8 Dimensions of Wellness
By Joy Miller | Family and Community Health Extension Agent
With a new year, we often set resolutions for ourselves. The top resolutions often include eating healthy and exercising, but there is more to remember about the full picture of health. Living well involves eight areas of wellness-physical, occupational, financial, environmental, social, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual. You can think of the areas as a wellness wheel. Our wellness wheels should be balanced. If we are doing well in most areas but not so well in a few, our wheel will not be round and will not roll smoothly.
A description of each wellness dimension is below with a short description. You can learn more about each by watching the National Extension Association Family and Consumer Science Living Well videos.
The concept of physical wellness reaches beyond feeling well, not getting sick, and being active. In other words, it's about properly caring for the body to maintain optimal health and function through nutrition, exercise, and healthcare. Sleep, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, medication safety, preventive medicine, nutrition, and exercise are all part of physical wellness.
Occupational wellness is about finding a balance between work and leisure that's healthy, satisfying, and financially rewarding.Healthy people are doing exactly what they want to do in life and are comfortable and content with their work and leisure plans. Our attitude and ability to handle career goals greatly affect our wellness performance, interactions with others, and overall success.
Having financial wellness includes work that provides a means to live, debt reduction or how to avoid unnecessary debt, savings for emergencies, retirement, and investments, and financial literacy.
Environmental wellness means evaluating clean air, food, and water, preserving the places where we live, earn, and work, and occupying pleasant and stimulating environments. It also promotes learning, contemplation, relaxation, and natural places and spaces.
The idea of social wellness is to have healthy relationships with friends, family, and the community, as well as to care for others. Having a supportive person in your life every day is helpful. They could be a partner, family member, coworker, or friend.
Everyone's spiritual wellness is different. It expands our sense of purpose in life and gives meaning to our lives. Spiritually healthy people spend time alone, figuring out what gives life meaning.
Emotional wellness includes expressing feelings, dealing with emotional challenges, coping with life's stresses, and enjoying life. Knowing your strengths, what you want to improve on, and letting others help.
The importance of intellectual wellness is often overlooked.It's the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interactions, and community improvement. Seeking challenges and learning new things is part of lifelong learning. This is about growth and development, critical thinking, and taking care of yourself.
Article Resource: National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Living Well www.neafcs.org/living-well