Understanding Wellness

We hear things about wellness all the time, but what does “wellness” actually mean? How can we work toward achieving wellness in our lives?

Understanding Wellness

Wellness is generally defined as being in a good state of health, especially as an actively pursued goal. But wellness extends far beyond just the physical, wellness is an integral part of every piece of our life.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness can actually be divided into eight dimensions:

  1. Emotional

  2. Financial

  3. Spiritual

  4. Occupational

  5. Social

  6. Environmental

  7. Intellectual

  8. Physical

True wellness lies when each of these eight dimensions are fulfilled.

The First Step

So now you know the different parts that make up wellness…but how do we actually achieve wellness in our lives? Start by looking at those eight dimensions. Which dimensions do you feel you are fulfilling? What are you doing that’s helping you? What are two dimensions you are struggling the most with right now? Where are you now versus where you want to be? Use these responses to think of some goals you want to set in place.

In the Real World

For example, maybe you’re doing great socially and physically. You go out with friends often and you make it a point to work on your health and stay active. Occupationally and financially...not so much. You’re in between jobs right now, which is making money really tight. Maybe that brings down your emotional wellness because of all of the stress.

So start with thinking about some occupational strengths and weaknesses for yourself. Figure out what kind of job you want and what is feasible for you. Set a goal. Whether it be starting the job search or applying to different positions, let’s get the ball rolling.

This isn’t an overnight fix, but being aware of the areas in your life where you’re struggling the most is an important first step. This allows you to make a game plan--set some goals to actively work on. In time, these goals get achieved and you will find yourself in a far better space.

Parts of a Machine

What you also saw from this example is how interconnected these dimensions of wellness are. Imagine a machine. Each part of the machine works together in a state of harmony. While each has it’s own job, its functioning relies a lot on the rest of the parts. If one part breaks down, the others do as well. The same goes for wellness. A lack in one area can break down another, and before we know it, we find ourselves spiraling down and thinking, “How did I get here?”

You’re Not Alone

The good news is, you’re not alone! We all struggle from time to time with balancing our lives and finding our sweet spot. The best fix—start with one thing at a time and go from there. Don’t be afraid to take the step to seek out additional support if you need it.

Hudson LCSW Group is a Westchester County counseling practice in White Plains, NY. We provide therapy for children, teens and adults.