Your wellness practice is something that impacts every area and aspect of your life. From the way you approach nutrition and sleep to the way you show up for work and in your relationships. At the IAWP, we call this holistic approach to wellness and health Wellness 360. One element we include in this perspective is the element of Water for health.
Water is an incredibly important part of your wellness routine and something to consider when improving your overall health. There are many ways to look at Water and ways to consider the way it impacts our well-being.
Importance of Water for Health
One of the reasons we should talk about water is the fact that over half of the human body is made of water. It’s an important element in our organs, our blood, and even our bones. Water’s job in our bodies ranges from insulating our organs to lubricating our joints, to forming the building blocks of cells.
Water is also an important part of the elimination system, carrying waste and toxins out of our bodies. Water for health is always important to create a healthier body and a more balanced wellness practice.
Understanding the Element of Water for Health
When we think of water, we tend to see ourselves drinking a glass of water. Or perhaps you might imagine floating in a clean pool of fresh water.
The most simple understanding of water for health is that we take in water through drinking and eating. When we drink water, we are contributing a crucial element to our body for its survival. We want to continually replenish the water in our bodies so it can support our organs, joints, and cells.
Without water, we become dehydrated and when that happens, our bodies can’t function properly. Our cells become sluggish and too dry to perform their functions optimally. We depend on water to live, way down to the cellular level.
Also, at this first level of analysis of water for health, it’s helpful to consider the quality of the water we’re drinking. We can also consider the other beverages we drink that might be dehydrating us. These substances tend to compete with the water we’re drinking, causing varying levels of damage and exhaustion for our bodies.
Water Represents Emotions
The IAWP Wellness 360 wheel element of water also represents our emotions. We include this in the element because our emotions tend to flow like water. Often, our emotions include literal water, as in the form of tears. So this element also includes a careful look at our emotional health.
Some important questions we like to ask ourselves when considering our emotional health are:
- How do our emotions affect our well-being?
- Are we in touch with our emotions?
- Or would we rather not deal with our emotions?
- Do we understand our emotions and what they mean?
- Are we willing to look closer at them and lean into them?
- Or do we prefer to push them under a metaphorical rug?
It’s important to be able to work on our emotional health so that we can take care of ourselves. Emotional health creates important levels of well-being. It’s not always easy to address our emotions, but it’s something you’ll be glad to add to your wellness practice once you see the benefits.
IAWP Student Feature
IAWP Wellness Coach Donna Lee Humble teaches her clients the importance of honoring their emotions. She recommends allowing yourself to feel what you do for as long as you feel it. “Give your emotion space, notice where it hangs out in your body and follow this energy for 90 seconds,” say Humble. “This is a practice that brings self-trust, self-acceptance, and self-love into your life.”
Balancing Your Water Element
Finding balance in your water element can take time, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll support your joints, organs, cells, and create better emotional balance in your life. Dehydration can have a negative impact on your wellness, so it’s important to balance water for health and well-being.
Here are a few ways you can get started with balancing your water element.
1. Keep track of your water intake.
Write down when you drink water and how much you’re taking in. Pay attention to when you feel thirsty and make note of it. If you’re also tracking nutrition, sleep, exercise, etc., you might be able to find some correlations to help you know what to adjust to reduce dehydration. Notice how often you visit the restroom throughout the day and if you feel especially thirsty at the end of the day.
Make sure to drink roughly half a gallon of water every day, and adjust that amount depending on your size and how it makes you feel. Some people need more water every day and some people need a bit less. Get comfortable with experimenting. Learn how to tune into what your body’s signals are trying to tell you.
2. Pay attention to the other beverages you’re drinking.
If you’re a big coffee drinker, notice what it does to your thirst and bathroom visits. Caffeine tends to trick the body into eliminating water, which will leave you dehydrated.
Also keep a close eye on other things you drink, such as sodas, diet sodas, teas, juices, and alcohol. Some of these liquids are hydrating and others are dehydrating. Some of them will wreak havoc with your water fluid balance. Water is always the best thing to drink for your health.
3. Do a daily check in with your emotions.
Create a regular routine of checking in with what’s going on in your mind and heart. Sometimes we intentionally keep our lives busy so that we won’t notice hard emotions as much. Commit to listening to your emotions so they feel expressed and not pent up. Allow them to express themselves without too much judgment on your part.
You can do this through quiet mindfulness, through artistic expression, or by journaling. Find your own unique way of getting in touch with your emotions, processing them, and finding balance in them.
4. Do a Wellness 360 wheel check.
Take a visual look at the Wellness 360 wheel to see if other aspects of your wellness are influencing your water element. Perhaps you’re having trouble sleep this week, so your caffeine intake has increased, leaving you more thirsty than usual. Or maybe a relationship in your life is going through a hard time and you’re struggling to express your emotions. Check in to find out what elements are influencing others and find ways to help rebalance your wellness practice.
Next Steps in Water for Health
You know the importance of water for health and now you can use the Wellness 360 wheel to understand how the element of water fits into your wellness practice. If you’re a Wellness Coach who supports others, this is a great element to discuss with your clients. By balancing the water element, you’re setting yourself up for a healthier and more enjoyable life.