Health and Wellness: 7 Dimensions for Creating a Lifetime of Wellness

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization

Creating a lifetime of wellness requires practices that can contribute to your health and happiness.

By creating wellness, you can decrease your risks for developing diseases and disabilities as well as prevent rapid aging and premature death. By being well, you can also increase your life satisfaction and happiness.

Health and Wellness: 7 Dimensions for Creating a Lifetime of Wellness

Achieving wellness is an ongoing process of making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Credit: Andrew Malone

What is the Definition of Wellness?

There is no universally-accepted definition of wellness. The scientific meaning of wellness is the state of being healthy and free of diseases.

Wellness can be defined as the pursuit of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. It involves a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit which results in an overall feeling of well-being.

 

What is the Difference Between Health and Wellness?

Health is defined as the state of physical, mental and emotional well-being. Wellness is generally considered the optimal state of health. Wellness is pursued by people recovering from illness or those interested in optimizing their state of health.

Daily wellness is an active process of making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. The choices you make can contribute to overall wellness or illness.

True wellness is more than the absence of diseases. It is a way of appreciating and fully experiencing life. It involves the process of living, growing and achieving the life that expresses your maximum potential as a human being. Pure wellness is about living life to the fullest.

 

7 Dimensions of Wellness

  1. Physical wellness involves physical conditioning to build endurance, flexibility, strength and fitness. It can affect the way you look, feel and perform. You can achieve it through regular exercise, proper diet and nutrition, sleep and rest as well as avoidance of drug abuse, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Emotional wellness involves how you feel, think and cope with life. It can affect your ability to cope with normal life stressors, relationships with others, job satisfaction and success as well as quality of life and happiness. For people dealing with emotional and mental disorders, emotional wellness can involve satisfactory management and treatment of depression, phobia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, neurosis or some other disorder.
  3. Mental wellness involves putting your intelligence to its best possible use. It involves learning, problem-solving and creative pursuits as well as reading, writing and other mentally-stimulating and challenging activities. Mental wellness can be used interchangeably with intellectual wellness.
  4. Spiritual wellness is about finding meaning and purpose in your life. It involves mindfulness as well as appreciation and acceptance of life. You can experience and achieve spiritual wellness through meditation, religion, music, art, literature, nature and through connections with loved ones and other people in your community.
  5. Social wellness is about having satisfactory inter-personal relationships and positive interactions with others. It involves learning social skills to develop a good support system and deep, meaningful relationships. Having good communication and listening skills, practicing empathy and compassion as well as caring for others can lead to more satisfying and meaningful relationships. In turn, this can promote better health and wellness.
  6. Occupational wellness is about having work that can offer personal meaning, purpose and satisfaction. An important aspect of occupational wellness is finding a healthy balance between work and leisure. For busy moms and dads as well as people caring for their elderly parents and other caregivers, occupational wellness involves finding a good balance between work and family as well as leisure time.
  7. Environmental wellness involves satisfactory management of aspects of the environment that can affect health and well-being. This includes limited exposure to or satisfactory management of toxic chemicals, radiation, biological agents, electromagnetic radiation, noise, air and water pollution, tobacco smoke, climate change, food safety, waste disposal, hazardous materials and vector control.

The multiple dimensions of wellness overlap and work together in terms of decreasing health risks as well as promoting overall well-being and life satisfaction. Effective strategies for staying healthy include physical exercise, adequate rest and sleep, proper diet and nutrition, stress management as well as finding balance in work, family and relationships.

Achieving wellness is an ongoing process of making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. The choices you make can contribute to your overall wellness or illness.

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