8 Dimensions of Wellness
You know me, I love a good personality quiz. Yes, they are vague and do not accurately highlight everything but most do provide a good baseline. With that in mind, I have a new one for you ;)
Check out the quiz here.
This quiz focuses on the 8 dimensions of wellness that include financial, spiritual, environmental, emotional, physical, social, intellectual and occupational dimensions.
So, let’s briefly explore each category. Keep in mind this is in no specific order and there is much debate about where each one ranks.
First, let’s talk about the spiritual dimension. To begin, we need to differentiate spirituality from religion. While they may overlap, spirituality is about our connection with self and others (and sometimes a higher power) where religion is about connection with our higher power in the bounds of a specific religious guideline or organization. Our spirituality has a direct impact on our outlook, our purpose in life and our motivation. It allows us to have perspective about our role in the world and that there is something bigger than us out there.
The financial dimension is where many people struggle. Studies show that money fights and money problems are one of the top issues in marriages. When our finances are tight, we are not able to practice self-care adequately, struggle meeting basic physical needs and have little room to be financially generous with others. On the flip side, when our financial dimension is strong, we are able to be present without with anxiety of our needs being met and will have less stress on our plates.
The environmental dimension is often neglected by many. We don’t realize the impact of our surroundings on us. On the micro level, this includes the cleanliness and organization of our home. This is about making our home somewhere that we feel safe and secure. On the macrolevel, this includes lowering our carbon footprint, being mindful of recycling and also trying to lower the amount of toxins we absorb from our environment. If you do not follow @just.ingredients on Instagram, do it! I am learning so much from her about environmental toxins and the impact it has on some of the other eight dimensions.
Now let’s talk about the emotional/mental dimension. This is about our ability to cope with life, engage in meaningful relationships and work through our “stuff”. This is done through therapy (which you know I am a huge advocate of), self-discovery, reading and growing in our understanding of who we are and how our experiences have impacted us.
The physical dimension is how well we take care of our body. Do we exercise or engage in movement daily? Do we fuel our bodies well with good, healthy food? Do we get 7-8 hours of sleep at night or do we think we should be able to function on 4 hours? All of those impact our physical wellness which then has a ripple effect on the other dimensions.
The social dimension is one that has been hit the hardest for many of us during the 2020 (and on) pandemic. The social dimension is all about community and friendships. This is where we are able to feel a sense of belonging with others, know we are not alone and that we have others that love us. This is where we meet with people with common interests that support us in our growth. For many, this plummeted because while Zoom is great, it does not provide the same connection that being in person does.
Next is the intellectual dimension. This corresponds with the emotional dimension in many ways. This is where we enrich our mind through formal or informal knowledge, where we engage in hobbies, learn about other cultural, challenge our constructs of thinking and engage in debates with people of opposing views. This is our growth dimension.
Last but not least is the occupational dimension. This is where you find satisfaction in the work you are doing, you feel motivated and enjoy your place of employment. Because most of us spend the majority of our day at work, this one is really important because it sets the stage for our mindset when we get off work. If we hate our job, we often struggle feeling motivated at home to engage in physical wellness or our emotional wellness is depleted because of the mental energy that work takes. However, if our occupational dimension is strong, we are energized both at work and outside of work to grow, develop and be better.
Here’s the thing. Each dimension is valuable and important. But, depending on your season of life, a few may be more important that others and then when your season shifts, so do the dimensions that are most and least important to you. With that said, if we neglect one dimension, it will have a negative impact on the other dimensions because they are all interrelated. So, today I challenge you to take the quiz and see which dimensions are the lowest for you and find some ways to work on that dimension and notice the ripple effect it has on your life. Enjoy!
Jocelyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and course creator who desires to help clients heal and grow into who God created them to be.