The dimensions of wellness
Wellness living requires implementing positive changes in behaviour to improve health, quality of life, for prolonged life, and to achieve total well-being. Wellness incorporates seven dimensions that are interrelated.
Physical wellness is associated with being healthy. Physically well individuals are physically active. They exercise regularly, have a balanced diet, maintain recommended body weight, get sufficient sleep, practice safe sex, minimise exposure to environmental contaminants, avoid harmful drugs, and seek medical care and examinations as needed. Physically well people also exhibit good health-fitness components and the ability to carry out ordinary and unusual demands of daily life safely and effectively.
Emotional wellness involves the ability to understand your own feelings, accept your limitations, and achieve emotional stability. It implies the ability to express emotions appropriately, adjust to change, cope with stress in a healthy way, and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations. Emotional wellness brings with it a certain amount of stability - an ability to look both success and failure squarely in the face and keep moving along a predetermined course.
Emotional wellness also involves happiness and an anchor that gives meaning and joy to life. Emotionally well people know how to laugh, and laugh often. An attitude of true happiness signals freedom from the tension and depression that occasionally plague us all.
Mental wellness, also referred to as intellectual wellness, implies that you can apply the things you have learned to create opportunities to learn more and engage your mind in lively interaction with the world around you. Mentally well people are not intimidated by facts and figures with which they are unfamiliar, but embrace the chance to learn something new.
Confidence and enthusiasm enable them to approach any learning situation with eagerness, which leads to success. They are faithful to their ideas and philosophies and allow others the same privilege. They are not threatened by people; their confidence guarantees that they can take their place among others in the world.
Social wellness endows you with the ease and confidence to be outgoing, friendly and affectionate towards others. It involves not only a concern for oneself, but also an interest in humanity and the environment as a whole. It is the ability to reach out to other people, both within one's family and outside of it. It involves being comfortable with your emotions and thus helps you to understand and accept the emotions of others. This dimension leads to the ability to maintain close relationships with other people.
Environmental wellness refers to the effect that your surroundings have on your well-being. Our planet is a delicate ecosystem, and its health depends on the conti-nuous recycling of its elements.
The man-made toxicity of the environment has a direct effect on personal wellness; unfortunately, not all of us seem to care.
To enjoy health, we require clean air, pure water, quality food, adequate shelter, satisfactory work conditions, personal safety, and healthy relationships. To enjoy environmental wellness, it is our personal responsibility to protect the environment so that we, our children, and future generations can enjoy a safer and clean environment.
Occupational wellness is not tied to a high salary, prestigious positions, or extravagant working conditions. Any job can bring occupational wellness if it provides rewards that are important to the individual.
People with occupational wellness face demands, but they also have some say over the demands that are placed on them. They are able to maximise their skills, and they have the opportunity to broaden existing skills or gain new ones.
Their occupation offers opportunity for advancement and recognition for achievement. Occupational wellness encourages collaboration and interaction among co-workers, which fosters a sense of teamwork and support.
Spiritual wellness provides a unifying power that integrates all dimension of wellness. The basic characteristics include a sense of meaning and direction in life and a relationship with a higher being. Pursuing these may lead to personal freedom, prayer, faith, love, joy, closeness to
others, fulfilment and altruism.
Spiritual beliefs seem to help people overcome crises and aid them in developing better coping techniques to deal with future trauma. The signpost of our
spirituality is prayer. It is the communication with a higher power. Prayers are said as requests for guidance, wisdom, strength, protection, health and to offer thanksgiving.
Altruism, which is a key attribute of spiritual people, seems to enhance health and longevity. Studies have shown that people who perform regular volunteer work live longer. Doing good for others is good for oneself, especially for the immune system. Optimum wellness requires the development of the spiritual dimension to its fullest potential.