Wellness according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is systemic process of consciously becoming well informed and making choices that translate into a healthy life style.
The Student Health and Counselling Services (SHCH) of the University of California developed an interrelated eight dimensions of Wellness namely: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual that requires understanding, maintenance knowledge and optimization of each dimensions.
1. Occupational Wellness
Occupational Wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time, addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It focuses on our search for a calling and involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit.
Because what we do for a living encompasses so much of our time, it’s important for our overall well-being to do what we love and love what we do. When people are doing what they were meant to do, they deepen their sense of meaning and purpose.
Path to Occupational Wellness
The occupational dimension of wellness recognizes personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work. At the center of occupational wellness is the premise that occupational development is related to one’s attitude about one’s work. Traveling a path toward your occupational wellness, you’ll contribute your unique gifts, skills and talents to work that are both personally meaningful and rewarding. You’ll convey your values through your involvement in activities that are gratifying for you. The choice of profession, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and personal performance are all important components of your path’s terrain.
Are you engaged in the process of Occupational Wellness?
- Do you enjoy going to work most days?
- Do you have a manageable workload at work?
- Do you feel that you can talk to your boss and co-workers without problems arising?
2. Social Wellness
Comprehensive Social Wellness involves learning to communicate openly, directly and honestly, creating more intimacy in our relationships and understanding how to create and maintain healthy boundaries while still being involved in the lives of others.
Everyone has different Social Wellness issues that they need to address. One person may suffer from social anxiety. Another person may have trouble setting boundaries and become too involved in the lives of their friends and loved ones. We might have difficulty expressing our emotions, even to our closest companions. We may have anger issues that create rifts in our relationships, even when we don’t want them to. All these things are Social Wellness concerns, and learning to balance our relationships is the overall goal.
We all need relationships. People are social animals and it’s vital that we have support systems, love and friendship to rely on. Building healthy, reliable and supportive social networks is essentially what Social Wellness is about. We can do small things each and every day to strengthen our relationships and get along better with others.
Here are a few things anyone can do to get started in building a healthier foundation of Social Wellness:
- Pass out compliments. Giving each of the people we run into each day a genuine compliment can really brighten their day—and ours. The keyword here is genuine; people will know when you aren’t being truthful.
This generates double the benefits. The people we compliment will feel much more open around us. They will feel noticed, special, and supported. A simple, “Thank you for being there for me today,” or, “Where did you get those shoes? I love them!” will work. Being sincere is important, but with just a little practice we can find something positive to acknowledge with just about anyone we meet. That’s the other benefit in looking for something to compliment. It helps us to continually focus on the positive, even when we’re not in the mood.
- Get an email buddy. Many of us are stuck at our desks all day, but this doesn’t necessarily keep us from getting bored or lonely or stewing about our problems. If we have a close friend, who is sitting at a desk somewhere as well, we can send each other encouraging messages throughout the day. We can also ask for their advice and encouragement. These messages can range from a quick ‘hello’ to, “Oh, I’m in a real bad mood over this thing that happened last night! Any advice?” Keeping in touch with someone throughout our busy days will help foster a sense of connection anytime, anywhere. Having an ally like this will often help us keep our focus on our work and off our problems and stress. It’s also a great way to remind a close friend that we care and to practise allowing others to care for us as well.
- Get involved. Sometimes it may seem almost impossible to meet new people and expand our social network. The best way to meet new people? Sign up for a group activity. There are sports clubs, art gatherings, book clubs, crafting groups and various other social events centred on specific interests in virtually every town and city. The best part about meeting people this way is that we meet others with interests similar to our own, which makes forming a connection even easier and more fun. We’ve already got something in common to share about!
- Look for similarities rather than differences. When we meet someone new, it can be easy to focus on all the ways that they’re different from us. We may even feel the urge to silently nitpick what we perceive as their “flaws.” If we look for the similarities instead, we’ll be amazed at how much more easily a connection forms. We can learn something new from each and every person that we meet, no matter how small the lesson may seem. If we focus on all the reasons we might not like other people, we miss out on the gifts.
- Make regular dates. When we make the effort to schedule regular quality time with friends and loved ones, we let them know that we care about the relationship. Having standing dates with friends is a great way to ensure that we will see the people we love often and be able to keep up with their lives. Time together is one of the most important elements of successful and fulfilling relationships, so make a date and stick to the plan.
These are some of the easiest ways to keep our Social Wellness in shape and create even healthier, more positive relationships. They may seem extremely simple, but taking just a few or even all of these steps will help our relationships grow to greater intimacy and remain strong through thick and thin.
3. Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness can cover many different areas. When we have emotional wellness we usually have a sense of peace, trust and hope. We have a belief in ourselves that we can be and do anything we set our mind to. We also are able to create healthy boundaries that provide us safety and comfort. When we are emotionally well we have self-love. When we have self-love we choose people and events in our lives that reflect this love back to us.
Fear is the opposite of love. Fear represents emotional darkness. Love represents emotional life. Fear leads to anger, resentment, walls and blocks to a healthy life. Love leads to open doors and healthy opportunities. Love leads to forgiveness and trust. When you trust you then have hope. Hope moves you forward and gives you belief that tomorrow is always going to be a good day.
Emotional wellness requires the opening up your heart to love, trust and forgiveness of your past. It is when this is achieved that hope comes alive. You are important and you are loveable. You deserve Love.
4. Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual wellness is being critically involved in creative and stimulating mental activities for the expansion of knowledge and skills that helps in self discovery of inherent potentials and the subsequent impartation on others.
An intellectually well person:
- Is a analytical thinker
- Develops good study skills and time management
- Is involved in intellectual and cultural activities
- Is exposed to new ideas, people and beliefs other than theirs
- Develops own ideas, views, and opinions about issues of life
- Have the capacity to challenge self to visualize all sides of an issue.
- Is self conscious of who and what he or she stands’ for.
Intellectual wellness is the gateway to problem solving, creativity, learning, extracurricular activities and the curious interest in trending issues in their immediate environment and the World.
5. Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual wellness is the ability to attain a purposeful life, reflect on the meaning of event in life, showing compassion and caring for the welfare of others and the environment. It is achieved by having a personal relationships with God, others or having peaceful disposition with nature. Religious faith, beliefs, values, ethics, principles and morals are part of the factors that define spirituality which gives rise to inner calm and peace necessary for getting past life’s challenges
The human spirit is said to be the most neglected aspect of our selves. Exercises are designed to condition our bodies, so also is a healthy spirit nurtured by purposeful practice. The spirit man is that aspect of ourselves that can carry us through anything. When the spirit is taken care of, we experience a sense of peace and purpose. A strong spirit helps us to survive and thrive with grace, even in the face of adversity
6. Environmental Wellness
Environmental wellness involves leading a lifestyle that is respectful of and in harmony with your Environment, being aware of the limits of the earth’s natural resources, and understanding the impact your actions on the environment. Environmentally well people consciously choose to live in ways that protect the world around them. Being environmentally well enhances your personal health, and helps ensure the future health of our communities and the world.
7. Financial wellness
Financial wellness is the ability to understand the importance of sustaining ourselves financially in the short and long term. It includes
- Learning how to manage your money and establishing a personal budget.
- Not living beyond your means.
- Learning to not let money be the driving force of your life.
- Donate some of your money, if possible, to a cause you believe in.
- Make a plan to pay back your student loans.
- Not getting into credit card debt. Try to pay off the entire balance each month to avoid interest.
- Thinking long term – set up a savings account.
8. Physical Wellness
Physical Wellness can be defined as a state of high physical well-being that includes physical fitness, physical nutrition and physical/personal care. It creates a healthy lifestyle that has the capacity to elevating one to an optimal level of physical health and functionality.
It involves the attainment of sound physical health through regular exercises, good nutrition achieved by eating balanced diets, personal care involving hygiene, medical/dental care, getting enough rest and personal safety.
Our total actions and emotions are directly proportional to our Well-being.