The 10 Dimensions of Wellness
- Social: family and social support and cohesion
- Physical: physical vitality, active lifestyle practices, structured exercise
- Environmental: living conditions and physical surroundings from immediate to global
- Medical and dental: screening, prevention, adherence
- Nutritional: diet and food choices, healthy weight
- Spiritual: core values, identity, and purpose
- Psychological and emotional: mental state, coping and problem-solving skills, stress management, decision making
- Behavioral and intellectual: thoughts and actions that have positive or negative effects on life
- Occupational: activities in which we engage, interests, skills, performance, satisfaction,
- Financial: planning and saving, cash and credit management, risk management
At the Institute of Wellness Education, we encourage you to examine the different dimensions of wellness and recognize that they are interconnected. No dimension stands alone. Each dimension is related to others in different ways and to different degrees. A change in one dimension will likely affect other domains. This means that if you make a positive change in one domain, you may experience a positive effect in another without even making an effort. For example, if you take just a couple of deep breaths after you arrive home after work, you may find that helps you make the transition from work to home more smoothly. That’s because a little deep breathing helps calm and center you. Once you enter your home, you may find yourself a little patient with family members or friends, or perhaps you’ll discover you’re a little more able to make healthy food choices for dinner. Little actions lead to big rewards.
Wellness includes a balance of health habits, rest, good nutrition adequate sleep, exercise and connections with friends and family that support you. Here are a couple of the dimensions
Your fitness level and ability to care for yourself define physical wellness. You get physically “well” when you engage in regular physical exercise during which your heart rate remains elevated for at least 30 minutes. Experts recommend at least 2.5 hours of brisk cardiovascular exercise—also called “aerobic” exercise.
Other ways to improve your fitness include doing a brisk walk three times a week, an aerobics or Zumba class at the gym, or jogging or cycling for 30 minutes. Hey, don’t forget to break a sweat!
If you are unable to do this, you should consider building up to it (if you are physically able to) or consider what is keeping you from regular exercise. Too much work? Too little time? Apathy? We simply can’t ignore so many studies in favor of “getting moving.” Physical activity prevents common lifestyle-related illnesses like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, plus it improves brain function and memory, including problem-solving and focus.
If you’re spiritually “well” you may possess a set of guiding beliefs, principles or values that give meaning and purpose to your life, especially during difficult times. You need both to develop a sense of balance and peace to protect and nurture your psyche.
Spirituality is not necessarily religion or even necessarily affiliated with religion. It’s more a process or journey of self-discovery, learning not only who you are but who you want to be. It can be about the challenge of reaching beyond your current limits and determining what you are most passionate about in your professional, social and personal lives.
You manifest spiritual wellness if you perform community service, keep a journal, pray, practice yoga and simply challenge yourself to be a better person, however you define that.
At the Institute for Wellness Education, we respect all 10 dimensions of wellness, and invite you to attend our classes to expand your knowledge and your grasp of all the components that make us “whole” and “well”.