7 Dimensions of Wellness: Guide to a Healthy Life

Wellness is viewed as having seven dimensions. So, in this article, we will introduce you to the 7 dimensions of wellness.1

The term wellness defines the act of practicing a healthy lifestyle2. It is about having a positive attitude towards making a balanced life. Wellness is multidimensional because it can not be measured from a single aspect of life.

As defined in terms of good health, wellness is the state of being physically, emotionally, and socially fit. It is about developing daily habits that will help maintain positive relationships.

Several areas of your lifestyle contribute to overall wellness. And each area has an equal impact on not just physical health but mental health as well.

However, people may still confuse wellness in terms of physical health only because they may not be aware of the various dimensions of wellness. Wellness is a full package that leads to a quality of life.

1. Importance of 7 Dimensions of Wellness

We know that wellness matters, but why? Wellness matters because an optimal level of wellness is vital for a higher quality of life. Our well-being directly or indirectly affects everything that we feel and do.

Therefore, it is important to achieve an optimal level of wellness.3

2. The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness

  1. Emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Social
  4. Spiritual
  5. Intellectual
  6. Environmental
  7. Occupational

So these are the seven dimensions of wellness. We will discuss each dimension in detail below. Each of these 7 dimensions of wellness is closely related and dependent on each other.

Maintaining a balance between these seven dimensions of wellness is necessary for personal fulfillment and maximum harmony.

Well then, without any further ado, let’s check out each of the 7 dimensions of wellness.

2.1. Emotional Wellness

7 dimensions of wellness
Photo by cheng feng on Unsplash Copyrights 2020

Emotional wellness is the dimension that includes your thoughts and your ability to deal with all the challenges life brings. It is that state which has an impact on all the other six dimensions of wellness.

The emotional wellness dimension recognizes one’s ability to accept and express personal values and human emotions. In simple words, it means the ability to manage feelings.

It is the awareness and acceptance of feelings in oneself, such as anger, love, happiness, and sadness. Being able to manage and express emotions right impacts our overall health.

The emotional dimension or emotional wellness encompasses optimism and a sense of self-esteem. But how do you achieve emotional wellness? Well, here are a few suggestions for optimal emotional wellness:

2.1.1. Suggestions for Optimal Emotional Wellness

  • Develop an optimistic attitude to your daily life
  • Have a healthy expression of your thoughts and feelings
  • Dwell on stress management techniques
  • Find a purpose and meaning
  • Strive for a balanced life
  • Accept and forgive yourself

2.2. Physical Wellness

7 dimensions of wellness
Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash Copyrights 2017

Physical wellness is the dimension that focuses on the need for a healthy physical environment and daily physical activity.

It includes a life focused on healthy habits for physical well-being. Physical wellness introduces a healthy quality of life with proper nutrition, adequate sleep routines, and regular exercise.

The physical dimension contributes towards abstinence from destructive habits such as alcohol or drug abuse. Working on your physical wellness has a positive impact on all the other dimensions of wellness.

It is lifelong learning of adopting new skills and healthy behaviors, and it helps to recognize early signs of any physical stress or diseases.

To be physically well is to maintain a quality of life that allows you to easily get through daily activities without any physical stress or undue fatigue.

Working on physical wellness involves physical exercise and is also highly dependent on healthy foods. It involves self-care, building strength, and endurance.

2.2.1. Suggestions for Optimal Physical Wellness

  • Have a balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Proper rest
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Say no to drug or alcohol abuse
  • Say no to smoking/Quit smoking

2.3. Social Wellness

Social Wellness: Overall Health

Social wellness can be defined as a person’s ability to interact and connect with other people. It is believed that healthy personal connections lead to a more fulfilling life.

Being socially well is to develop intimacy and connections with people around us and form a support network with our close ones.

Establishing and maintaining healthy relations with friends, family, and co-workers contributes to human existence’s social wellness.

Social wellness encourages improving skills and being of benefit to society. It makes us aware of our role in society.

It helps enhance our relationships and takes it as a personal responsibility to build a better community to live in.

2.3.1. Suggestions for Optimal Social Wellness

  • Be more involved
  • Develop healthy relationships
  • Communicate your feelings
  • Strengthen present relations
  • Share your skills
  • Contribute towards society’s welfare

2.4. Spiritual Wellness

7 dimensions of wellness
Photo by outsidethccn dsgn on Unsplash Copyrights 2019

Spiritual wellness can be defined as a person’s will to seek purpose and meaning. It is the development of a sense of appreciation for humankind and the depth of life. It gives direction to one’s life.

A spiritually well person is always looking for the depth of human existence. It is the ability of a person to establish peace and personal satisfaction.

It encompasses faith, hope, values, and a set of beliefs. It is about experiencing life in your sense and values.

Spiritual wellness makes us more accountable for our actions. It connects us to who we are as individuals. It is a way of living.

2.4.1. Suggestions for Optimal Spiritual Wellness 

  • Meditate
  • Be more present in everything you do
  • Seek challenges for growth
  • Explore your spiritual core
  • Be free and let others be too

2.5. Intellectual Wellness

Developing Intellectual Wellness | Michael Ebinger | TEDxSpokane

Intellectual wellness involves an open-spirited mind. It can be defined as one’s creative abilities and the will to find new skills or concepts.

People might confuse the intellectual dimension with being limited to academic knowledge, but it is also about one’s creative and general skills.

The intellectual dimension encourages creative skills in individuals and in stimulating mental activities.

Just as our body needs physical activities and fitness, our mind needs to stay active too. And to do so, it is important to be involved in critical thinking, and problem-solving issues.

A person with high intellect can be involved in group interaction, make better decisions, and open their mind to new experiences.

To become intellectually well, it is necessary to be aware of current issues, be more involved in reading, or pursue personal interests.

2.5.1. Suggestions  for Optimal Intellectual Wellness

Follow these suggestions below to be more intellectually well:

  • Read more
  • Attend workshops and exhibits.
  • Opt for a course
  • Communicate with people who challenge your intellect
  • Seek out intellectual people

2.6. Environmental Wellness

7 dimensions of wellness
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

Environmental wellness can be defined as being concerned and aware of the environment. It is about to what extent one cares about the environment they are living in.

Environmental wellness is a way of life that benefits the environment. It is the ability of a person to recognize his responsibility toward the betterment of the earth and its resources.

It is about living a life that ensures harmony with the environment. And it is the ability to accept and recognize the negative impacts of personal choices.

The core principle of being environmentally well is having respect for nature and all living in it. Environmental wellness cultivates a connection with the earth.

It inspires a lifestyle that has a sense of safety and comfort with the physical surroundings.

2.6.1. Suggestions for Optimal Environmental Wellness

  • Exercise the 3 R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  • Minimize the use of chemicals
  • Conserve natural resources
  • Avoid plastics
  • Bike more, drive less
  • Conserve water
  • Choose sustainably
  • Shop wisely

2.7. Occupational Wellness

7 dimensions of wellness
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash Copyrights 2019

And the last of the 7 dimensions of wellness is occupational wellness. The occupational dimension involves making use of one’s talent and skills to enrich life through work. It is also known as vocational wellness.

Occupational well is having personal satisfaction and fulfillment through chosen careers. It is about developing a positive attitude towards work-life.

Achieving occupational wellness means finding a balance between work and life and being fully satisfied. It allows you to experience pleasure in work.

It is about employing your vocational skills and talent to work to gain happiness and purpose. Occupational wellness brings about psychological benefits, too, as it leads to a happier and more fulfilled life.

2.7.1. Suggestions for Optimal Occupational Wellness

  • Choose a career path that best fits your interest
  • Be open to learning new skills
  • Work on your knowledge
  • Find a balance between your work and life
  • Stay motivated
  • Do not settle

3. The End Note on the Dimensions of Wellness

So these are the 7 dimensions of wellness. Each of these dimensions of wellness contributes to your quality of life. One dimension may overpower the other at times but know that all 7 dimensions are equally important for a stable life.

Neglecting any of the dimensions can cause severe effects on overall health. So, always try to find a balance between these 7 dimensions of wellness.

These dimensions are like pieces of a puzzle that comes together to complete our whole purpose of existence.

There is another dimension of wellness that has recently been added. It can be considered as the 8th dimension of wellness, and it is the financial dimension.

However, mostly the 7 dimensions of wellness are only considered.

Let us know your views on these ‘7 dimensions of wellness’ and what you are doing personally to achieve these dimensions of wellness.

Read more like this article, here.

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

4.1. Who invented the 7 dimensions of wellness?

The seven dimensions of wellness were invented by Dr. William Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute.

4.2. What is the 8th dimension of wellness?

The financial dimension is considered to be the 8th dimension of wellness.

4.3. What do you mean by financial wellness?

The ability to make money to fulfill basic needs for the short term and long term.

4.4. How can dimensions of wellness be achieved?

By practicing a healthy lifestyle. It means keeping yourself physically & mentally fit and giving a positive attitude toward making balanced life.

  1. Strout, Kelley Ann, and Elizabeth P. Howard. “The six dimensions of wellness and cognition in aging adults.” Journal of Holistic Nursing 30.3 (2012): 195-204. ↩︎
  2. Macovei, Sabina, Alina Anca Tufan, and Bogdan Iulian Vulpe. “Theoretical approaches to building a healthy lifestyle through the practice of physical activities.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 117 (2014): 86-91. ↩︎
  3. Dunn, Halbert L. “What high-level wellness means.” Canadian Journal of Public Health/Revue Canadienne de Sante’e Publique 50.11 (1959): 447-457. ↩︎

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