Wellness is a broad concept. Wellness means being healthy in many dimensions of our lives. That includes the spiritual, emotional, physical, career, intellectual, financial, social, and environmental. These dimensions are interconnected, one dimension building on another.
Each dimension contributes to our own sense of wellness or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps the others. At times, one may be more prominent than others, but neglect of any one dimension for any length of time has adverse effects on overall health.
We also recognize that we live in a multicultural world, and wellness encompasses areas that may not be a limited scope. We believe, for example, that trauma is a universal human experience, and that our culture and spiritual beliefs impact our perceptions and everything we do. In summary, wellness is about how we live our lives and the joy and fulfillment and health we experience.
Wellness is a full integration and the pursuit of continued growth and balance in these seven dimensions of wellness.
Seven Dimensions of Wellness
Spiritual wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. It encompasses a high level of faith, hope, and commitment to our individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose in human existence.
Tips and suggestions for optimal spiritual wellness:
- Explore your spiritual core.
- Spend time alone/meditate regularly.
- Be inquisitive and curious.
- Be fully present in everything you do.
- Listen with your heart and live by your principles.
- Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are.
- See opportunities for growth in the challenges life brings you.
Physical wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows one to get through daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. Optimal physical wellness is met through a combination of good exercise and eating habits.
Being physically fit and feeling physically well often leads to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self control, determination and a sense of direction.
Tips and suggestions for optimal physical wellness:
- Exercise daily.
- Build physical strength, flexibility and endurance.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Prevent injuries by using seat belts, wearing helmets, and other protective equipment.
- Learn to recognize early signs of illness and prevent diseases.
- Practice safe sex, if sexually active.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods and control meal portions.
- Use alcohol in moderation if at all.
- Quit smoking or continue to refrain from smoking and protect from second-hand smoke.
- Strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Emotional wellness encompasses optimism, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. It includes the capacity to manage feelings, realistic assessment of limitations, and ability to cope effectively with stress.
Emotional wellness also includes intimacy, independence, and interdependence. It also means to be aware of and accept challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy, than to deny them. Take responsibility for one’s actions and be optimistic in an approach to life than pessimistic.
Tips for optimal emotional wellness:
- Tune-in to your thoughts and feelings.
- Cultivate an optimistic attitude.
- Seek and provide support.
- Learn time management skills.
- Practice stress management techniques.
- Discover your specific stress relievers.
- Generalized anxiety resources
- Accept and forgive yourself.
The mind should be continually exercised just as the body. The intellectual dimension encourages creative, stimulating mental activities.To become intellectually well, it is important to explore issues related to problem solving, critical thinking, and adaptation to change. Intellectual wellness involves spending more time pursuing personal interests and reading books, magazines, and newspapers, while staying aware of current events and issues. It is the ability to open one’s mind to new concepts and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community enhancement, improve skills, and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning.
Tips and suggestions for optimal intellectual wellness:
- Take a course or workshop.
- Learn or perfect a foreign language.
- Seek out people who challenge you intellectually.
- Attend museums, exhibits and theater.
- Learn to appreciate art.
You may like to read: Mindfulness Improves Your Cooking & Mental Well Being
It is the ability to recognize personal responsibility for the quality of the air, water and land. Environmental wellness is recognizing the unstable state of the earth and the effects of daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment.
Tips and suggestions for optimal environmental wellness:
- Conserve water and other resources.
- Minimize chemical use.
- Renew a relationship with the earth.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: reduce the amount of pollution we generate; reuse containers, bags and batteries; recycle paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic.
Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in the world. The ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to social wellness. It is vital to stay connected to people, form new relationships and participate in various social activities. Social wellness encourages one to take an active part in improving the world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with others. Social wellness also includes showing respect for others, oneself and other cultures.
Tips and suggestions for optimal social wellness:
- Cultivate healthy relationships.
- Resources for social anxiety
- Strengthen current friendships, contact an old friend, or discover new friendships.
- Get involved.
- Contribute to your community.
- Share your talents and skills.
- Communicate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
- Join a wellness community