You’ve heard it over and over: Blue Zones Project is a well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier. But what is well-being?

The World Health Organization defines wellness as “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The Blue Zones Power 9 principles offer tips and suggestions for maintaining your physical, mental and social well-being. Here are three ways, based on the Power 9, to get you on the path toward greater well-being.

Take on a new project at work. This may sound counterintuitive given that, for most people, a job is a source of income to help you pay the bills. Given the amount of time you spend at work, however, finding ways that work fulfills your personal goals can help to improve your well-being.

Studies show that people who feel their job is meaningful, enjoyable and important are less likely to experience anxiety or depression. If your job has lost its spark, you may not need to brush up that resume just yet.

Find an aspect of your job that you do like and discover ways to do more of that. At any worksite, there are many roles that need to be filled outside of job descriptions. Even the most analytical fields need someone to coordinate special events like holiday and retirement parties.

If that is something you enjoy, stepping up to do these tasks will not only help you enjoy your job more but it may get you some additional networking and recognition that could lead to advancements within your company. If you are having a hard time discovering what fulfills you, attend a Blue Zones Project Purpose Workshop to identify the gifts that are unique to you. It is a great first step to finding more meaning in work and in life.

Find your spiritual center. Spirituality means different things to different people and there is not one universal definition. Experts often describe it as a connection with yourself and others, your personal values, and your meaning in life. Some also link spirituality with a power greater than themselves. Spirituality can help you gain a sense of peace even during challenging times. Practicing spirituality is also unique to each individual.

Just as some people thrive in physical well-being by joining a gym, others prefer to work out at home or hike outdoors. Spirituality can be practiced at home, at a studio or with a local faith-based organization. Just like with exercise, it may take some time to find what you are most comfortable with, so keep trying until you find the right fit.

Find your Right Tribe. The people you surround yourself with significantly impact your mood, whether you like it or not. Take some time to evaluate how you feel after you spend time with certain people. Wean yourself away from toxic relationships and surround yourself with positive people.

If your more challenging relationships are unavoidable, make time to build up positive thoughts before or after your visit. Practicing gratitude by physically writing down the names of people or the things you are grateful for can help lift your spirits.

Blue Zones Project Dodge County is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. The project has been brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals. Blue Zones Project is a division of Sharecare and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state. To For more information, call 920-212-8511, email bluezonesprojectdodgecounty

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