Wellness is often used to describe care of your physical health through exercise and nutrition, however, overall wellness goes beyond physiology. To help bolster the idea that wellness includes more than your body, seven dimensions of wellness have been developed to encourage higher quality of life, and to remind us that neglecting a dimension, or overly focusing on one will lead to an imbalance.
Emotional– this dimension highlights the importance of acknowledging and accepting the whole range of your emotions, and that by doing so, you will strengthen the relationships with yourself, others, and the intimacy experienced in those relationships. Wellness in this area includes self-esteem, optimism, the ability to cope with changes and stressors, asserting boundaries, and feelings of autonomy.
Spiritual– spirituality is encompassed by the search for meaning and purpose in the existence of humans. It includes a sense of connectedness to life and nature, the universe, and with those around us. Most notably, this dimension is about establishing consistency in your values and beliefs, and living them. Spiritual wellness includes hope, faith, and finding harmony and peace in your life.
Intellectual– this dimension focuses on creativity, learning, and mental stimulation. Strength is built through balancing your interests with the awareness of current events and issues. Wellness is achieved by seeking what is learned, and applying it when making decisions, navigating relationships, and embracing lifelong learning opportunities.
Physical– Wellness in this area is primarily achieved through moving your body. It is also important to achieve adequate nutrition, and avoiding behaviors like smoking and drinking that can cause poor health. Taking precautions and purposefully engaging in physical activity are key.
Social– this dimension is focused on connection with others. Finding your place in society through your contributions is a hallmark, and you can support your self-acceptance and esteem through relationships with those that are supportive and encouraging of you. You can gain a sense of wellness by being present for others as well.
Occupational- this dimension focuses on a sense of accomplishment, success and growth through your career, while balancing duties and aspirations with the other areas of your life. Wellness is achieved through positive feelings from contributing, personal satisfaction with your output and acknowledgment from others of your talents and skills.
Environmental– Wellness in this dimension is achieved by caring for the environment through conservation, recycling, reuse and protection efforts. Recognizing that your actions and choices have an impact on the environment will help you prioritize your values related to the world around you, and shape your daily habits.