By Jeff Sheppard 21 Jun 2020 no comment 992 Views

by Dr Jeff Sheppard DC

What is wellness? We all have slightly different interpretations of what the word wellness means.  We also have different views about what is required to live in a state of overall wellness in our daily lives. One thing that I know is that living in a state of wellness requires much more than a one or two dimensional interpretation of this concept.

Wellness is more than just physical health, exercise or nutrition. It is the full integration of states of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The model used by the University of California Riverside campus includes social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness. Each and every one of these seven dimensions act and interact in a way that contributes to our quality of life.

Seven dimensions of wellness

Social Wellness refers to our ability to interact with people around us. It involves using good communication skills, having meaningful relationships,  and respecting ourselves and others.  It also means creating a support system that includes family members and friends.

Emotional Wellness is more than just being able to handle stress. It includes paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, whether positive or negative. It is the ability to be aware of and accept our feelings, rather than denying them. Emotional wellness involves having an optimistic approach to life.  It means enjoying life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations.

Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. It is the ability to align our values with our actions which provide a purpose in our lives. While doing this, we are working to balance our inner needs with the rest of the world.

Environmental Wellness is our ability to recognize and accept our responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and land that surrounds us. Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is the central meaning of environmental wellness.

Occupational Wellness is the ability to attain a balance between work and leisure time while focusing on careers that we truly enjoy. People deepen their sense of meaning and purpose when they are working at what they were meant to do.

Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds in a creative way to new ideas and experiences. In turn, this serves to expand our knowledge and skills with a goal of lifelong learning.

Physical Wellness is achieved through a combination of beneficial physical activity/exercise and healthy eating habits. It is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life by adopting healthy habits while avoiding detrimental habits.  Healthy habits include routine check-ups with traditional medical practitioners as well as dentists, chiropractors and other health care providers, a balanced diet, exercise on a regular basis.  Detrimental habits include the use of tobacco, a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet, overeating, and excessive alcohol consumption.

These are the seven dimensions of wellness which we should strive to maintain in the best possible balance. The end results of achieving this balance is enjoying a higher quality of life.  We don’t get any re-takes, and we follow this path one time. It’s important to do our best to choose wisely.

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