Is Wellness More Than Physical Health?

Wellness is an active, lifelong process of becoming aware of choices and making decisions toward a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Wellness combines seven dimensions of well-being into a quality way of living. Overall, wellness is the ability to live life to the fullest and to maximize personal potential in a variety of ways. Wellness places responsibility on the individual; it becomes a matter of self-evaluation and self-assessment. Wellness involves continually learning and making changes to enhance your state of well-being.

Physical (Body)
A healthy body is achieved and maintained through good nutrition, regular exercise, avoiding harmful habits, making informed and responsible decisions about health and seeking medical assistance when necessary.

To remain well, physical wellness requires that you take steps to protect your physical health by eating a well-balanced diet, getting plenty of physical activity and exercise, maintaining proper weight, getting enough sleep, avoiding risky sexual behavior, trying to limit exposure to environmental contaminations and restricting intake of harmful substances.

Intellectual (Mind)
A state in which your mind is engaged in lively interaction with the world around you.

Intellectual wellness involves unbridled curiosity and ongoing learning. This dimension of wellness implies that you can apply the things you have learned, that you create opportunities to learn more and that you engage your mind in lively interaction with the world around you.

Emotional (Feelings)
The ability to understand your own feelings, accept your limitations, achieve emotional stability and become comfortable with your emotions.

Emotional wellness implies the ability to express emotions appropriately, adjust to change, cope with stress in a healthy way and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustration.

Social (Family, Friends, Relationships)
The ability to relate well to others, both within and outside the family unit. 

Social wellness endows us with the ease and confidence to be outgoing, friendly and affectionate toward others. Social wellness involves not only a concern for the individual, but also an interest in humanity and the environment as a whole.

Occupational (Career, Skills)
Preparing and making use of your gifts, skills, and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness and enrichment in your life.

Occupational wellness means successfully integrating a commitment to your occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying and rewarding. The development of occupational satisfaction and wellness is strongly related to your attitude about your work.

Environmental (Air, Water, Food, Safety)
The capability to live in a clean and safe environment that is not detrimental to health.

The quality of today’s environment has a direct effect on personal wellness. To enjoy environmental wellness, we require clean air, pure water, quality food, adequate shelter, satisfactory work conditions, personal safety and healthy relationships.

Spiritual (Values, Purpose, Intuition, Vitality)
The sense that life is meaningful and has a purpose; the ethics, values and morals that guide us and give meaning and direction to life.

Spiritual wellness is a search for meaning and purpose in human existence leading one to strive for a state of harmony with others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world.

Designing your lifestyle with all of these dimensions in mind will help you to achieve your highest potential, including having a successful experience as a college student. Achieving a wellness balance is a process requiring the directions of your thoughts and energy into a balanced integration of all these dimensions. The Wellness Model illustrates how these dimensions are juggled within the context of campus life and your place in the larger society.

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