Wellness! Quite a broad term if you think about it. Many people have the perception that wellness is one-dimensional and that it’s main focus is physical health. However, there are actually 7 very important spheres to wellness and we are here to break it down for you.
What is Wellness?
By definition, wellness is practicing healthy habits daily, to attain better physical and mental health. There is a beautiful quote that reads: “practicing wellness is making sure you are not just surviving, you are thriving.”
Wellness is integrational of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It is holistic, and brimming with layers. As we peel off each section, we find 7 pillars that makeup wellness in its entirety. Each pillar aims to improve your quality of life, and as much as we might not realise it, each pillar affects the other.
Balancing your 7 pillars of wellness
The pillars often overlap because there will be times when one pillar may be more prominent at a certain stage of your life. Remember – it’s important to nurture each pillar equally for a holistic approach to life and not to neglect the other pillars if one needs more attention at a given time.
There will be moments in life when your pillars feel unmatched. It’s important to take the time to evaluate each pillar, identify where there is a lack, and continue to work on it slowly. The 7 pillars work in harmony with each other in your life and grow with you. They require physical work and effort on yourself as an individual to allow you to grow completely.
What are the seven pillars of wellness?
Physical wellness means a variety of healthy behaviors including frequent exercise, nutritional foods, and abstaining from potentially harmful habits. It aids in developing healthy habits to ensure you enjoy a good quality of life.
What you can do to improve your physical wellness
- Daily Exercise – A brisk walk does wonders for the body and mind
- Getting adequate, good-quality sleep (Min 8 hours)
- Being in tune and listening to your body – learning to recognize early signs of illness
- Eating a variety of healthy foods for a balanced diet
Emotional wellness is a complex state of being. To be emotionally well is defined as having the ability to feel and express different emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger. Being emotionally well comes with its challenges as this is a fluctuating pillar. Emotional wellness includes self-esteem, self-acceptance, and the ability to express your feelings.
What you can do to improve your emotional wellness
- Tune in to your thoughts and feelings – make time for self-care
- Practice having a positive attitude
- Seek support in the form of counseling or therapy
- Learn time and stress management skills
- Learn to accept and forgive yourself
What you can do to improve your intellectual wellness
Intellectual wellness is about exploring and inspiring your mental and creative skills. In the same way we exercise for physical wellness, it is important to have an active mind and continue to learn something new every day. An intellectually well person uses resources to expand their knowledge, keeping up-to-date on current events and participating in activities that arouse their minds.
- Take a course or workshop
- Learn a new language
- Read and read again
- Listen or watch the news
What you can do to improve your social wellness
Social wellness refers to our ability to interact in social settings and to live up to the personal roles we have as individuals within the community. This means learning good communication skills with people, developing intimacy with others, and creating a support system of friends and family you can trust.
Social wellness includes showing respect for others and yourself. Contributing to your community and to the world builds a sense of belonging.
- Forming healthy relationships
- Participate in community-based activities and outreach
- Share your talents and skills
- Communicate your thoughts, feelings, and ideas
Spiritual wellness entails having a set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that help give direction to your life. It encompasses a level of faith, hope, and commitment to your personal beliefs that provide you with a sense of meaning and purpose. A spiritual well person seeks meaning and purpose in life and can also appreciate certain things that cannot be explained.
What you can do to improve your spiritual wellness
- Spend time alone/meditate/pray regularly
- Be fully present in everything you do
- Listen with your heart and live by your principles
- Attend services in your faith or belief system e.g Church, Mosque, Synagogue
- See opportunities for growth in the challenges life brings you
Environmental wellness is an awareness of the state of the earth and identifying the effects that your daily habits have on the physical environment.
What you can do to improve your environmental wellness
- Conserve water and other resources
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Renew your relationship with the earth
- Incorporate sustainability into your life e.g sustainable fashion
- Consuming locally produced goods
Occupational wellness involves making use of your obtained skills, gifts, and talents to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in your life. Becoming occupationally well is related to your work ethic and attitude towards your work. Achieving optimal occupational wellness allows you to maintain a positive attitude and experience satisfaction in your employment.
What you can do to improve your occupational wellness
- Explore a variety of career options
- Create a vision for your life
- Choose a career that suits your personality, interests, and talents
- Be open to change and learn new skills
- Be a team player and positive attitude at work
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