Individuals in pursuit of goal-oriented endeavors frequently obfuscate the reality of the multiple dimensions of wellness and their role in offering the balance we require in life. Focusing on a singular dimension directly impacts other facets of ourselves and the lives of others. It is important, therefore, to illuminate the dynamic importance that each contributes to wellness and sustaining that equilibrium in life.
To expand upon this Hettler (2016) defines wellness as:
“an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”
The following represent the six dimensions of wellness:
The occupational dimension of wellness identifies personal satisfaction and improvement (goal orientation) in one’s life avocation. At the core is the belief or hope that one’s development is manifest in an attitude about their work; that it has purpose (vocational identity).
The physical dimension of wellness focuses on optimizing health and recognizing those substances that inhibit maintaining a proper balance to sustainable mental health.
The social dimension (intrapersonal-interpersonal) of wellness illuminates that engaging or contributing to others or our community nourishes us and affects how we see ourselves.
The intellectual dimension of wellness (multiple intelligences) identifies one’s unique cognitive architecture that empowers individuals to understand how to problem-solve, contribute to affecting change, and impacting the lives of others.
The spiritual dimension of wellness represents an inherent hard-wired drive to find meaning and purpose in our personal and professional lives. It is a subjective yearning to find our calling in this world and to connect our multifarious attributes in a way to leave our mark on this world. In many ways, it is a search for something beyond ourselves to actualize this and to find harmony in living.
The emotional dimension of wellness is an actualization and acceptance of our emotions and attitude about one’s self and life. This extends to discerning how our attitude affects behavioral management. Pathway thinking inculcates the confluence of feelings, beliefs, and values all that influence behavior.
The central binding agent of these six dimensions is hope. Hope is the manifest belief that we are endowed with inborn intelligence (intellectual) to function in life roles (occupations) where deployment of inherent talent impacts others (social). The positive or negative effect (emotional) of our endeavors influences self-efficacy and our mental state (physical) that drives our behavior. To place all of the above in context, we search for the meaning of who we are and what we do in life. This represents an existential validation of self and serves as a mechanism to reconcile our role in this world (spiritual). Ultimately, developing wellness requires a process of critical self-inquiry grounded in the belief that we find meaning through making adjustments in these six dimensions, that tune our attitude and corresponding behavior. In that pursuit, attenuated wellness offers the richness of fulfillment and purpose.
Blair Hollis M.A. GCDF BCCC
Crossroads Consulting, Inc.
Source: (National Wellness Institute, 2016).