What is: Wellness?
The term “wellness” means having a mostly positive state of mind and a physically fit body, which results in a feeling of satisfaction for your life.
I say “mostly positive” because your state of mind changes on a moment to moment basis. Wellness doesn’t mean you are always happy. It means you have a baseline of happiness that comes from being satisfied with your life, this does not go away when difficult life challenges arise.
How do you know if you’re “well”? Defining wellness:
Wellness is difficult to measure because it’s not something tangible we can see. It can’t be graded in distance, time, or form. It can only be measured by the way you feel. And while feelings are valid, because they dictate what we do in life, they can’t be seen or mapped. Feelings are individual. It’s a personal evaluation that relates to the overall level of satisfaction that you have for your life.
But what satisfies one person doesn’t necessary satisfy another person. In general wellness can be characterized in the following way:
If your desires match the actions you’re taking – in other words, you are working towards what you’d like to accomplish -, and you’re body is functioning properly, you are well.
Factors that relate to wellness
Many experts and organizations try to evaluate wellness by suggesting that humans have basic needs that must be met for us to feel well. What those needs are vary from expert to expert. Most wellness experts suggest that up to six of these areas of overall wellness make up what a person considers a satisfactory life:
Occupational health: satisfaction with your career
Physical health: satisfaction with your body and level of physical health
Spiritual health: connectedness with yourself and your values, which is often connected to a vehicle for you to connect with yourself, this could be Religion or Meditative practices.
Emotional health: understanding your feelings, why you feel them and how to deal with them
Intellectual health: challenging what you think and increasing your learning continuously
Social health: connecting intimately with people, this could be friends or family members
Global health or environmental health: being aware of your environment and how you relate to it
Financial health: how much money you have and what you believe you can achieve financially
The 6 spoke wheel metaphor:
Rather than look at wellness in such broad terms, I like to think of wellness wheel with six spokes. In the center of your wheel is the nut that holds all spokes together. This is represented by your relationship to yourself. It is at the centre because it relates to what you think, believe and the actions you take that make up the representation that is your current life.
If you have an unhealthy relationship with yourself – that is, you hate the way you look, your job, etc – it will affect all the other spokes on your wheel. If you don’t believe you’re good enough, you’re career is probably a reflection of this. You probably aren’t working in a field you enjoy. And if you are, you are likely always feeling like your disappointing or not quite getting to where you want to be.
Remember this: All spokes are bound by your relationship to yourself. If you don’t like yourself, working on your relationship to yourself will have you produce better results in your life.
Here are the components that I believe you need in your life to be “well”:
- Self love
- Physical health
- Financial health
- A career you love
- An healthy environment
- A community you can rely on
I explain the model in the book Read This Before You Kill Yourself. Get your copy here.