A person’s health refers to their objective states of physical, mental, and social well-being, whereas wellness encompasses the lifestyle practices aimed to enhance those objective states. Wellness views health from a holistic perspective (mind, body, and spirit).
There are six dimensions of wellness:
1. Emotional Wellness Emotional wellness inspires a sense of inner calm, relaxation, and inner strength. It remind us to stay positive, smile, be mindful, learn from mistakes, ask for help from others, and is a remember that life is full of peaks and valleys. Both positive and negative emotions affect how we respond and adapt to our surroundings. This is especially true in relation to eating habits and maintaining a healthy relationship with food.
2. Occupational Wellness
Occupational wellness encourages us to carefully consider our career and employment opportunities throughout our lifetime. Personal satisfaction, sense of purpose, and value are factors that lead to a high level of occupational wellness.
Enhancing occupational wellness does not necessarily require monetary compensation. Taking time to explore volunteer opportunities that allow you to focus on tasks and skills you enjoy will lead to a greater sense of fulfillment and increase to overall occupational wellness.
3. Physical Wellness
Physical wellness encompasses a sense of respect and responsibility for taking care of our bodies, promoting a desired sense of optimal health and physical functioning across the lifespan. Overall physical wellness encourages the balance of physical activity, exercise, rest and relaxation, nutrition, mental health, and well-being.
4. Social Wellness
Social wellness refers to our ability to form and maintain relationships with others. A robust social network helps us develop a positive outlook on life, especially when life is challenging. Learning to build healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships with others leads to a high degree of social wellness.
5. Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual wellness encourages us to never stop learning and engaging in creative and mentally stimulating activities across the lifespan. It means participating in activities that expand knowledge and skills across academic, cultural, community, and personal pursuits. Intellectual wellness fosters a greater sense of fulfillment and helps improve both emotional and occupational wellness for a more balanced life.
6. Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is often one of the least understood wellness components. Most people immediately equate it with religion; however, aligning to a specific religious practice is only one means of finding an improved sense of spiritual wellness. Being spiritual simply means having personal faith in something that deepens feelings of belonging and peace with oneself and the world. Your spiritual wellness can be defined in terms of religious faith, personal values, ethical/moral beliefs, or simply a general acceptance of an underlying mind-body-spirit connection. At its core, it helps create a greater sense of meaning and purpose in life and enhances all other dimensions of wellness.