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Improve Your Life : Adopt 8 Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness encompasses not just the absence of disease and being physically fit, wellness is a multidimensional concept and is a holistic integration of 8 dimensions. These 8 dimensions are physical, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, emotional, social and environmental. Swarbrick (2012), author of 8 dimension of wellness, defines wellness as ‘a conscious, deliberate process that requires being aware of and making choices for a more satisfying lifestyle’.

The concept of holistic wellness highlights the importance of focusing on the entire person, rather than a specific illness. Each dimension of wellness can affect our overall quality of life, because wellness directly relates to how long we live (longevity) and how well we live (quality of life).

In addition to striving for better health, holistic health entails living life fully, and maximizing your potential. Taking small steps for the better can dramatically influence our wellbeing. Holistic wellness can be achieved by making small lifestyle changes.

Since all dimensions are closely related and intertwined, changes in one dimension can directly impact the other dimensions. If you have high emotional wellness, while going through stressful life experiences, you may be able to stay calm and tread through the situation, whereas, if emotional wellness is poor, other dimensions, like your physical health may start to deteriorate and your performance at work might decrease as well. Similarly, greater occupational wellness would result in job satisfaction, overall contentment and better emotional health. Thus it is not necessary to individually work on each dimension.

Wellness influences the decisions and choices we make, and directly impacts our quality of life. Individuals with higher levels of well-being and wellness generally perceive their life as going well. They also feel healthy, more energetic, and more productive, thus they generally have better outcomes in their daily activities. Wellness is also correlated to better life satisfaction, and interest and engagement in day to day life, since better outcomes in day to day activities leads to a sense of accomplishment.  

A few measures that can be taken to incorporate activities in daily life to improve holistic wellness, include-

  • Increasing physical activity- It is a must to exercise regularly as not only does physical activity keep one physically fit, but it makes one feel more energetic, alert and fresh, and helps improve cognitive function, mental health and quality of sleep. It’s even more important to focus on exercising more if one has a desk job which requires sitting for longer hours, even a 30 minutes’ walk every day is effective.
  • Eating a balanced diet- It’s crucial to ensure that our body is receiving adequate nutrition hence make sure to eat a well-balanced diet, focusing on balancing macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). A good way to ensure this is planning your meals in advance, substituting soft drinks with water and choosing healthy alternatives.
  • Sleeping for 7-9 hours daily – Better quality of sleep leads increased productivity, mood, energy and better communication. Thus it is crucial to follow a good sleep hygiene and get a good night’s rest.
  • Dealing with emotions effectively- Working on awareness, understanding, and acceptance of emotions helps manage them effectively.  This includes being mindful of unhealthy coping mechanisms, journaling your thoughts and emotions daily and practicing gratitude and self-forgiveness, are some of the ways to improve emotional wellness.
  • Mindfulness – Practicing mindfulness, engaging in soulful meditation and yoga helps keep in check with core values and help us be in the present. Such activities also help reduce stress by helping regulate our nervous system and the stress mechanism of our bodies.
  • Connecting with others – Humans are social beings and need connection to thrive and be healthy. Thus it is important to dedicate time to friends and family and spend quality time with them. Other ways to socialize like, connecting with your own community by volunteering or joining local groups – physical fitness, dance or pottery, cooking classes also help.
  • Keeping brain active – Nurturing your mind through thought provoking conversations, reading new genres, learning new skills or languages, and exploring new environments keeps our brain active and health. Playing games like Sudoku, chess, scrabble and solving crossword puzzles helps exercise mind and memory.

A good way to start working on wellness can be doing a health self assessment  to understand which dimensions are the most important to you. By understanding the need for the changes in these dimensions is important to us, we give a goal a voice and a meaning, which helps shift the goal into a mission. It is important to create self-defined routines and goals as it brings about intrinsic motivation and helps with consistency.

Samvedna Care understands your needs for mental wellbeing self-assessment. We believe in holistic care for all individuals to improve wellbeing. Our counsellors can help you take a self-assessment and provide you with a self-care plan to help improve and enhance wellness by integrating all dimensions of wellness. 

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Samvedna Care, C-13 Anand Niketan, New Delhi