Many people think about “wellness” in terms of physical health only. The word invokes thoughts of nutrition, exercise, weight, and your current blood pressure. Wellness, however, is much more than physical health.
Wellness is an ongoing process to reach for our full potential as human beings, personally and in relation to our families, our community, and the world around us.
Wellness is an integration of seven dimensions of life.
Physical wellness encompasses a variety of healthy behaviors including adequate exercise, proper nutrition, and abstaining from harmful habits such as drug use and alcohol abuse. It means learning about and identifying symptoms of disease, getting regular medical checkups, and protecting yourself from injuries and harm. Developing such healthy habits today will not only add years to your life but will enhance the enjoyment and quality of those years.
Tips for optimal physical wellness:
Learn to recognize early signs of illness
Emotional wellness is a dynamic state that fluctuates frequently with your other six dimensions of wellness. Being emotionally well is typically defined as possessing the ability to feel and express human emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger. It means having the ability to love and be loved and achieving a sense of fulfillment in life. Identifying the obstacles that prevent us from achieving emotional wellness and taking appropriate steps to cope with such problems is also important. Emotional wellness encompasses optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and the ability to share feelings.
Tips for optimal emotional wellness:
Environmental wellness is an awareness of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment. Examples of environmental threats include ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight, air, chemical, noise, water pollution, and second-hand smoke.
Although some environmental concerns are beyond our control, there are things that can be done to promote a healthier earth.
Tips and suggestions for optimal environmental wellness:
Spiritual wellness involves possessing a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that help give direction to one’s life. It encompasses a high level of faith, hope, and commitment to your individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose. People derive meaning and purpose through nature, art, music, religion, meditation, or good deeds performed for others. Spirituality transcends the individual to create a common bond with humanity.
Tips and suggestions for optimal spiritual wellness:
Social wellness refers to our ability to interact successfully in our global community and to live up to the expectations and demands of our personal roles. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support network of friends and family members.
Social wellness includes showing respect for others and yourself. Contributing to your community and to the world builds a sense of belonging.
Tips and suggestions for optimal social wellness include:
Intellectual wellness is characterized by the ability to make sound decisions and to think critically. It includes openness to new ideas; motivation to master new skills; and a sense of humor, creativity, and curiosity. Striving for personal growth and a willingness to seek out and use new information in an effective manner for personal and social development are also part of intellectual wellness.
The intellectual dimension encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. Our minds need to be continually inspired and exercised just as our bodies do. People who possess a high level of intellectual wellness have an active mind and continue to learn. An intellectually well person uses the resources available to expand one’s knowledge and improve skills. Keeping up-to-date on current events and participating in activities that arouse our minds are also important.
Tips and suggestions for optimal intellectual wellness include:
Occupational wellness involves preparing and making use of your gifts, skills, and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in your life. The development of occupational satisfaction and wellness is related to your attitude about your work. Achieving optimal occupational wellness allows you to maintain a positive attitude and experience satisfaction/pleasure in your employment.
The occupationally well individual contributes her/his unique skills/talents to work that is meaningful and rewarding. Values are expressed through involvement in activities that are personally rewarding for you and make a contribution to the well being of the community at large. Occupational wellness means successfully integrating a commitment to your occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying and rewarding.
Tips and suggestions for optimal occupational wellness include:
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