In this health-conscious age, we tend to think of nourishment in terms of diet and supplements. Having the proper nutrients are necessary for optimal health and growth; however, research has shown that 70% of a person’s total energy is related to our emotional well-being.(1) And, our sense of well-being is more “related to how we perceive the world than it is to the actual circumstances themselves.”(2)
This perspective is summed up by Reinhold Niebuhr’s (1892–1971) Serenity Prayer:
“[…]Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot
be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and
wisdom to know the one from the other[…]“
You can embrace the value of nourishment by:
- Proactively doing things that make you feel refreshed, replenished, and reassured.
- Trying to change the things that make you feel depleted and discouraged.
- Adopting an attitude of acceptance.
Statistically speaking, the chances of my order at a restaurant coming out wrong are pretty high. I used to think, “Why do they always mess up my food?” Now I think, “Yay, I’m going to get a complimentary dessert!” – I get a double dose of nourishment, one is a more optimistic attitude and the other is free pie.
Personal growth, positive change, and feeling nurtured do not demand a revolutionary overhaul of your current behavior. It is more of an evolutionary shift in how you think about your circumstances. Imagine yourself standing on a balcony overlooking the ocean. When you move your head slightly a few inches to the left or right, you see an entirely new 180-degree vista.
A new horizon of possibility and unique landscape of opportunity is always available to you—you just need to make a small shift in your perspective. Below are some reflection questions to help you with that shift.
- What does being nourished feel like to you?
- What nourishes you?
- What do you nourish in others?
- What aspects of your life feel under-nourished?
- What actions or attitude shifts need to happen to contribute to your well-being?
- Will you commit to making it happen in the next week?
Wishing you nourishment,
Stacey Zackin, PhD, MSW, PCC (Manager, WORK_SPACE)
(1)The Emotional Energy Factor: The Secrets High-Energy People Use to Beat Emotional Fatigue by Mira Kirshenbaum
(2)Diener, E., Lucas, R. E., & Oishi, S. (2002). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and self-satisfaction. In, C. R. Synder and S. J. Lopez (Eds.). Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 63-73). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.