Before we embark on wellness, we need to understand what it means.
By Heike Fallon
Wellness is the key to a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life. Let’s take a closer look at what wellness is and how to achieve it.
First, wellness and health are not interchangeable terms. The primary difference between health and wellness is that health is the goal and wellness is the active process of achieving it.
Wellness is an active process of growth. It requires actively pursuing activities, making choices, and changing one’s lifestyle. In other words, it is up to us to take action to implement and practice healthy habits daily to attain better physical and mental health outcomes.
Wellness Is Multidimensional
Many wellness models include at least six dimensions (and sometimes eight, nine, or 12). For the purposes of this column, the Eight Dimensions of Wellness are: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. Each dimension is interconnected and equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health, happiness, and fulfillment.
Emotional wellness relates to understanding your feelings and coping effectively with stress. It is important to pay attention to self-care, relaxation, and stress reduction.
Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings. This includes being aware of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. Everyone can have a strong environmental conscience simply by raising their awareness. It is important to understand how our social, natural, and built environments affect our health and well-being.
Financial wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives. Financial stress can impact well-being by creating upset and anxiety. It is important to manage resources, live within one’s means, make informed financial decisions and investments, set realistic goals, and prepare for short-term and long-term needs or emergencies.
Intellectual wellness involves growing intellectually, maintaining curiosity about all there is to learn, valuing lifelong learning, and responding positively to intellectual challenges. It also includes approaching new ideas with an open mind. When we are intellectually well, we can expand our knowledge and skills while discovering the potential for sharing our gifts with others.
Occupational wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure in a way that promotes health. It is a sense of personal satisfaction, enjoying one’s occupational endeavors, and appreciating one’s contributions. Ideally, our work enriches our life.
Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body. Exercising, eating well, and getting enough quantity and quality of sleep are important to achieving physical health.
Social wellness relates to maintaining healthy relationships. Included in social wellness are enjoying being with others, developing friendships and intimate relationships, creating a supportive network, caring for others, and being cared for. Contributing to one’s community also plays a role in social wellness.
Spiritual wellness relates to finding purpose, value, and meaning in life with or without organized religion. It is about participating in activities that are consistent with your beliefs and values.
Create your Wellness Strategy
Check-in with yourself and see in which dimension you can do better: What dimension do you need to improve the most? What healthy habits could you implement today? What dimension do you need to learn more about?
Remember, wellness is about actively pursuing activities, making choices, and changing one’s lifestyle. Start taking action by implementing one healthy habit consistently today.
Join my XHP community (xpandhealth.com) and receive free weekly science-based healthy habits tips.
Heike Fallon is a certified high performance coach and neurosports therapist living in El Segundo. Visit her business online at xpandhealth.com and at @xpandhealth on Facebook and Instagram.
This story appears in the January 2022 issue of The El Segundo Scene