Wellness is an often confusing, misunderstood and wrongly interpreted word. What is wellness best described as? What is the difference between wellness and health? Don’t they mean the same thing? What aspects does wellness cover? Can anybody be in a state of total wellness? What is the way for attaining total wellness?
These are some questions that often come to mind when we try to interpret the term ‘wellness’. Let’s see if we can answer these or at least get close to answering them.
As mentioned in my introductory blog, in my opinion, wellness is that state of being when a person derives complete satisfaction from the impact of all those dynamic factors – internal and external – that affect his/her life. These factors represent the different dimensions of wellness for any person. When each of these dimensions of wellness is in good shape only then can a person be in a good state of wellness.
Dimensions of Wellness – take care of them, individually
Lot has been written about the various dimensions of wellness. A search on the net itself will reveal different dimensions – some say there are 10 dimensions, some believe there are 8, some say 7 and some quote 9. In my opinion, there are 7 basic dimensions of wellness which need to be looked after.
Physical Wellness: Usually, physical wellness is what comes to mind when we talk about wellness. It is also, perhaps, the most important dimension as it relates to one’s physical self, the physical body. The health of the body is vital for achieving overall wellness.
Physical wellness encompasses a variety of practices to ensure that we are disease free and protected from any external damage/injury to our body. Some of these practices include regular exercising, regular medical checkups, eating healthy food, staying away from drug abuse, alcoholism, smoking and taking adequate rest. It is also important to periodically detoxicate your body to flush out the unwanted toxins that may have entered your body despite your best effort to avoid them. (READ MORE)
Emotional Wellness: Being emotionally well means becoming emotionally balanced, which is probably the most difficult thing to achieve. Emotions are driven by our likes and dislikes and evoke responses from us in what we term as ‘feelings’ mentally and actions physically.
Broadly, emotions can be classified as positive or negative and the fact is that there are more negative emotions – hate, fear, disgust, anger – than there are positive – happiness, trust, love. We humans tend to experience and accept the positive emotions but avoid and suppress the negative ones. An emotionally well person needs to achieve that balance where one experiences and accepts both positive and negative emotions and responds to them in equal measure. To keep a check on our emotions, we must not suppress but express our feelings, let go and not cling to past memories, practice detachment beyond the human threshold, calm your mind with practices like meditation, yoga, music and nature. (READ MORE)
Intellectual Wellness: The ability to think critically, learn something new to expand your knowledge base, make informed and well analysed decisions are all indicative of well-developed and well-utilised intellect and such a person can be considered as in a state of Intellectual Wellness. As a person’s age increases the mental faculties start slowing down, however, if the person has been intellectually active and invigorated, the impact of age on his mental abilities is less. A balanced Left-Right brain is the key to intellectual wellness. (READ MORE)
Occupational Wellness: Preparing for and undertaking a work, occupation or profession which is in synchronization with one’s interests, skills, knowledge and values are signs of occupational wellness. Such an occupational practice leads to a personal satisfaction and hence keeps the mind happy and free of unnecessary tension and stress. Keeping oneself current and updated with the latest developments in one’s field of profession ensures the longevity of occupational wellness. (READ MORE)
Spiritual Wellness: The word ‘spiritual’ is often considered supernatural, magical and hence spiritual wellness, too, is considered mystifying. In simple terms, spiritual wellness relates to the act of finding a connect of your mind, body and soul with the Universe. Understanding the real purpose of our existence, accepting the elements of the Universe and becoming compassionate, forgiving and tolerant. Achieving a state of harmony with oneself and others. One’s religious faith, values, beliefs, morals and principals define one’s spiritual wellness. (READ MORE)
Environmental Wellness: Often ignored dimension, Environmental Wellness is an important part of overall wellness. The environment that we live in and our understanding, or lack of it, of the environment has a huge impact on how we feel overall. For one’s well-being, it is imperative to live in harmony with our surroundings, understand the impact of our interactions with our surroundings, protect the environment from deterioration and protect oneself from the environmental hazards to one’s health. (READ MORE)
Financial Wellness: Finances play an indispensable role in everybody’s life. Money, being the common denominator for every material transaction, is what everyone wants, works to get and thinks about. Creating wealth – be it in terms of hard currency (money) or assets (e.g. movable or immovable property) which can be valued in terms of money is on everybody’s mind. Good financial standing brings in a peace of mind, a feeling of security and general well-being. Hence it is imperative for each one of us to manage our finances – assets & liabilities – in a professional way so as to build a secure base for a happy living in the coming times. For this, either one has to have an astute mind which understands the intricacies or take help from a professional finance personnel for a fee. The objective should be to improve your assets, reduce your liabilities and mitigate risks. (READ MORE)
Social Wellness: One’s ability to interact with the members of the society in which one lives amounts to one’s social wellness. Building meaningful relationships with people around by using good communication skills, respecting self and others and creating a system that shares the joys and sorrows of each other are all measures that lead to one’s social wellness. (READ MORE)
It is, hence, essential that to achieve total wellness, one has to take care of not just the physical health but also health of all the other aspects that directly impact our living on this planet.
So, do work towards the state of total wellness for it may be difficult to achieve but definitely not impossible