The term wellness has been applied in many ways. It is much more than just physical health, exercise, and nutrition. Wellness is multidimensional including: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Career, Intellectual, Environmental, Social (SPECIES). Wellness is a full integration and the pursuit of continued growth and balance in these seven dimensions of wellness.
Each dimension contributes to our own sense of wellness or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps the others. At times, one may be more prominent than others, but neglect of any one dimension for any length of time has adverse effects on overall health.
The spiritual dimension recognizes one's search for meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe. Spiritual wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. It encompasses a high level of faith, hope, and commitment to our individual beliefs that provide a sense of meaning and purpose in human existence. It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant. Becoming spiritually well means striving for consistency with our values and beliefs.
Tips and suggestions for optimal spiritual wellness:
The physical dimension recognizes the need for regular physical activity. Physical development promotes learning about diet and nutrition while discouraging the use of tobacco, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it. Physical wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows one to get through daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. Optimal physical wellness is met through a combination of good exercise and eating habits. Improving physical wellness consists of building physical strength, flexibility and endurance while taking safety precautions including medical self-care and appropriate use of a medical system as well as protecting oneself from injuries and harm. The physical dimension of wellness involves personal responsibility, disease prevention, and care for minor illnesses and also knowing when professional medical attention is needed. Being physically fit and feeling physically well often leads to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self control, determination and a sense of direction.
Tips and suggestions for optimal physical wellness:
The emotional dimension recognizes awareness and acceptance and healthy expression of one’s feelings such as happiness, hope, love, joy, sadness, anger, fear, and/or stress. Emotional wellness encompasses optimism, self-esteem, and self-acceptance. It includes the capacity to manage feelings and related behaviors including the realistic assessment of limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress. Emotional wellness also includes intimacy, independence, and interdependence. Awareness of and accepting a wide range of feelings in oneself and others is essential to wellness. It is important to take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy. Managing life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for one's actions, will help to see life as an exciting, hopeful adventure. It is better to be aware of and accept these feelings than to deny them, and it is better to be optimistic in an approach to life than pessimistic.
Tips for optimal emotional wellness:
The career dimension recognizes personal satisfaction and enrichment in life through work. It is the ability to get personal fulfillment from jobs or chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in life. Occupational development is related to attitudes about work. The desire to contribute to a career to make a positive impact on the organizations which one works in and to society as a whole leads to career wellness. It is essential to contribute the unique gifts, skills, and talents to work that is both personally meaningful and rewarding in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in life. Achieving optimal career wellness allows one to maintain a positive attitude and experience satisfaction and pleasure in employment.
Tips and suggestions for optimal occupational wellness include:
The intellectual dimension encourages creative, stimulating mental activities. A well person expands his or her knowledge and skills while discovering the potential for sharing one’s gifts with others. The mind should be continually exercised just as the body. To become intellectually well, it is important to explore issues related to problem solving, critical thinking, and adaptation to change. Intellectual wellness involves spending more time pursuing personal interests and reading books, magazines, and newspapers, while staying aware of current events and issues. It is the ability to open one’s mind to new concepts and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community enhancement, improve skills, and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning.
Tips and suggestions for optimal intellectual wellness:
The environmental dimension is the extent to which one cares for the earth by protecting its resources. It is the ability to recognize personal responsibility for the quality of the air, water and land. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of homes, communities, and the planet while understanding the negative effect of personal choices contributes to environmental wellness. Environmental wellness is recognizing the unstable state of the earth and the effects of 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.
Tips and suggestions for optimal environmental wellness:
Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in the world. The ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to social wellness. Friends can serve as a source of encouragement and reinforcement for practicing healthy habits. The social dimension encourages one to become aware of his or her importance in society. It is vital to stay connected to people, form new relationships and participate in various social activities. Social wellness encourages one to take an active part in improving the world by encouraging healthier living and initiating better communication with others. Social wellness encourages one to discover the power to make willful choices to enhance personal relationships and important friendships, and build a better living space and community. Social wellness also includes showing respect for others, oneself and other cultures.
Tips and suggestions for optimal social wellness: