Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence. It is a choice to assume responsibility for the quality of your life, continually stretch your boundaries, and make your life, and the lives of those you touch, truly exceptional. Mindfully focusing on wellness in our lives builds resilience and enables us to thrive amidst life’s challenges.
Wellness begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle and acknowledge your presence as part of something much greater than just yourself. Wellness is fueled by an ongoing and purposeful pursuit of optimal functioning in all aspects of your life, and it continues without end.
Ultimately, wellness is a hands-on, get-down-to-business approach to being the best you can possibly be.
The Six Dimensions of Wellness
There are many models of wellness, and most approach wellness from a multi-dimensional point of view, meaning that many different aspects of oneself contribute to wellness. Generally, these dimensions include: physical, psychological, intellectual, social, spiritual, and vocational.
These six dimensions are explained below.
Physical.Physical wellness encourages everything you traditionally associate with good physical health: a strong and healthy heart, strong bones, flexible and well-toned muscles, to name a few. But there’s more. Physical wellness encourages healthy nutritional choices, appropriate use of the medical system and medical self-care. And it discourages use of tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption. The habits you develop in the physical dimension of your life not only largely determine how many years you live but the quality of your life during those years.
Psychological.Psychological wellness ensures that you feel positive and enthusiastic about your self and your life. It enables you to realistically assess your limitations and envision new possibilities. It also includes your ability to cope with or improve unpleasant feelings and ensure that you bounce back from unwelcome situations with enthusiasm and hope.
Intellectual. The hallmarks of intellectual wellness include openness to new ideas, a capacity to question and think critically, and the motivation to master new skills. Intellectual wellness has nothing to do with IQ or street smarts. Rather, it is about a strong sense of humour, creativity, willingness to experiment and try new things, and curiosity.
Social/community.Social wellness emphasizes your interdependence with others, your community, and nature. Developing social wellness involves creating a capacity for intimacy, learning good communication skills, moving beyond a personal outlook to a more global worldview, cultivating a network of caring friends and family members, and contributing to your community, country, and world.
Spiritual.To enjoy spiritual wellness is to possess a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that give meaning and purpose to your life and your work. Spiritual wellness includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe. This includes learning how to experience love, joy, peace and fulfillment and knowing how to help yourself and others achieve their full potential.
Vocational.Vocational wellness encourages development of personal leadership, continuous learning, a strong work ethic, questioning why you work and the contribution you make to others and society.
For more information about resilience and personal development the following resources may be helpful.
- Building Resilience. HealthLinkBC. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abk9962
- The Road to Resilience. American Psychological Society. https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx
- How To Build Your Resilience. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/how-be-yourself/201709/how-build-your-resilience
- Resilience in Children: Strategies to Strengthen Your Kids. Psycom. https://www.psycom.net/build-resilience-children
- Building Resilience. Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/lib/building-resilience/
- Overcoming adversity by building resilience. TED Talks (Carol Taylor). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nag7az4-vEo
- Eight Secrets of Success. TED Talks (Richard St. John). https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success_success)