7 Dimensions of Wellness
Creating a Healthier You: Seven Dimensions of Health and Wellness
Wellness is much more than physical health, exercise or nutrition. It is the full integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We tend to measure our health based on the absence of illness or disease. Instead, we should be assessing our health according to the seven dimensions--social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness. Each of these seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to our own quality of life.
Social Wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.
Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.
Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.
Environmental Wellness is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.
Occupational Wellness is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.
Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.
Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine checkups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.
These dimensions do not stand alone! They are all connected and contribute to your overall health and wellness. Wellness is a process that allows you to unlock your full potential, even if you have existing health issues. It focuses on strategies that promote health versus focusing on death and disease.
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “the first wealth is health.” To help you achieve a high level of health and wellness, be sure to include all seven dimensions of health and wellness into your lifestyle.
Marcia Richards, MEd, RD, MCHES, is a Registered Dietitian at BID-Plymouth.