What is Wellness?
Definition of Wellness
"Wellness is the optimal state of health of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically, and the fulfillment of one's role expectations in the family, community, place of worship, workplace and other settings." - The World Health Organization.
Wellness has also been defined as "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential." - The National Wellness Institute
Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.
Why Wellness Matters
Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.
Eight Dimensions of Wellness
There are eight dimensions of wellness: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. Each dimension of wellness is interrelated with another. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. One can reach an optimal level of wellness by understanding how to maintain and optimize each of the dimensions of wellness.
Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner resources so you can learn and grow from experiences. Learn more about emotional wellness.
Environmental wellness encourages you to respect the delicate balance between the environment and yourself. Respect for other living things in our environment is just as necessary as respect for the physical environment itself. Learn more about environmental wellness.
Intellectual wellness involves having an open mind when you encounter new ideas and continuing to expand your knowledge. It encourages active participation in scholastic, cultural and community activities. Learn more about intellectual wellness.
Financial Wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance. Financial stress is repeatedly found to be a common source of stress, anxiety and fear for college students. Learn more about financial wellness.
Occupational wellness is about enjoying your occupational endeavors and appreciating your contributions. This dimension of wellness encourages personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work. Learn more about occupational wellness.
Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed. Physical health is attained through exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and paying attention to the signs of illness and getting help when needed. Learn more about physical wellness.
Social wellness helps you preform social roles effectively and comfortably, and create a support network. This dimension of wellness allows you to not only develop encouraging relationships with peers, but also intimate relationships with romantic partners. Learn more about social wellness.
Spiritual wellness allows you to develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose. Spirituality can be represented in many ways, for example, through relaxation or religion. But being spiritually well means knowing which resources to use to cope with issues that come up in everyday life. Learn more about spiritual wellness.