Finding Balance With The 7 Aspects of Wellness
There is a simple road map that can guide you on the journey toward more balanced living. The 7 Aspects of Wellness are your key to harmonizing all the major life areas that work together to create a whole and complete life.
Balance is based in total wellness, and total wellness is more than just emotional health or physical fitness. The 7 Aspects—Emotional, Physical, Intellectual, Social, Environmental, Occupational and Spiritual—encompass every square inch of your life, and practicing positive habits in each of these areas will help you find total wellness.
Emotional Wellness is the life area that involves your internal landscape—your personal thoughts and feelings. How you cope with stress is a huge component of your Emotional Wellness and has a big effect on your sense of mental balance. As you explore your Emotional Wellness, you journey into self-discovery. This means getting comfortable with who you are by building positive self-esteem and learning about emotional self-care. Basically, when you’re comfortable in your own skin, you don’t get knocked down as easily by the frustrations of daily life.
Physical Wellness focuses on finding optimum physical fitness. When you hear the term “physical fitness,” you may envision hours spent working out and eating nothing but salad. That might be Physical Wellness for some, but it doesn’t have to mean that for you! While exercise and eating healthy foods are part of the Physical Wellness equation, so are adequate rest and hygiene. Physical Wellness isn’t about having the “perfect” body. In fact, at times the drive for physical perfection can create emotional and physical imbalance. Physical Wellness means living a lifestyle based on habits that support healthy bodily function and longevity.
Intellectual Wellness helps you fall back in love with life and sparks your imagination. It isn’t “school.” It’s learning for learning’s sake, about whatever you want to discover. Reading, visiting museums, watching television shows and movies on interesting topics, writing and creating your own art are all keys to balance in the aspect of Intellectual Wellness. From finding hobbies to learning new, practical skills, the words to keep in mind when working toward Intellectual Wellness include “exploration,” “wonder,” and “discovery.”
Social Wellness is about relationships. Friendships, family, romance, and how you treat the cashier at the grocery store are all aspects of your Social Wellness. Social Wellness involves your ability to foster intimacy in relationships while maintaining supportive boundaries; respecting the needs of others, as well as balancing a social life with personal responsibilities. When your Social Wellness is in order, you feel both supportive and supported. Social Wellness is about the give and take that occurs in healthy relationships so that everyone feels nurtured and loved.
Environmental Wellness is probably the most overlooked wellness aspect of the seven. You might not realize how much of an effect your environment plays in your sense of balance, but your mood is heavily influenced by the people, places, and things around you. When your space is clean and clutter free, you feel better. You also feel better when you connect with nature and care for your natural environment. Acts of caring, whether extended to your personal surroundings or the world at large, create simultaneous feelings of self-care.
Occupational Wellness is something we all deal with. Even if you’re in school or a stay-at-home mom, you have an occupation. Discovering Occupational Wellness means exploring our true purpose and calling in life, learning to cope with work stress, working toward our goals, and finding a career that lines up with our ultimate dreams. Your occupation is what you’ll spend most of your time doing, so you want it to feel meaningful. This requires taking directed steps to get in touch with who you are and what you want from your chosen career.
Spiritual Wellness has an enormously broad definition. We each have our own, individual spiritual journey, and Spiritual Wellness deals with how we seek meaning and purpose in life, our connection with the universe, and a relationship with a higher power, if we so choose. You can explore Spiritual Wellness as part of a faith-based community, but it’s not necessary. Spiritual Wellness means clarifying your beliefs and values so that you can truly live by them.
If you focus on each of the 7 Aspects of Wellness, you’ll find balance and feel better—as easy as 1-2-3!
Pia Carleson is a certified wellness advisor for the 123 Feel Better Company. The 123 Feel Better® Life Change System™ is a wellness program designed to help individuals reach their wellness goals and live fuller, more complete lives. 123 Feel Better is based on the 7 Aspects of Wellness™ model. Learn how to make real changes in the areas of Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, Occupational, Social, and Intellectual Wellness to create a balanced life with 123 Feel Better and our free wellness resources at Insight Journal Online Wellness Magazine.