What is Wellness?The National Wellness Institute describes wellness as a process of becoming aware of, and making choices toward, a more successful existence. It is a conscious, evolving process of achieving your full potential. Wellness encompasses many different factors, ranging from lifestyle to spiritual well-being. Because of this holistic approach, wellness is much more than just being physically fit.
Dimensions of Wellness
Focusing on wellness rather than just fitness allows us to examine the many dimensions of our lives and work to make each dimension the most rewarding and fulfilling it can be.
Social WellnessSocial wellness focuses on our ability to interact successfully with the global community and live up to the expectations and demands of our personal roles. This means learning good communication skills, developing intimacy with others and creating a supportive network of friends and family members.
Occupational wellness involves preparing and making use of our gifts, skills and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness and enrichment in our lives. Realizing optimal occupational wellness allows us to
maintain a positive attitude and experience satisfaction in our
Environmental wellness involves an awareness of the unstable state of the earth and the effects our daily habits have on the physical
environment. It consists of maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment.
Emotional wellness is a dynamic state that fluctuates frequently with the other dimensions of wellness. Being emotionally well means
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.
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 are also part of intellectual wellness.
Physical wellness encompasses a variety of healthy behaviors including 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 also enhance the enjoyment and quality of those years.
Spiritual wellness involves possessing a set of guiding beliefs,
principles or values that help give direction to our lives. It
encompasses a high level of faith, hope and commitment to our individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose. Spiritual wellness can be gained through nature, art, music, religion, meditation or good deeds performed for others.