Are You Healed or Whole? How to Tell the Difference

There are many kinds of well-being; to be full, you need to look at everything, including overall happiness, relationships and community, self confidence, career, spiritual health and finances.
11/27/2013 01:06 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2014

Ever hear the saying that says you can be financially rich but still poor?

Well, the same holds true for well-being. You can be HEALED -- say, from a cold, flu, surgery or broken limb -- but it's possible to still NOT be whole.

There are many kinds of well-being; to be full, you need to look at everything, including overall happiness, relationships and community, self confidence, career, spiritual health and finances.

As I've said over and over again, every single thing feeds us whether or not it's on our plates. If just one thing is out of balance, you'll always be hungry, tired -- and on your way to experiencing some major health issues.

If you're wondering whether you're healed or whole, ask yourself:

Are the people around me upbeat? Do they support and encourage me? Do I feel refreshed and invigorated just being around them? Some time ago I told one of my business coaches that I'd cry for hours on end after attending any conference in my industry, about which I'm extremely passionate. She pointed out that I probably just wasn't around enough people who shared the same mission, goals and life experiences with me -- and then made some simple suggestions, like creating a Master Mind Group.

Now, to be ultra clear, no one is suggesting you cut anyone out (unless the negatives far outweigh the positives), but sometimes you just need more.

Am I sick with (financial) worry? Financial worries are one of the biggest stressors, according to research from the American Psychological Association. In fact, just run a Google search about "financial worries and health" and you'll see all kinds of articles pop up (especially during the economic meltdown), including this one from The New York Times, as well as this one from a Gallup poll.

Do I have inner peace? It's not the absence of conflict but, rather, how you handle it. Deepak Chopra always explains that meditation is actually a way to tune IN to your feelings and establish that inner peace. Remember, overwhelm leads to inaction, so clear out the gunk, focus, breathe -- and keep your eye on your goal or desire.

Am I aligning -- or just balancing -- my life? Once you are clear on your mission and your goals (both short and long term), you can arrange the parts of your personal and professional life so they support each other, and you won't be juggling like crazy anymore.

Do I have an abundant mindset? As they say, "The energy flows where the focus goes." You may have a job you love and a very supportive boss. You might have a big, loving family. Maybe you have a lovely garden, overflowing with flowers, shrubbery and vegetables. Maybe you just reconnected with a good friend whom you haven't seen for years. That's abundance, my friend. Think about those things, rather than dwelling on what you don't have so you don't come from that place of lack or scarcity.

Does my career nurture me? Does what I do matter? Do you feel appreciated, able to learn and make a difference? Or is your job "just a paycheck"? If the answer is the latter, it may be time to take a good look at your options.

Am I lighting my passion? I know someone who really, really wants to see young girls develop self-esteem, so she volunteers at the Girl Scouts of America. Another gets excited about music. He's been particularly distressed at the way many schools are eliminating music classes, so now he gives voice lessons to the neighborhood kids. As for me, I think it's my personal mission to get every kid to eat more vegetables, so I used to donate a couple of hours a week to help them garden. Find your spark -- and then ignite it.

Do I set aside enough time each week for recreation, relaxation and fun? Now, let's get really clear on this one -- self-care is NOT the same as being selfish. Relaxing and having fun is NOT the same as being lazy. If you're so busy taking care of others and, yet, ignore yourself, you'll eventually burn out and not be of any use to anyone.

Do I have any spiritual, or inner, life? Whatever your belief, it's important to remember that there's something even bigger than you.

How do I handle stress? According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a little stress is okay, but when it's chronic and unrelenting, it can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. Do you sweat the small things, hold on to grudges and get irritated about every little thing? Or do you let go, look at the big picture and "pick your shots"? If it's the first answer, you'll need to establish some coping mechanisms because whether the danger is real or imagined the same thing will always happen, says researchers at the Mayo Clinic: Your cortisol, adrenaline, blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation will increase, leading to sleep deprivation, lowered immunity, decreased production, lack of concentration and, possibly, illness.