What is health? What is wellness? What comes to mind when you think of a healthy person? Most people think of physical health, but there is much more to it than just physical health. Yes, physical health is part of the equation, but other aspects of our lives affect our physical health: stress, toxins, the environment, our social circle, spirituality.
So, what exactly is whole and complete health and wellness? That’s what we’ll talk about today. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” So, you may not be sick at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
You may be asking why I’m bringing this up now. Good questions. I’m preparing to turn in the final assignments in my final course in school! Yes, that’s right, I’m getting ready to graduate this summer. After this final class, I’ll take an exam, then start my research thesis, which will take about three months. So, I decided it was time to begin to shift my blog toward my future career as a WELLNESS EDUCATOR. (That’s what I’ll call myself professionally) So, I decided to begin that shift with a primer on wellness, beginning today, and for the next 6 weeks or so, we’ll talk about all aspects of wellness.
WHAT IS WELLNESS?
The actual definition of wellness is: “The condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.” It seems simple enough doesn’t it, but it’s a bit more complex than that. Here’ a great video that talks a bit about wellness.
Proper wellness is broken down into 3 categories. For complete health, for complete wellness, you need WHOLE WELLNESS, which means wellness of BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT.
THE 6 DIMENSIONS OF WELLNESS
These 3 categories are further broken down into 6 subcategories, or dimensions. If you Google the “dimensions of wellness”, you’ll get plethora of results with people saying there are 8, 9 or even 10 dimensions of wellness. However, I believe that when you get beyond 6 dimensions, you begin to overlap.
The 6 dimensions of wellness are:
- Environmental – Living in harmony with our surroundings and respectful of the environment; Surrounding yourself with a healthy, calming, toxin-free environment. (EXAMPLES: RECYCLING, VOLUNTEERING, NATURAL RESOURCE AWARENESS)
- Emotional – The ability to cope, manage and experience feelings appropriately; positive and optimistic attitude about life; high self-esteem; balanced emotions; recognize and cope with life issues; (EXAMPLES: POSITIVE ATTITUDE, SET PRIORITIES; SEEKING SUPPORT; LEARNING FROM MISTAKES)
- Intellectual – Maintain your mind through learning, problem solving and daily decisions; being open to new ideas; learning new skills; promote creativity; curiosity; exploring the world; (EXAMPLES: LEARNING A NEW SKILL; OPEN-MINDEDNESS; CREATIVITY)
- Physical – Being in top condition, free from illness, disease, etc; Developed through regular exercise and healthy eating; taking personal responsibility for your own health; Empowers you to measure your own health for warning signs; benefits include looking and feeling good, high self-esteem; determination (EXAMPLES: HEALTHY EATING, EXERCISE, YOGA, STRENGTH TRAINING, HEALTHY RECIPES)
- Social – The ability to interact with individuals around you; good communication; meaningful relationships; respectful of others; supporting family and friends. (EXAMPLES: TIME WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS; INTERACTING WITH DIVERSE PEOPLE/CULTURES)
- Spiritual – This one encompasses all the rest. optimal meanings of life, beliefs and values; purpose for life; the connection with the source of life/divinity and your inner self; sense of self-awareness; seeking truth, thinking of others, eating healthy, healing others, taking care of the planet, enriching our mind. (EXAMPLES: RELAXATION; MEDITATION; OPEN-MINDED; VALUE GUIDED DECISIONS; ONENESS WITH THE EARTH)
Each of these 6 dimensions, falls under one of the three main categories:
On this site, and through my nutrition plans and wellness education sessions, I cover each dimension of wellness up close. I’ve develop a “badge” for each wellness category. A badge is included with each article I write, so you know under which dimension the article falls. As you can see, they all sort of overlap, so many times, you’ll see multiple badges.