Wellness is a broad term that can have a different meaning to each individual. Over the last year, we have heard a lot of advice on how to stay healthy. Some helpful and even some conflicting advice that is supposed to help our overall wellness. But what is wellness? What affects it, and what can we do to live our most healthy life?
If you can think back to your high school health class, you might have a foggy memory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The general idea was that first, we need to meet needs that contribute to survival, then once those needs are met, we can meet needs that will contribute to a feeling of safety and comfort. Finally, once those needs are met, we can eventually lead a self-actualized life to be creative and social and contribute to the greater good.
Similarly, Dr. Swarbrick created the Wellness model. Which showcases the components of wellness can be broken into eight categories. Known as the dimensions of wellness, and they are:
- Physical – the state of wellness in your body.
- Emotional – the condition of your feelings and relationships with yourself and others.
- Mental – the state of your mind and brain.
- Spiritual – the state of living with meaning and purpose.
- Environmental – the state of how you exist in and relate to your environment.
- Social – the condition of your support system and satisfaction with the roles you play.
- Financial – the state of your finances.
- Occupational – the state of satisfaction you gain from your job or role in society
Dr. Swarbrick defines wellness as “A conscious, deliberate process that requires a person to become aware of and make choices for a more satisfying lifestyle.”
Each of these dimensions needs attention for a person to flourish. While many people will struggle with the idea of finding balance giving equal importance to each of these, a more productive approach might be searching for harmony through them. We cannot focus on growth in all areas at once. It’s best to determine which areas will benefit you the most in each season of your life and be intentional about your growth and care in those areas. No one can decide these priorities for you.
Internal Vs. External
You might notice that some of these states are controlled internally while the world around us influences others. Externally, things like the environment we live in, the social support around us, and the financial and occupational areas. So we have some control but are also primarily influenced by people and conditions that are sometimes out of our control. Internally, our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional lives are controlled mainly by ourselves and related to our bodies and spirits.
The key to finding harmonious outcomes is combining and optimizing these internal and external components, and that is where we achieve optimal wellness.
For instance, when our physical and environmental environments are optimized, we experience health.
When our emotional state and our social state are optimized, we experience happiness and emotional fulfillment.
When our mental and financial states are optimized, we experience wealth or financial peace.
And when our spiritual state and occupational state are optimized, we feel like we are in harmony.
So often go through life feeling unfulfilled or lacking in wellness because one of these needs is out of balance with the others. A significant first step on the path to wellness is to consider each of these areas in your own life and examine how satisfied you are in each area. If you find an area causing you stress or grief, spend some time thinking about what you’re already doing to address that concern and if it’s helping you. Then brainstorm ways to find a more optimal solution, maybe even work with a coach or a counselor to help identify healthy approaches to optimal wellness in the areas that most need attention.
Here are some questions to help your work through this process:
- Which dimension of wellness do I feel the most satisfied with right now?
- Which dimension of wellness do I feel the least satisfied with right now?
- What can you change or choose to improve the area you are least satisfied with?
- How would your life improve if you made that change?
- What is stopping you from making that change?
- How can you overcome that challenge and ensure you’ll make a positive change?
How Elite can help you achieve your optimal wellness
At Elite Testing and Wellness, our dream is for you to feel wellness in ways you’ve never experienced before. Our approach to wellness is to treat the patient, not the problem. We do our best to offer services that treat the entire patient, not just a problem area. We have treatments for your body which can help you boost your immune system within your environment. We have treatments to improve your skin and hair, and nails, allowing your body to function optimally and boost your self-esteem to know you’re looking your best. We can help you detox from a negative or polluted environment. We even offer wellness testing to change your diet or environment to provide for your optimal wellness. No matter where you are searching for harmony on your wellness journey, Elite is here to help. Call us today for your free consultation, and we will help you customize a treatment plan for your optimal wellness today.