Do You Know The 7 Dimensions of Your Wellness?
If I was to ask you what you do, to look after your wellbeing, what would you say?
Would you reflect on your exercise schedule?
You’d probably also consider your diet and nutrition.
And, many of you may start thinking about your self-care habits, too.
Research over the last few decades has come a long way in fields such as positive psychology and neuroscience. Both of these fields suggest that we have the ability to take greater control over our health, wellbeing and happiness, and make positive changes that we weren’t quite sure were ‘scientifically’ plausible in the past.
I find this idea particularly fascinating, when considering neuroplasticity; learning that, over time, we can actually change the structure and functioning of our brains. By making committed changes; whether through our thinking patterns or our relationship with ourself or others, or by taking on new activities and challenges, our brains create new neural pathways.
So, what are the 7 dimensions of wellness that can impact your health, wellbeing and happiness?
Back in the 1970’s, Dr. Bill Hettler developed a model of wellness that included six dimensions of health: emotional, physical, intellectual, occupational, social and spiritual.
And later, health practitioners included ‘environmental health’ – creating a model with 7 dimensions for our wellbeing.
Here are some questions to get you thinking about the 7 dimensions of your wellness:
Physical Wellness – A healthy body needs nutrients and good food, exercise and good quality sleep. What healthy habits do you embrace to maintain your health?… What unhealthy habits do you avoid (such as drugs and alcohol)? …Are you able to get through your days without unnecessary fatigue or excessive stress or strain?
Emotional Wellness – The ability to understand how you’re feeling, as well as accept your limitations at times, will set you in good stead for feeling emotionally stable. How well do you understand yourself?… How well do you cope with anger, stress, worries, loss or sadness?… We all have challenging times throughout our life – Do you share your feelings, including love, hope and joy, in an open and appropriate way?
Spiritual Wellness – Holding an understanding of life’s purpose, and living in line with your values and morals can have a big impact on your wellness. Are you able to create peace and harmony in your life? …Do you have an understanding of what your values and morals are, and do you consistently live by these?
Intellectual Wellness – Having a curious mind to continue learning is important …Are you committed to life-long learning, and embracing new concepts about yourself and your greater community? How do you contribute to improving your intellectual wellness?
Occupational Wellness – Being able to integrate your skills and passion into satisfying work can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing… Do you feel valued and engaged and motivated by what you do? …Does it challenge you? …Do you feel you are contributing to a higher goal in an organisation, or for greater good in the community? …Does your work provide a balance for you?
Social Wellness – This can give you confidence and positive energy. How well do you communicate and connect to others? …Are you able to maintain positive relationships with friends, family and work colleagues?
Environmental wellness – The quality of our environment can have so many influences on our health and wellbeing. Do you recognise the impact and responsibility you have on your environment – the quality of the air, water and land that surrounds you? What about the quality and personal safety of the relationships around you?
As you can see, when thinking about your health & wellbeing (your ‘wellness’), this means asking what you’re doing to care for yourself in each of these areas. These 7 dimensions are interrelated, and require your conscious attention and commitment, day by day, week by week.
Accepting that each of these dimensions plays a role in your overall health, wellbeing and quality of life, is the first step to caring for your wellness, and becoming the best version of yourself possible.
So, what can you start doing today, to enhance your wellness?
Wendy Gilroy is a Mother of 2, and a professional Counsellor for women. Wendy has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, and a Diploma of Counselling. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and offers secure ONLINE counselling for women around the world, as well as telephone, face-to-face and home visit services for mums.
Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only. If you have any concerns about your physical or mental health, please consult your healthcare practitioner for medical advice.