Wellness of mind and body both require work and exercise to maintain, develop, and improve. Like our muscular system, wellness is comprised of various components; 8 dimensions as they’re known. The 8 dimensions of wellness are emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual. Each of these dimensions require their own specific attention to nurture, develop, and strengthen.
We’ve discussed emotional wellness many times in our blogs. Emotional wellness is important because it can be the foundation for how we handle certain situations and challenges that we’re presented with from day to day. It can influence how we problem solve and even how we form successful and satisfying relationships. Working on emotional wellness involves learning how to address and cope with stress, being realistic about expectations and time, being sensitive to the feelings of others, as well as your own, and striving to maintain a positive attitude.
The financial aspect can be challenging because oftentimes our financial situations can feel out of our control. Financial wellness isn’t about control though, it’s about satisfaction with current and future financial situations. Sure, most people may not feel that way, but through goal-setting, taking control of our finances as they are, applying budgeting tools and other resources such as investments and savings accounts, financial wellness can be achieved.
Our intelligence often drives us. So it makes sense that finding ways to expand our minds, knowledge, and skills would be the crux of intellectual wellness. Tapping into our creativity through keeping our minds open to new experiences and ideas can help expand how we think and operate, including how we develop, analyze, critique, understand, problem solve, and predict.
We all yearn to feel connection, a sense of belonging, and a support system to help us rise when we fall. That’s social wellness. Building close friendships, comfort in various social situations with various groups of people, understanding and accepting people who are different, whether those differences are race, and religion or life experience and socioeconomic status.
Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work encompasses occupational wellness. One of the most challenging yet rewarding components to achieving stronger occupational wellness involves having the cognizance to recognize the non-linear manner in which many careers tend to unfold, and the wide range of opportunities that are available to those just starting their careers, looking to grow, or seeking a fresh start in a new field.
This dimension doesn’t refer to the environment in terms of the natural world, rather the environments which we place ourselves in, and how they affect us. The environments we exist in have a marked effect on our wellness. Finding ways to redesign our environments to foster productivity and growth, and a sense of belonging are major factors in environmental wellness.
Under the umbrella of “physical wellness” we have not only our physical health and need for physical activity, but also our diets and the need for a good night’s sleep. Everyone is different, and all bodies are different with their own individual needs and considerations. That said, the aforementioned diet, exercise, and sleep are all fundamental to our physical health.
While spiritual doesn’t explicitly mean religion, that certainly factors into spiritual wellness. What it means in the context of wellness is not only finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life, but also expanding on both of those things. Spiritual wellness involves exploring our personal values, to question, clarify, and develop them, as well as having an awareness and respect for others who may adhere to different values.
Wellness doesn’t just happen overnight. But it’s been proven that by taking time to work on the eight dimensions of wellness, people can live longer, recover better from ailments, and better address current or future health conditions. Wellness isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lifelong journey that requires daily work and practice to maintain and develop. However the payoff can positively impact all areas of our ever-changing, busy lives.
Posted on January 13 2020 in Blog