Wellness: More Than a State of Mind
When someone asks: How do you feel? – Your answer often depends on a lot more than whether or not you are sick. In fact, there are often dimensions or areas of your life that ebb and flow to contribute to your overall feeling.
To understand and appreciate this, we often refer to the concept of wellness. According to the World Health Organization, wellness can be defined as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
As August is National Wellness Month, we thought we would start a discussion about the dimensions of wellness in a person’s life and how each is important in building good overall health. University of California – Davis provides a good explainer to students and faculty about the eight dimension of wellness in our lives.
Emotional Wellness: More than just your general feeling or attitude, emotional wellness is really your awareness, understanding and management of stress. In many ways, emotional wellness is all about being able to successfully handle both internal and external stressors.
Environmental Wellness: Are you living in balance and harmony with the natural world around you, or are you fighting against it? More than just wishing for a healthy planet, environmental wellness urges us to actively participate in making our personal environment better.
Financial Wellness: It’s not just about having enough money to survive, but having a healthy relationship with money and an understanding of its power and limitations.
Intellectual Wellness: This dimension relates to our thirst for learning and curiosity, but also our ability to accept new ideas and being open minded.
Occupational Wellness: In addition to generally enjoying your job, occupational wellness is also found by feeling valued at work or in your volunteer endeavors.
Physical Wellness: The body is an amazing machine and a miracle of nature, but it needs constant maintenance. Regular exercise, good nutrition and adequate sleep are simple yet incredibly effective ways to provide wellness for the body.
Social Wellness: Our relationships with family, friends, loved ones, colleagues and even strangers centers us within our social world.
Spiritual Wellness: More than the exclusive domain of religion, spiritual wellness is about the pursuit of personal and collective meaning.
Through continuous action and nurturing in these eight common categories, all of us can strive for overall wellness in our lives.
By giving some thought to each of these dimensions, you can examine the general aspects of life and determine where things are going well, and where you might need to improve on the path toward wellness.