The 8 Dimensions of Wellness
When I set out in creating this site, I wanted to eventually talk about my recovery in terms of addiction, eating, and exercise. I wasn’t quite ready to do so right off the break, so I first focused on the physical definition of wellness — recapping running as I discovered my appreciation for it and sharing all the new health foods that I found popping up in stores around me.
Eventually, I broke my silence about my struggles prior to that point and, in doing so, started to introduce more emotional and self-growth content. As the years went on, my focus for this site grew and I wanted to talk about health and wellness in several different ways, not just the physical. I also wanted to discuss health from mental, emotional, and spiritual viewpoints because they are all crucial to making up the whole of a person. You can exercise and eat greens til you’re blue in the face, but if you have underlying emotional issues or trauma, your overall health is going to suffer — something I know all too well from experience.
Recently, I came across an article that expanded the concept of wellness even further. I was really impressed with the fact that the author broke down wellness into EIGHT dimensions — twice what I had even considered. I found it really fascinating and applicable, so I wanted to share that model with you guys to give you some food for thought. One of the best points I think the article made was that each dimension does not need to equal another, and that “we should aim, instead, to strive for a ‘personal harmony’ that feels most authentic to us.” Similar to how I emphasize that everyone’s version of self-care is going to look different, it’s about finding a balance that works for you to function the most effectively as a person.
I mainly wanted to share these with you to get you thinking about how these dimensions show up in your life. How are you doing in each of them? Are they all important to you? Which areas could use a little more work? I hope you enjoy thinking about it as much as I did and that they may open your eyes to a more thorough definition of “wellness.”
- Caring for your body to stay healthy now and in the future
- Growing intellectually, maintaining curiosity about all there is to learn, valuing lifelong learning, and responding positively to intellectual challenges
- Expanding knowledge and skills while discovering the potential for sharing your gifts with others
- Understanding and respecting your feelings, values, and attitudes
- Appreciating the feelings of others
- Managing your emotions in a constructive way
- Feeling positive and enthusiastic about your life
- Maintaining healthy relationships, enjoying being with others, developing friendships and intimate relations, caring about others, and letting others care about you
- Contributing to your community
- Finding purpose, value, and meaning in your life with or without organized religion
- Participating in activities that are consistent with your beliefs and values
- Preparing for and participating in work that provides personal satisfaction and life enrichment that is consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle
- Contributing your unique gifts, skills, and talents to work that is personally meaningful and rewarding
- Managing your resources to live within your means, making informed financial decisions and investments, setting realistic goals, and preparing for short-term and long-term needs or emergencies
- Being aware that everyone’s financial values, needs, and circumstances are unique
- Understanding how your social, natural, and built environments affect your health and well-being
- Being aware of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment
- Demonstrating commitment to a healthy planet