By: Araceli Salcedo, CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing Volunteer
Did you know you have various dimensions of your health and wellness? There are multiple elements of health and wellness, yet many people just associate “wellness” with their physical health. Well, “wellness” is so much more than that. It includes your physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, occupational, and financial health and how all of those are all interconnected when it comes to being well. Being healthy in all aspects of the dimensions is vital to your own health and wellbeing. Striving for wellness, or ultimately progressing to a healthier life will only benefit you and your overall health.
The following are the multiple Dimensions of Health/Wellness:
- Physical: Physical health/wellness includes your physical health. Caring for your body is essential. Eating right, regular exercise, routine checkups, and adequate rest are all ways to improve physical health.
- Social: Having a social life is not only for fun, but may actually be important for your health too! Being able to interact and build relationships with people contributes to your social wellness. Getting involved in the community, such as joining a club or organization on campus, can improve your social health. Having social connections decreases depression and boosts feelings of wellbeing.
- Emotional: Being able to feel and express oneself is healthy. Not only understanding how you feel and cope with challenges, but understanding others emotions plays a part in your emotional health. Maintaining a positive outlook, valuing yourself, being aware and accepting how you’re feeling is all important in being emotionally healthy.
- Spiritual: Our spiritual dimension of health involves finding/knowing one’s purpose or meaning in life. Having your own beliefs and values in life is part of your spiritual health. Appreciating life and establishing peace and harmony improves your spiritual health which can ultimately improve your mental health. Meditating, contemplating the meaning of life, practicing religion and spending time really in the world around you are ways to improve spiritual health.
- Intellectual: Being open minded, creative, having analytical and critical thinking skills and simply learning new things keeps our minds going, which is good for our intellectual health. Challenging oneself, being productive and being a lifelong learner also adds to this dimension. Something as simple as reading or taking courses can improve intellectual health.
- Environmental: Your environmental health includes being able to help the environment we live in. Being able to realize how you play a part in the environment is important. Minimizing harm to the earth and being involved in efforts to help the environment is good for your environmental wellness. Conserving water, reducing, reusing, and recycling are just a few ways you can help.
- Occupational: This dimension of wellness deals with your occupation. This deals with being happy and satisfied with the work you are doing and feeling like it is meaningful. Having a positive attitude and utilizing your skills in your choice of work is also important for occupational wellness. Your path is your path and you choose which way you go. Choose a happy and meaningful one!
- Financial: Knowing how to manage your money is also important in your wellness. Not having enough money, or wasting your money can play a role on your health. Being financially responsible and creating a budget for yourself and keeping track of expenses can help in improving your financial wellness. Simply live within your means. That does not mean you can’t treat yourself every now and then, but remember to budget!