If you ask 100 people the definition of wellness, you will probably get 100 different answers.
The dictionary defines wellness as : "The state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal."
UC Davis Counseling Services defines wellness as : "an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth."
Here is the definition of wellness according to the National Wellness Institute: "wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence."
Do you see the common thread: wellness is an active process that requires making choices. Every day. Wellness isn't something that happens by accident. We have to choose wellness.
Dr. Bill Hettler of the The Wellness Institute developed The Six Dimensions of Wellness Model. The dimensions are:
Occupational: Choosing a career that stimulates you, gives you a sense of achievement and usefulness will be more rewarding than choosing a job based solely on convenience or retirement benefits. We all need to feel that the work we do is important and useful.
Emotional: Emotional wellness involves feeling positive about your life and life in general. You need to be able to express and manage your feelings in a healthy way and cope with stress. It's also important to have meaningful relationships.
Intellectual: This involves challenging yourself both intellectually and creatively. There is always something more you can learn. Boredom is not your friend.
Social: Getting outside of your self. Thinking of and doing things for others will always give you a feeling of satisfaction and peace. It also helps with putting your own life in perspective.
Spiritual: Spiritual wellness requires that you live according to your values and beliefs so that you are true to yourself. It also means you must accept this in others.
Physical: I have to admit the physical wellness dimension is where I put most of my effort. For me that includes observing a plant based diet, avoiding alcohol and doing some type of cardio exercise at least five days a week. I believe that if I can remain physically healthy it will be easier to achieve the other dimensions of wellness. So I make very specific choices regarding the products I put on my skin and the food I put in my mouth. My goal is to avoid as many of the things I can that would cause my body to struggle to be healthy.
Pursuing wellness is absolutely vital to achieving the highest quality of life you can have. It affects everything in our lives. Without a certain level of wellness we become more prone to stress which is one of the main causes of inflammation and inflammation is the root of all chronic disease.
So here's to wellness! Consider what dimensions of wellness you need to work on to have the quality of life you desire.
Be well my friends!