Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. While fitness and nutrition play a big role in our overall wellness, the mental and emotional components are equally important.
Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI), developed the Six Dimensional Model of wellness, an interdependent model that identifies the categories that create a holistic approach to wellness. According to Dr. Hettler, the six dimensions of wellness include:
By recognizing these six components, an individual can become aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to a healthy lifestyle, such as:
- How a person contributes to their environment and community, and how to build better living spaces and social networks
- The enrichment of life through work, and its interconnectedness to living and playing
- The development of belief systems, values, and creating a world-view
- The benefits of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength and vitality as well as personal responsibility,self-care and when to seek medical attention
- Self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction
- Creative and stimulating mental activities, and sharing your gifts with others
From the National Wellness Institute, "applying a wellness approach can be useful in nearly every human endeavor." The National Wellness Institute devised three questions that may help persons and organizations assess the degree to which wellness is incorporated into a particular approach or program:
- Does this help people achieve their full potential?
- Does this recognize and address the whole person?
- Does this affirm and mobilize peoples' positive qualitiesand strengths?
Wellness is all about balance. It may require honest, serious reflection, but the focus typically results in an uplifting sense of improvement in every aspect!