what you’re grateful for and what energised you that week
  • Have a declutter day to remove any old distractions that aren’t relevant anymore

Everything you’ve read so far is designed to help you and the people around you deal with everyday stresses, prevent an energy crisis and create a more energised life.

If you’d like to take a more in-depth look at how you can apply the Energx 4Fs personally or for your team shoot an email to hello@energx.com.au or call CEO Sean Hall directly on 0406 330130.

© 2017 All rights reserved
mwah. making work absolutely human

Mastery Of Energy Intelligence And Energy Excellence

If you choose to, your energy intelligence and energy excellence journey can continue. Think about what you have read so far as the foundation course for a Bachelor’s Degree. There so much more than can be learned on our way to a Master’s or Doctorate.

In doing this work we are in fact learning more and more about how we function as humans. As we become more self-aware of our energy, the greatest gift you can give is to pass on what you have learned to those around you.

The key is that each individual’s pathway to wellness is very personal and unique to them. It is impacted by their own context. As such don’t assume that what has worked for you will work for others. Share stories, encourage experimentation and listen.

My experience is that people are naturally drawn to want to understand or become more expert in one of the Energx 4Fs vs all four. My hypothesis here is that this could be due to a multitude of reasons from personality and learning style through to a deeper connection to their own purpose.

The great thing is that to begin creating an energised life doesn’t require you to be an expert at all. Just starting to improve your energy intelligence and then deliberately building your energy excellence, even in what seem to be the smallest ways, can have a profound impact on your life. With continued practise and experimentation you’ll become an expert in your own energy. Happy days!

There is no single source of truth that contains the answer to creating an energised business, or an energised life for that matter. We’ve formed our point of view from the very diverse mix of different resources below.

  • Desktop research from a diverse range of commercial, not for profit and educational institutions. Check out the links at www.energx.com.au/research
  • Interviews with C-Suite leaders, senior executives and other thought leaders across a range of industries and professions
  • Designing and participating in a diverse range of coaching, learning and leadership experiences
  • Surveys and testimonials of people who have been through Energx programs
  • Personally lived experience of how it actually feels to be burnt out and depleted followed by reflection on the causes and circumstances
  • Personal experimentation and lived experience of how it feels to discover how to create an energised life. We carry the responsibility to be role models for this now!

Many of them have then inspired the development of a range of energy excellence exercises. It is the curious, exciting and absolutely human connection between them all that reveals the magic answer.

© 2017 All rights reserved
mwah. making work absolutely human

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