Defining Wellness

What is wellness? It's a question that has different answers for different people. If you were to ask ten individuals to define wellness, you'd likely receive ten distinct responses. Throughout history and across cultures, wellness has been defined in various ways. One individual who made significant contributions to the wellness movement is Halbert L. Dunn, a Canadian-born author and physician. He distinguished between good health, the absence of illness, and high-level wellness, a state in which individuals continually strive towards their full potential.

Another influential figure in the field of wellness is Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI). In 1976, he developed NWI's Six Dimensions of Wellness model, which has since become the gold standard for promoting interconnectedness between different dimensions of well-being. This interdisciplinary model takes into consideration various personal factors that influence an individual's journey to optimal well-being.

The Six Dimensions of Wellness, as outlined by Dr. Hettler, serve as a framework for self-reflection and goal setting. They include:

1. Emotional Wellness: Being aware of and accepting our feelings, as well as effectively managing behaviors related to our emotional state.

2. Physical Wellness: Prioritizing self-care and engaging in behaviors that enhance overall health.

3. Intellectual Wellness: Participating in creative and stimulating activities that promote learning, personal growth, and sharing our unique gifts and talents with others.

4. Occupational Wellness: Finding personal satisfaction and enrichment through employment, academic pursuits, and volunteer work.

5. Spiritual Wellness: Developing an appreciation for the depth of life and the natural forces that exist within the universe.

6. Social Wellness: Recognizing our contribution to our environment and community, and embracing the interdependence between ourselves, others, and nature.

Often, we tend to focus excessively on one dimension while neglecting the others. However, true wellness comes from balancing and nurturing all six dimensions. By assessing ourselves in each dimension, we can identify areas that require attention and take intentional steps to improve our overall well-being.

As we approach the new year, a time when many of us reflect on our goals, it's crucial to consider the broader scope of wellness. Wellness encompasses every aspect of our lives – where we live, work, learn, and play. It's more than just the absence of sickness; it's a multidimensional concept that resonates with every facet of our existence.

Self-awareness plays a pivotal role in this journey towards wellness. It allows us to understand why we feel and behave the way we do. With awareness, we can accept circumstances beyond our control and take charge of the things within our realm of influence.

If you'd like to explore the National Wellness Institute's Six Dimensions of Wellness further, you can visit their website. Additionally, to assess your own six dimensions of wellness and plan for the upcoming year, you can download and use their printable workbook, the 6dimensionsassessment.pdf . It's a valuable resource to help you take proactive steps towards enhancing your overall well-being.

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What domain of wellness are you neglecting, and which one are you most excited about spending time in? 
Tell me in the comments, I love to connect! 

Here is to your Good Health!