Wellness is the responsibility of each individual to actively maintain a balance and integration of physical, mental/emotional, social, environmental, occupational/intellectual, and spiritual well-being (Hoeger, Turner, & Hafen, 2002). These are the six dimensions of wellness depicted in the image above. All of the dimensions work together and if one is lowered, for example emotional health, then all of the remaining dimensions are also impacted. One dimension does not thrive unless others are also thriving. A high level of wellness leads to personal health, or a state of well-being beyond the absence of disease (World Health Organization [WHO], 1948).
The physical component recognizes the need for regular physical activity. Individuals who practice physical well-being apply knowledge about exercise, nutrition, fitness, healthy eating habits, and personal hygiene into their daily routines.
Characteristics of Physical:
• Exercises safely and regularly
• Knowledge of nutritional information
• Balanced diet
• Maintaining regular sleeping patterns
• Managing stress through using healthy strategies
• Practicing healthy hygiene habits
• Avoids drugs, such as tobacco, that hinder physical health
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The emotional component recognizes awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings. Emotional wellness includes the level in which one feels positive and energetic about the life that they live. Positive emotional wellness also allows one to be sensitive and have empathy towards others.
Characteristics of Emotional:
• Being sensitive towards self and others
• Identifying ways to cope with stress
• Being independent, but seeking help when needed
• Taking responsibility for your own actions
• Attending programs dealing with stress management
• Attending programs that focus on relationship issues
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The social component encourages participation in ones community, campus, and environment.
Characteristics of Social:
• Participate in university activities, sporting events, students organizations, and university offered programs
• Become familiarized with all departments on campus
• Join intramurals
• Actively participate in study groups
• Incorporate social, or fun, activities along with upholding obligations
The intellectual component measures the degree to which an individual engages in creative mental activities. An intellectual healthy person uses the resources available to increase their knowledge and skills while sharing them with others.
Characteristics of Intellectual:
• Attending classes
• Completing assignments
• Maintaining an adequate amount of sleep
• Communicating with professors and university staff
• Attending presentations, lectures, programs offered through the university
• Exposing yourself to new experiences
• Maintaining organization skills
The spiritual component encourages individuals to increase their understanding of the beliefs, values, and ethics, which can help guide a clear path in their lives.
Characteristics of Spiritual:
• Take time to reflect each day
• Yoga/Meditation Activities
• Religious traditions
The Environmental Wellness: the positive perception of the environment that one works and lives in.
Characteristics of Environmental Wellness
• Ensuring your work/school environment and relationships are comfortable
• Working to ensure the environment in which you work, live and play is safe (i.e. smokefree, violence free)
Hoeger, W. W. K., Turner, L. W., & Hafen, B. Q. (2002). Wellness: Guidelines for a healthy lifestyle (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group.
Wellness Wheel Information
World Health Organization. (1948). Constitution of the World Health Organization [Electronic version]. Retrieved April 2, 2006, from http://w3.whosea.org/LinkFiles/About_SEARO_const.pdf