There are very different views on what ‘Wellness’ encompasses and just as many ways in which it can be applied in an individual’s life. Numerous articles have been written, and studies carried out on the subject in the hopes of providing people with the right information on how to apply wellness as part of their physical fitness, overall stress management, and nutrition.
This is because, even with the amount of media attention given to health and well-being such as articles on cholesterol, healthy relationships, exercise and smoking, drugs and alcohol abuse, it is somewhat astonishing to see that most people don’t have the motivation to change their lives around and live a wholesome life.
But what exactly is Wellness? It is a holistic concept that looks at an individual’s six dimensions of wellness that is of the emotional, physical, spiritual, social, intellectual, and occupational well-being, where, when all work cohesively, we become more aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living.
The general agreement is that;
- Wellness is developing a healthy belief system, values, self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction
- It is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving ones full potential
- A multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
- Wellness is positive and affirming in terms of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength, and vitality, taking personal responsibility, and stimulating mental activities that benefit you and those around you.
Because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being, it is important that we achieve optimal wellness in order to alleviate stress, reduce the risk of illness and promote positive interactions. The World Health Organization describes wellness as a “state of complete physical, mental, emotional and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Each of the six dimensions is important, and while since birth, we have been acculturated to believe in mind-body separation, all eight dimensions must work together in order to achieve optimal wellness.
Optimal physical wellness is developing a personal responsibility for your own health care and can only be achieved through healthy eating habits and the combination of beneficial physical activity and exercise such as building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance, and flexibility. This habit will not only boost your overall self-esteem, sharpen your thinking and learning abilities, but it is an important aspect that relates to overall mental and physical wellness.
Our psychological health plays a major role in our overall well-being. This dimension recognizes awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings, limitations, and the ability to cope with stress effectively and maintain healthy relationships with others. We all wear our self-esteem as armor when faced with things like failure, rejection, anxiety, and stress. We need to stop with the self -criticism, do away with brooding thoughts, take control after a failure and recover our self-worth after rejection, for long-term mental health.
It is vital to gain and maintain intellectual wellness because it expands knowledge and skills in order to live a stimulating, successful life, which can be achieved through valuing creativity, growing in our curiosity, and lifelong learning. According to Illinois State University, focusing our attention on information that is different than your beliefs can improve intellectual wellness such as learning a foreign language, reading for fun, learning a musical instrument or simply playing intellectual games such as monopoly, crosswords and Sudoku because as long as your mind is thinking, improvements are being made. An Intellectual wellness encourages creativity and mentally-stimulation.
This is our constant search for meaning and purpose of our existence. Many have successfully tried to achieve it through yoga and meditation, prayer, affirmations, specific spiritual practices that connect them to a higher power or belief system. Spiritual wellness can be a search for a peaceful harmony between your personal feelings and emotions and that of feelings you experience every day of doubt, despair, fear, forgiveness, disappointment as well as feelings of pleasure, joy, happiness, and discovery. Live each day in a way that is consistent with your values and beliefs for you to achieve spiritual wellness.
Good communication skills, cultivating meaningful relationships, respecting yourself and others, contributing to the common welfare of the community will help you maintain an optimal level of social awareness and wellness.
Have you achieved a personal satisfaction and enrichment in your life through work? Do you feel satisfied that you are contributing your unique gifts, skills, and talents to your work that is both personally meaningful and rewarding? We don’t always get what we want in life, but it’s important to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, and beliefs than an unrewarding one.