Seven Dimensions of Wellness
Part 1: Emotional Wellness
Wellness is not a passive state, it’s an active state of making choices, activities, and the pursuit of healthy lifestyles that ultimately leads to a state of holistic health.
Wellness is not a destination, but rather a way of living that leads to a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life.
7 Dimensions of Wellness
There are 7 primary dimensions of wellness:
- Emotional Wellness
- Spiritual Wellness
- Social Wellness
- Physical Wellness
- Intellectual Wellness
- Environmental Wellness
- Occupational Wellness
The “goal” of wellness should be to achieve balance or homeostasis in all seven dimensions of wellness.
That said, we certainly don’t expect you to always be balanced in your pursuit of wellness… We most certainly are not always in equilibrium, but that’s why it’s a goal!
The purpose of this post is to focus on just one of the dimensions of wellness, specifically emotional wellness. So without any further delay, let’s dive right in!
What is emotional wellness?
According to the National Institutes of Health, emotional wellness is defined as the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times. It also includes the capacity to love and be loved, optimism, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and the ability to share feelings.
When you become the master of your emotions, you will be well-equipped to successfully handle the daily stressors life can throw your way in addition to rapid change and difficult times.
And if we are being honest, the past year has given us many an opportunity to practice good emotional wellness, while testing our mental health.
The COVID virus and resulting pandemic was one of life’s many challenges that can make striving for a well-balanced state of emotional, social, and physical wellness rather difficult at times. And to all of those that lost loved ones to this terrible virus, we send you our love.
Regardless of what challenges life throws your way, always remember love is the most powerful force. Love combined with a positive, optimistic outlook can get you through even the darkest of times.
And if you happen to be experiencing a dark moment right now, just remember, it’s the tough times that shape us, provide perspective shifts if you’re willing to look for them, and make the good times that much more enjoyable & well-deserved!
Life is filled with ups and downs, but as the saying goes, it’s what you make of them that really matters.
To help you build a stronger, more resilient state of emotional wellness, here are 7 of our favorite tips.
7 Tips for Optimal Emotional Wellness
1) Cultivate a Positive, Optimistic Attitude
This is probably the most important tip (which is why we put it first). It’s a well known fact that life won’t always be easy and there will be days when you won’t be in the best of moods, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome!
Tips to develop a more positive mindset:
- Start a gratitude journal and write down 3 things you are grateful for each and every day
- Reframe a potentially negative experience into a positive one by shifting your perspective to focus on the good that comes out of the “bad”
- When faced with a challenge, imagine both the absolute worst case scenario, as well as the best case scenario, and know that the likely outcome will be something in between
- Learn to forgive yourself and others when something bad happens and don’t dwell on it
- Surround yourself with healthy, happy, positive people (remember, you are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with)
2) Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about being completely aware of what’s happening in the present moment. It’s not always easy to be mindful when faced with tough times, but that’s why we practice.
Life gets busy sometimes, but it’s important not to let life pass you by...after all, you only live once, so you might as well enjoy it!
- Try and find 10-15 minutes everyday to slow down your thoughts and meditate
- Practice different breathing techniques to help recenter yourself
- Incorporate yoga into your workout routine
3) Accept & Love Yourself
Everyone deals with feelings of inadequacy, self-judgement, and self-doubt, but the sooner you learn to accept & love who you are, the more others will be drawn towards you. Remember, you are your own worst critic!
Tips to accept & love yourself:
- Surround yourself with positive affirmations that are meaningful to you and repeat them to yourself when doubt creeps in
- Appreciate all aspects of who you are; you are unique and it’s the little “flaws” and quirks that help make you who you are
- Learn to forgive yourself and others...remember, everybody makes mistakes (no one is perfect)
4) Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated things in our society, but this is slowly starting to change. Capable of affecting all seven dimensions of wellness, sleep is absolutely vital to our emotional health.
Tips to get better sleep:
- Establish a routine and stick to it (go to bed and wake up at the same time)
- Sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable room without any light (especially blue light) and place all electronic devices as far away as possible (at least arm’s length)
- Try not to spend time on your phone or watching tv before going to sleep (try reading or taking a nice, warm shower instead)
5) Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress comes in two common forms - eustress (good stress) and distress (bad stress). We can use stress to help us get things done right before a big deadline or get really dialed in before a big dance competition...or we can let it slowly deplete our energy reserves and wear us out.
In today’s busy world, stress management is extremely important to our emotional health.
Tips to help manage stress:
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
- Plan out your days & weeks and set deadlines for yourself to help keep you on track and hold you accountable
- Try blocking out your time and make sure to create adequate space for “deep work” (time to be creative, focus on a big project, research something new, etc)
- Workout for at least 30 minutes every day (this could be as simple as taking a walk after lunch or before dinner, yoga, or a quick workout at the gym)
- Practice meditating for 10-15 minutes every day
6) Get Connected
Humans are naturally social creatures. We need social interactions to help us feel connected, share experiences, and create memories.
Whether it’s taking time to talk to your significant other, getting together with friends, or calling a family member on the phone, it’s important to make time for these activities.
Tips for staying connected:
- Setup zoom calls or phone calls with family members and friends
- Consider joining a local meetup to go on walks, hikes, or out to a local restaurant
- Spend some time volunteering for causes you care about in your local community
7) Seek Balance
We encourage you to seek balance in everything you do. When it comes to your health & wellness, the ultimate focus should be to lead a well-balanced, healthy, and fulfilled life. That means enjoying the good times and making sure to spoil yourself a little here and there, while also giving yourself the space and ability to experience the tough times.
Tips to help you seek balance:
- Set realistic goals & expectations for yourself
- Learn to say “no” before agreeing to certain activities, responsibilities, etc
- Schedule your days to include time for work, physical activity, and social activities
Remember, life isn’t always going to be easy, but that’s what makes the good times that much more meaningful and enjoyable!
Whether it’s something simple like waking up to the birds chirping on a bright, sunny day or someone holding the door for you, learn to enjoy & appreciate the little things.
A positive attitude and an optimistic outlook really can make a difference in both your mental, as well as your physical health.
So get out there, enjoy all life has to offer...and always remember to live life in full bloom! :)