What are the 8 dimensions of wellness?
Most of us will associate wellness to living a healthy lifestyle, feeling good and being happy, but did you know that there are actually eight different dimensions of wellness? From physical, to occupational, the term ‘wellness’ comprises so many different areas of our lives that we might not often think about. Knowing what the eight dimensions of wellness are could help us balance our emotions and pin point areas in our lives that we might want to work on in order to improve our quality of life. You might be physically well and exercise all the time, but maybe your social wellness isn’t as balanced. Though you don’t need to obtain a perfect balance across all different dimensions, the goal is to find your own balance and what feels good for you.
Read on to find out more about these eight dimensions of wellness and see if you can evaluate how you feel in each area.
1. Physical wellness
Physical wellness is probably the dimension of wellness that we all know as it’s discussed time and time again in our society. This comprises your physical activity, healthy eating, and sleep. Though you might consider yourself physically well if you exercise a lot, if you don’t sleep or eat enough, this could be having a negative impact on your overall physical wellness. It’s therefore important to look at how you balance different areas of this particular dimension. Having a healthy routine, eating nutritious, balanced meals, doing some form of physical activity every day, and having a regular bedtime routine and sleep habits can help you achieve this long-term.
2. Emotional wellness
While physical wellness is talked about a lot, emotional wellness has only started to come into the conversation in recent years. You might have guessed it already, but this is all about your mental health. When your emotional wellness is balanced, you might notice that you often feel positive, you’re able to be sensitive towards others and experience compassion and empathy, you can be rational about situations, you know how to cope with stress and you feel content and confident in your body. Mental health is extremely complex though, and it’s difficult to spell it out in specific terms. If you feel like your emotional wellness is low, then consider reaching out to someone close to you. There are also plenty of medical and online resources that can help you out. Remember too, that though we’re talking about the eight dimensions of wellness separately, they’re all interlinked and being physically well can have a positive impact on your emotional wellness too.
3. Spiritual wellness
Had you ever heard about spiritual wellness before? This is all about our sense of purpose, as well as about how we view different cultures and religions. Being open to different cultures, perspectives and beliefs is important in order to balance our spiritual wellness. If you haven’t had the chance to explore these topics before, then maybe try watching some documentaries, reading books about places you’d love to visit and have open, engaging discussions with different people. Values and ethics also come into this dimension, as well as mindfulness. Try some meditation if you haven’t before and learn to spend some time alone and live in the present.
4. Financial wellness
Financial wellness isn’t necessarily about how much money you have, but rather about how satisfied you feel with your financial situation. Do you feel secure financially, both right now and for the future? This can be a pretty difficult one to navigate, as money definitely doesn’t grow on trees, but learning how to be savvy with your money, learning how to budget, save and invest can help you achieve financial wellness.
5. Intellectual wellness
You don’t need to have an IQ of 170 to be intellectually well. This dimension is more about how you value learning and knowledge and what it can bring you in your life. Trying new things, reading new books, joining a club or taking a class are all ways you can improve your intellectual wellness. The more actively engaged you are with expanding your knowledge and skills, the more you will improve your intellectual wellness.
6. Social wellness
Would you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, or something in between? Maybe you’re not sure, and that’s completely fine – there’s no need to label yourself as anything in particular but knowing how you feel in different social situations will help you better manage your social wellness. Having a balanced social wellness may mean that you have a strong sense of connection or belonging, as well as a good support system of friends or family, yet it doesn’t mean you need to have hundreds of friends either! It’s important to figure out what makes you happy socially, as well as what might make you feel uncomfortable. If you’re looking to meet new people, why not join a local club and try out a hobby, old or new, that you’d love to share with others?
7. Environmental wellness
Environmental wellness has to do with how you interact with and feel about your surroundings. Not only is it about appreciating your environment or your home, but also about taking care of it – as the saying goes, ‘tidy home, tidy mind’. Though cleaning might not be your favourite pastime, try to allocate some time every week to clean up around your home. Decluttering can also be a great way of cleansing and can help you feel better in the long run.
8. Occupational wellness
Occupational wellness relates to personal satisfaction from your work. Having a balanced occupational wellness may mean that you take pleasure from your job, but it may also mean that you have other occupations that you love and enjoy too, such as hobbies or things that you create. Not all of us will be doing our dream job and that’s ok. Figuring out what’s important to you will help you improve your occupational wellness, as well as your wellness overall. For example, you might prioritise financial wellness over occupational wellness for a few years in order to save money. This might mean you don’t love your job, but that you’re satisfied with your salary. The opposite can be said as well. Overall, wellness is about finding a balance that works for you and that will bring you happiness in your life.