What is Wellness?
What comes to mind when you think of the word wellness?
When I think about the word, I think about being in a happy state of mind, a peaceful feeling about my life.
According to Student Health and Counseling Services, “wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.”
The World Health Organization says wellness “is a dynamic process of change and growth.” And, according to the National Wellness Institute, “wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
Does Wellness Matter?
So, why is this important to know? It is important because with understanding what wellness is we are better able to engage in the process or regimen for wellness. We’re able to make choices that promote our desired outcome and or seek assistance for getting there. There are several ways in which wellness affects us, which has been categorized into dimensions.
Dimensions of Wellness
Dimensions of wellness can be broken down into categories for which you’re able to assess the quality of living and make changes in your life. Understanding each of these dimensions will help make you more aware of ways to bring balance and improve your overall health.
Emotional wellness includes your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress.
Ways to improve emotional wellness include:
- Practice focusing on the positive aspects of life
- Reducing stress
- Being mindful of getting quality rest
- Building and maintain positive relationships
- Seeking professional help if necessary
Spiritual wellness allows you to develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose and can be achieved in a variety of ways, including organized religion, prayer, and meditation.
Ways to improve spiritual wellness include:
- Becoming a member of an organized religion
- Performing daily positive affirmations
- Forgiving and forgetting the actions of those who have wronged you
- Reflecting on the meaning of past events that occurred in your life
Physical wellness has to do with keeping your body in shape and functioning at its peak performance. Physical health can be attained by exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep and getting appropriate care when ill.
Ways to improve physical wellness include:
- Eating a well-balanced meal
- Listening to your body and recognize early signs of illness
- Scheduling routine physical exams
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day
Social Wellness is your ability to perform social roles effectively and create a social network
Ways to improve social wellness include:
- Scheduling time to be with family and friends
- Communicating respectfully with others
- Getting involved in school, workplace, and community
- Practicing self-disclosure with those you trust
Intellectual wellness encourages active participation in educational, cultural and community activities. It is also having an open mind and the ability to participate in mentally stimulating activities that challenge your knowledge and skills.
Ways to improve intellectual wellness:
- Being open-minded about the views, opinions, or ideas
- Mastering time management
- Traveling and learning about other cultures
- Exploring your creative side
Environmental wellness encourages us to live in harmony with the earth and to conserve the world’s natural resources.
Ways to improve environmental wellness:
- Cleaning with environmentally safe products
- Turning off lights when not in use
- Conserving the use of water
Occupational wellness involves having personal satisfaction in one’s life through work and successfully managing workplace stresses.
Ways to improve occupational wellness:
- Focusing on the positive aspect of your career
- Establishing strong workplace habits to maximize productivity
- Thinking about all types of work that bring you joy and satisfaction
- Setting career goals that foster positive growth and professional development
Financial wellness includes managing your expenses, personal finances, and investments. It’s having a strong understanding of where your money comes from and how to spend, save and invest it.
Ways to improve financial wellness:
- Not spend more money than you have
- Creating and following a budget
- Building up an emergency fund
- Consulting with a financial professional to get your personal finances on track
Engaging In the Process
When we continue to take part in each of these dimensions they balance one another and create a regimen for wellness.
The opposite occurs when one area of any one of these dimensions is missing, ignored or neglected.
We know that stress affects everyone differently and not all stress is bad.
However, prolonged periods of stress or chronic stress are factors that cause many of our “dis-ease” we see today. Engaging in self-reflection provides balance and is the key to reaching our desire for ultimate health.
Doing Our Part To Stay Well
I stated before that knowledge is power, which is true provided we know what to do with it and actually implement what we understand. We talked about what wellness really is and the dimensions of them.
There is a difference between health and wellness. I’ll summarize. Wellness is the active process of becoming aware and making choices, and health is the desired outcome.
I’ve shared how the eight dimensions to wellness are a part of that process and when balanced serves as a vehicle for a more productive and healthy life.
We all know that life comes with challenges, situations, and issues that we can not control. But, we all want to live our lives to its fullest potential. That is why wellness is so important.
Understanding the regimen, the dimension of wellness empowers us and shows us our role.
When we make the right choices to bring balance in all the dimensions we’ll see significant benefits, in our overall health. Just remember this is a life long journey. We can always improve on what we have
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Please feel free to drop me a line in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Caring Is Sharing!
The views and nutritional advice expressed by Wellness In Healthy Living are not intended to be substituted for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern please see your physician.