Our culture places a premium on knowledge. We often measure ourselves (and each other) by what we know or don’t know. We live in a society that thrives on information, facts, and trivia. From stock strategies to world history, the topics are unlimited.
But what information will make your life better?
I have friends who can tell you anything you want to know about any Disney or Pixar movie ever made. Others know the batting averages of everyone who played for the Baltimore Orioles since 1970. Then there’s the guy who knows the genus and species of every variety of plant life in Florida.
Is that interesting? Maybe. Helpful for living a meaningful life? That’s debatable.
What Information Will Actually Benefit You?
I’m a pragmatist, so I like to know stuff I can use to serve my patients, make more money, or make my life better in some real way – not just conversation stuffers.
As humans, we like to know stuff, but we also like to measure and compare ourselves. Our IQ (intelligence quotient) is a measurement of what we know, so naturally, we like to use it to measure and compare ourselves. My question is always: are we measuring the right knowledge?
On this week’s “Wellness Wednesday,” I want to give you an IQ test – not to measure and compare yourself against others, but to see where you are and where you might need to grow. I’m always growing my knowledge base, so I can live better and so I can serve you better. I also find that the smartest people I know are the ones who know they don’t know everything, so they are always learning and investing in themselves.
So I developed my very own Wellness IQ Test. Let’s get into it and see where we are.
Wellness IQ Test
Give Yourself One Point For Each Time This Week:
- You had a serving of fresh vegetables this week.
- You walked around your neighborhood this week.
- You drank an 8-ounce glass of filtered water this week.
- You spent 10 minutes out in fresh air and direct sunshine.
- You did one of the “Move Right Monday” exercises.
- You swam a lap in a cold pool.
- You took a probiotic in capsule form.
- You had a healthy bowel movement.
- You took a B-complex vitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, or Magnesium in capsule form.
- You spoke kind words to a loved one.
- You had a piece of grilled lean chicken or wild-sourced salmon.
- You chose organic over conventional fruits and vegetables.
- You went to work and gave your best effort.
- You read something that increased your knowledge.
- You got up from your desk and walked somewhere at work.
- You shut off your electronic devices at least one hour before you went to bed.
- You did something creative (played an instrument, wrote a poem, solved a problem, planned a vacation, etc.).
- You attended a church or faith-based group meeting.
- You did something to serve the needs of another person.
Give Yourself Five Points For Each Time This Week:
- You had a salad with romaine, kale, swiss chard, or spinach along with other vegetables.
- You did a round of high-intensity interval training.
- You ran up and down stairs a few times.
- You ate a serving of probiotic food (kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, etc.).
- You forgave someone who hurt or offended you (add a bonus point if it is an offense that still hurts from your childhood).
- You spoke kind words to someone who has been mean to you.
- You drank half your body weight in ounces of filtered water.
- You slept at least 7 hours in a row, uninterrupted.
- You took a course or watched a tutorial that taught you something you can use.
- You spent at least 15 minutes in prayer and/or meditation.
Give Yourself Zero Points For Each Time This Week:
- You ate a hamburger or steak.
- You had a glass of wine.
- You watched an hour of TV or a movie.
- You spent an hour on Facebook.
- You commuted to work in silence.
- You had pasta or bread.
Take Away One Point For Each Time This Week:
- You felt yourself get angry watching the news.
- You got angry at traffic.
- You responded harshly to a co-worker or an e-mail.
- You had a food for which you have a food allergy (bread, gluten, corn, potatoes, peppers, etc.)
- You spent an hour on the couch.
- You ate packaged, processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, sausage, bologna, salami, etc.)
- You read your smartphone or tablet in bed.
- You ignored someone you are currently mad at.
- You slept less than four hours in a row.
- You ate junk food (chips, cookies, ice cream, candy, processed meats, etc.)
- You drank yourself to a hangover.
- You worked in a windowless workspace with processed air all day.
- You criticized a loved one without asking forgiveness or speaking life to them.
- You complained about anything.
- You went all day without a bowel movement.
- You ate a sugary snack after 8:00 p.m.
- You took an antibiotic without following it with a probiotic.
- You used a harsh cleaning chemical.
Take Away Five Points For Each Time This Week:
- You drank a carbonated soft drink.
- You went two days in a row without drinking water.
- You consumed anything with aspartame/Nutrasweet in it.
- Anger kept you awake.
- Worry or anxiety kept you awake.
- You refused to forgive someone for any reason.
- You screamed at a loved one.
- You ate food fried in vegetable, corn, or canola oil.
- You sat at a desk all day.
- You did something you would not want your spouse or boss to see you doing.
- You used a controlled substance to “take the edge off” your pain.
- You did something intentionally to hurt someone.
I could go on with this, but I think you get the idea. The point is not to put you under condemnation for your choices, but to show you two things:
- Wellness is not just a matter of diet and exercise. It includes every part of your life, including emotional, relational, and spiritual. You need sleep and clean water. You need fresh air and sunshine.
- Some behaviors that don’t seem to have anything to do with your health have a tremendous negative effect on your health. Unforgiveness is linked to heart disease, inflammation, and cancer. Alcoholism will burn out your liver. Anger ruins relationships, kills vision, and burns out your endocrine system.
How Did You Score?
You’re probably looking for a score sheet to see if you earned enough points to consider yourself healthy or sick. Honestly, it’s so individual, I couldn’t possibly set a grading scale for it. That score, the higher your score, the healthier you probably are. And no one takes the entire test without having some positive scores and some negatives.
I want you to be healthy, to walk in total wellness, and to have an amazing life. If you saw someone you cared about doing things that you knew would cause them harm, wouldn’t you urge them to stop? I don’t want to talk all the fun and joy out of your life, but I urge you to think about how your choices can affect your life.
If you love bacon and you don’t care what it does to your body, then God bless you. I won’t take away your fun. The same is true of alcohol, drugs, unforgiveness, sedentary lifestyle, or eating bread when you have a gluten intolerance. If you understand the possible consequences of your favorite lifestyle choices and you are willing to accept that risk, then go with my blessing.
Again, my purpose is not to judge you, condemn you, or take away the pleasure from your life. I enjoy Coca-Cola, even though I know what it does to my body. It hurt me to give it up, but there came a point in my life when I recognized that my life had a purpose that I wanted to fulfill more than I wanted to enjoy that Coke.
What Did You Learn?
Now that we’re past the shock of the questionnaire, let me ask you: did you learn anything from this? If so, take a few seconds to share this on social media. No matter how much we spend to promote these articles, nothing has more impact than when you share it. We’re growing this online community every week because readers like you think of someone they care about who would benefit from the wellness information we share here. And if you live in the Naples area, I hope you’ll visit our office behind the YMCA on Pine Ridge Road. It would be great to meet you and to discover how I can help you achieve your healthiest life.
“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING; at the end of your principles is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas