What Are The 7 Dimensions Of Wellness?

April 05, 2019 0 Comments

What Are The 7 Dimensions Of Wellness?

The word "wellness" is being thrown around a lot these days! From social media to multi-national marketing campaigns, there is a lot of focus on being healthy. With all of this information and messaging coming our way, it's becoming increasingly challenging to navigate what it means to be living "well."

At Consonant Skincare we know that great skincare products are only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to having great skin. Similarly, there is a lot that more that goes into a healthy lifestyle than just gym selfies and smoothie bowls.

Health advocate and former fashion model Madison Schill recently spoke up about the realities and complexity of living a healthy life, "Health is hard. It's not linear. As I'm [writing] this I'm struggling between working for an extra few hours OR finishing my taxes OR reading this book I'm supposed to discuss in therapy tomorrow OR putting a few more hours into the relaunch of [my side business] OR begin my search for seven hundred quarters to take me to a yoga class tomorrow that I may or may not wake up in time for. And on top of that, we have family [stuff], friend [stuff], personal side hustle [stuff], human body essentials [stuff].”

We get it! Making decisions and prioritizing the various avenues of self-care can be a challenge. Sometimes we forget that there is more to health than just exercise and nutrition. In reality, there are seven domains of health, termed "The Seven Dimensions of Wellness." These interconnected avenues include physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental, and financial health. While each dimension is unique in its respect, they are also deeply connected to make up one's quality of life.

At times, there may be an emphasis on one aspect of wellness over another, but allowing yourself to find a rhythm will help you feel the most fulfilled. Here's how each dimension of health fits into your life, and some strategies for optimizing each one.

Physical

Physical wellness encompasses the physiological needs of the body. Behaviours that contribute to this dimension of health include regular exercise, proper nutrition, abstaining from drug and alcohol abuse, getting regular physical checkups from your doctors, and protecting one's self from injury or harm.

Everyday tips for better physical health:

  • Take an exercise "snack" – research shows that short bursts of exercise throughout the day, help to regulate blood sugar and metabolize nutrients more effectively. Get up out of your desk for a 10 min walk, take the stairs, or just stand up and sit down a few times.
  • Have a potluck – Invite a few friends over with their favourite dish. Eating with others, cooking from scratch, and sharing recipes will encourage healthy and sustainable eating habits to better fuel your body.
  • Stop putting off the appointments – Going to your Physician, Dentist, Naturopath, and Optometrist for regular check-ins can help catch health ailments early and decrease your risk of disease.

Emotional

Emotional wellness is one of the most volatile components of health as it is affected profoundly by each of the other dimensions. It includes the ability to express feelings of happiness, sadness, and anger. It means being able to give and accept love, feel optimism, acceptance, and self-worth.

Everyday tips for better emotional health:

  • Practice gratitude – Write down three things you are grateful for before you go to bed. Cultivating this positive attitude will help to provide an optimistic perspective gradually.
  • Open up – Practice verbalizing your thoughts and feelings, first by writing it down, then with a person you trust. Being able to put words to emotions is a sign of more complex emotional maturity.
  • Know when to step back – Sometimes, other people's troubles can add to your own emotional clutter. It's essential to gauge your ability to make space for others. Don't be afraid to kindly let others know you need to take a step back. 

Intellectual

Intellectual wellness is more than just being "smart." It's being able to actively apply and synthesize information, remain open to new ideas, and seek out activities that contribute to life-long learning.

Everyday tips for better intellectual health:

  • Feed your fascinations – Find a topic that interests you and learn more about it! Check out YouTube, listen to a podcast, take a course, seminar, or workshop. For wellness topics, come to a free Consonant Community Event Seminar.
  • Talk the talk – Speak with others who challenge you intellectually. If they have differing ideas, don't immediately challenge them, try first asking questions about what lead them to that conclusion.
  • Use both brains – Challenge both the right and left sides of the brain. If you are constantly analyzing, planning, and calculating, try taking an art class, learning to play an instrument, or go to a poetry slam.

Social

Being socially healthy includes spending time with others, but it also includes maximizing those interactions. How you work within a community and how you feel about your role is important. Communicating with others effectively, developing intimacy and finding your "people" are all part of forming a social support network.

Everyday tips for better social health:

  • Share your talents – Teach a class, perform at an open mic night, send your writing into a blog, or become a tutor. Not only will you be giving back to your community, but people will be drawn to your confidence and skill.
  • Walk a mile in their shoes – If you are having trouble connecting with someone, (especially if you have to spend time with them because they are a colleague or mutual friend), try putting yourself in their shoes. Ask them questions about themselves, find out what they are passionate about and share something about yourself with them. Finding common ground and seeing something from their perspective might help you feel closer to them.

Financial

Financial wellness means having the ability to meet current and ongoing financial needs, having a sense of security about your financial future, and having the freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.

Everyday tips for better financial wellness:

  • Become financially literate – If you're feeling overwhelmed about money, start by downloading a financial planning app, take a personal finance course, or meet with a financial advisor. Feeling empowered about financial wellness starts with having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed financial decisions.
  • Stay in your lane – It's easy to compare yourself to, and become influenced by those around you. Instead of allowing yourself to feel envious of others (especially when it comes to material possessions), remind yourself of your personal circumstances, values, and goals. 
  • Give back when you can – Once you reach a place of financial security, try evaluating where you might allot additional funds to those in need. Donating to charity not only assists others in their wellness journey, but it can help nurture your social, spiritual, and emotional wellness.

Spiritual

The spiritual dimension of wellness includes having faith, hope, and having personal values that provide meaning and purpose to one's life. This belief system may differ from person to person but provides an appreciation for human existence.

Everyday tips for better spiritual health:

  • Practice presence – Whether it's through meditation, gratitude exercised, or religious practice, spend some quality time with yourself in the here-and-now.
  • Don't give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about – Stay true to yourself, your values and your ambitions.
  • Live and let live – Allow yourself and those around you to have the freedom to be who they are. Acceptance and respect for all will bring you peace.

Environmental

Environmental wellness is the understanding and appreciation for the world around you on both an immediate and a global scale

Everyday tips for better environmental health:

  • Keep it clean – Tidy up your house or apartment, reduce the amount of chemicals in your daily use products (like skincare and cleaning products), dispose of recycling, garbage and compost correctly.
  • Reduce, Reuse – Bring reusable bags to the grocery store, switch your plastic wrap for beeswax wraps, and store food in glass containers.
  • Pass it down – Teach children about where their food comes from, spend time with them in nature, renew your relationship with the earth.




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