The 8 Dimensions Of Wellness explained for the perfect balance of body, mind, and soul
Why is wellness important?
Wellness is a choice. It is the act of choosing a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life. As we age, our bodies become prone to a variety of ailments. If our body isn’t taken care of, it will get sick, and if our mind isn’t taken care of it will whither. Choosing wellness is essentially choosing to live a long and prosperous life.
Wellness has 8 dimensions. There is emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, financial, intellectual and physical well-being.
Emotional Wellness relates to understanding and being able to name your feelings. (ex, I feel sad, scared, jealous) The process of naming feelings is not always as easy as it may sound. Sometimes, we may feel anger towards a person, but when practicing introspection we realize that the person is actually not responsible for our feelings. We may realize that we are angry because we are triggered by something - such as feeling afraid of being alone, feeling scared because of a loss of control over a situation. Letting ourselves be angry at someone else is easier than feeling sadness or fear. Sometimes it takes a couple of sessions of psychotherapy to understand what our feelings truly are and where they come from.
Social wellness is being comfortable with others. It is developing encouraging relationships with peers, intimate relationships with romantic partners, supportive friendships with friends.
When you achieve healthy social wellness, you develop a sense of where you belong, you fulfill the role that you want to inhabit in a group. You are able to control and adapt your emotions depending on the social activity that you are performing, whether it’s at a party with friends, during an important meeting, or at the dinner table. You are also able to take body language cues from others to develop a sense of what is going on around you and are able to adapt to the situation.
For some, spiritual wellness helps in the development of a set of values that will be a guide to achieving goodness in everyday life, for others it may mean ultimately achieving inner peace by practicing relaxation techniques and living by certain mantras. Being connected to something greater than ourselves gives life meaning and purpose. Spiritual wellness helps human being think positively, gives hope for a better future and explores your spiritual core.
Environmental wellness is living in harmony with our surroundings. Having respect for our home planet and doing our part to take care of our environment. This involves doing our part for living a sustainable lifestyle, eliminating excessive waste, reducing pollution and protecting the natural resources that mother nature has given to us.
On a small scale, we might not immediately notice the impact that we have on our environment, but on a bigger scale, every day that we continue to pollute gives way to new incurable diseases, undrinkable water and toxic air to breathe.
Financial wellness involves the process of managing earnings and expenses. Financial wellness means security. Not having enough has a direct impact on mental and physical health. Some people are born in a financially healthy environment and might never understand the struggles of those who aren’t so lucky. Some must go through a learning curve of hard work, survival, patience, and stress management before achieving financial wellness. Financial wellness is a common source of stress fear and anxiety for many people. Perseverance towards achieving financial wellness is key.
Occupational wellness is all about balancing fun activities and hobbies with work and responsibilities.
Doing work that is motivating, interesting and passionate encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life. Occupational wellness reduces and prevents stress from everyday life.
Intellectual wellness is about expanding your knowledge and having an open mind to learn new subjects. Active participation in cultural, scholastic or community activities, attending conferences, learning practical skills will keep the mind active and healthy. Maintaining intellectual wellness can also be achieved in very simple ways such as being an active listener to those who have different opinions than your own, choosing to read a book or listening to a podcast instead of watching tv, playing chess with a friend, etc.
Physical well-being is maintaining a healthy body, eating well, exercising, sleeping enough and seeking care when needed. A healthy balance between diet and exercise is also closely connected to mental well being. Taking care of your body is often the first step towards taking care of your emotional health.
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