The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified, what they call, eight dimensions of wellness. The thought is that, if individuals focus on these eight dimensions, they can optimize their health. Every aspect of wellness can affect a person’s life so it is important to focus on all eight of them. The eight dimensions are:
- Physical Wellness
According to SAMHSA, a healthy body, good physical health habits, nutrition, exercise, and appropriate health care make up the Physical Dimensions of Wellness. Ways to optimize physical health include yoga, bike riding, playing sports, running, and gardening, to name a few. Paying attention to sleep habits, what one eats, substance use, medication safety, and preventative medicine are all important areas of physical health.
2. Intellectual Wellness
The Intellectual Wellness Dimension relates to the things that keep our brains active and our minds expanding. Intellectual wellness includes one’s personal interests, creativity, learning, using the brain, and conversation. Reading, debating, learning something new, and trying a new hobby are all ways to improve intellectual wellness.
3. Financial Wellness
The Financial Wellness Dimension involves things such as income, debt, savings, and a person’s understanding of finances. Areas of financial wellness include work, savings, debt, and retirement. A person’s satisfaction with their current financial situation comes into play and varies for each individual. Finances are a common stressor for people and should not be ignored.
4. Environmental Wellness
The Environmental Wellness Dimension includes being able to be and feel safe. Important aspects of this dimension have to do with survival. This includes certain necessities such as clean air, food, and water. This also may involve occupying pleasant and stimulating environments that support our wellbeing, learning and relaxation. Both home and work environments are important.
5. Spiritual Wellness
The Spiritual Wellness Dimension has to do with one’s personal beliefs and values in regards to life’s meaning, purpose, and a sense of balance and peace. Areas to focus on include taking time to think about beliefs, possibly getting involved with others who share your beliefs, and making the time to reflect on spirituality.
6. Social Wellness
The Social Wellness Dimension has to do with having healthy relationships with friends, family, the community, and being interested in the needs and happiness of others. Questions to ask yourself include, “Are you keeping in touch with friends and family?” “Are you meeting new people? and “Do you set time aside for social activities? “
The Occupational Wellness Dimension involves employment. How are your work relationships, do you have work/life balance, and do you feel a sense of accomplishment from your job?
8. Emotional Wellness
The Emotional Wellness Dimension involves the ability to express feelings, adjust to emotional challenges, cope with life’s stressors, and enjoy life. Areas of focus include self-care, stress management, and how you cope with feelings/emotions.
The idea of the eight dimensions is to achieve a balance among the dimensions in order to live a happy and fulfilled life. To learn more about them you can go to https://store.samhsa.gov/product/SAMHSA-s-Wellness-Initiative-Wellness-Community-Power-Point-Presentation/sma16-4955
New Bridge Foundation believes that all human beings have the right to happy, fulfilled lives, and has spent over 50 years helping individuals live up to their potentials. To learn more about our programs, please call us at 866-772-8491 or 510-548-7270.