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Wellness Guide: Six Dimensions of Wellness

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The Six Dimensions of Wellness

The Six Dimensions of Wellness Model was created by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI).  This popular model is utilized by many wellness organizations to derive resources and services.

1.       Physical Wellness

Physical wellness is met through the combination of exercise and good eating habits.  It entails personal responsibility and care.

Physical wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it.
• It is better to be physically fit than out of shape.

2.       Emotional Wellness

The emotional dimension recognizes awareness and acceptance of one’s feelings.  Emotional wellness includes the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about one’s self and life. It includes the capacity to manage one’s feelings and related behaviors including the realistic assessment of one’s limitations, development of autonomy, and ability to cope effectively with stress.

Emotional wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them.
• It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic.

3.       Spiritual Wellness

The spiritual dimension recognizes our search for meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.

Spiritual wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
• It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

4.       Social Wellness

The social dimension encourages contributing to one’s environment and community. It emphasizes the interdependence between others and nature.

Social wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
• It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.

5.       Intellectual Wellness

The intellectual dimension recognizes one’s creative, stimulating mental activities. A well person expands his or her knowledge and skills while discovering the potential for sharing his or her gifts with others.

Intellectual wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to stretch and challenge our minds with intellectual and creative pursuits than to become self-satisfied and unproductive.
• It is better to identify potential problems and choose appropriate courses of action based on available information than to wait, worry, and contend with major concerns later.

6.       Occupational Wellness

The occupational dimension recognizes personal satisfaction and enrichment in one’s life through work. At the center of occupational wellness is the premise that occupational development is related to one’s attitude about one’s work.

Occupational wellness follows these tenets:
• It is better to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, and beliefs than to select one that is unrewarding to us.
• It is better to develop functional, transferable skills through structured involvement opportunities than to remain inactive and uninvolved.


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