Elements of Wellness


THE SYMBOL : An individual person represents the human body.

Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Stretching
  • Personal hygiene
  • Walk/cycle to work
  • Know your numbers: cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure
  • Good nutrition
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Regular medical/dental exams
Physical wellness involves aspects of life that are necessary to keep yourself in top condition. Optimal physical wellness is developed through the combination of beneficial physical activity/exercise and healthy eating habits. Elemental components of physical wellness include building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance and flexibility.

Physical wellness is also concerned with developing personal responsibility for your own health care, such as caring for minor illnesses and knowing when professional medical attention is needed. Developing physical wellness empowers you to be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body's warning signs. You'll understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination and a sense of direction.

Are you engaged in the process of physical wellness?
  • Do I know important health numbers, like my cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels?
  • Do I get annual physical exams?
  • Do I avoid using tobacco products?
  • Do I get sufficient amount of sleep?
  • Do I have an established exercise routine?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your physical wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : The heart represents the general source of emotions (vs. the mind/brain as a symptom for rational thought)

Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Relationships with friends/family
  • Balancing work and family
  • Laughing and crying
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Personal contact, ie. Hugging
Being emotionally well is more than just handling stress. It also involves being attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, whether positive or negative. Emotional Wellness implies the ability to be aware of and accept our feelings, rather than deny them, have an optimistic approach to life, and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations.

If you are a person engaged in the process of emotional wellness, you are willing and able to:
  • Arrive at personal choices and decisions based upon the synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior.
  • Live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others.
  • Form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust and respect.
  • Take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy.
  • Manage your life in personally rewarding ways, and taking responsibility for your actions.

The Path to Emotional Wellness

The path to emotional wellness may involve:

The path may also involve seeking out support from a mental health professional when needed and gathering information in order to make informed value decisions
  • Awareness of thoughts and feelings
  • Using a positive attitude
  • Seeking support and expressing emotions in a suitable manner
  • Setting priorities
  • Accepting mistakes and learning from them

Are you engaged in the process of emotional wellness?

Evaluate your own emotional wellness with this brief quiz:
  • Am I able to maintain a balance of work, family, friends, and other obligations?
  • Do I have ways to reduce stress in my life?
  • Am I able to make decisions with a minimum of stress and worry?
  • Am I able to set priorities?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your emotional wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : The sun represents the beginning and end of a day; a reflection of the source of growth and vitality in the universe. Solar symbols can have meaning in astrology, religion, mythology, mysticism and divination.

Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Meditation; prayer
  • Religious affiliation
  • Explore and enjoy the flora and fauna of a wilderness area
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Exercise
  • Freedom
  • Outdoor activities
Spiritual Wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. While different individuals may have different views of what spiritualism is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence, leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world. The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets:

  • It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
  • It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Reaching Spiritual Wellness

It is important for everyone to explore what they believe is their own sense of meaning and purpose.

The path to spiritual wellness may involve meditation, prayer, affirmations, or specific spiritual practices that support your connection to a higher power or belief system. Yoga and meditation can also help you develop spiritual wellness.

Having compassion, the capacity for love and forgiveness, altruism, joy, and fulfillment help you enjoy your spiritual health. Your religious faith, values, beliefs, principles, and morals define your spirituality.

If you are a person engaged in the process of spiritual wellness, you are willing and able to transcend yourself in order to question the meaning and purpose in your life and the lives of others. In addition, you seek to find harmony between that which lies within and the social and physical forces that come from outside.

Are you engaged in the process of spiritual wellness?

Evaluate your own spiritual wellness with this brief quiz.

  • Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
  • Do I make time for meditation and/or prayer?
  • Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
  • Am I accepting of the views of others?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your spiritual wellness.


Learning Meditation and Relaxation

Learn how to relax, improve your focus and reduce your stress through Meditation and Relaxation classes.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : Three persons with connected hands represent harmony, networking and friendship.

Relational or Social Wellness is the ability to relate to and connect first with our own family and then other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Establish and maintain personal friendships
  • Community involvement
  • Attending social settings, ie. Festivals, neighborhood events
  • Group fitness classes
  • Hobby/Activity organizations
Social Wellness refers to one's ability to interact with people around them. It involves using good communications skills, having meaningful relationships, respecting yourself and others, and creating a support system that includes family members and friends.

Social wellness follows these tenets:
  • It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
  • It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.

The Path to Social Wellness

If you are a person engaged in the process of social wellness, you see the value in living in harmony with your fellow human beings, seeking positive, interdependent relationships with others, and developing healthy behaviors. You are also willing to actively seek out ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature and the community.

Are you engaged in the process of social wellness?
  • Do I plan time to be with my family and friends?
  • Do I enjoy the time I spend with others?
  • Are my relationships with others positive and rewarding?
  • Do I explore diversity by interacting with people of other cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your social wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : A light bulb is a general representative for fresh thinking, innovation and creativity.

Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Reading and learning for fun
  • Participation in class, organization
  • Adopting a new hobby
  • Traveling
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Self-help information
Intellectual wellness is engaging the individual in creative and stimulating mental activities to expand their knowledge and skills and help them discover the potential for sharing their gifts with others.

An intellectually well person:
  • Cherishes mental growth and stimulation
  • Is involved in intellectual and cultural activities
  • Is engaged in the exploration of new ideas and understandings

Reaching Intellectual Wellness

Traveling a wellness path allows you to explore issues related to problem solving, creativity, and learning as well as spending more time pursuing personal interests, including reading books, magazines, and newspapers, while keeping abreast of current issues and ideas. As you develop your intellectual curiosity, you'll actively strive to expand and challenge your mind with creative endeavors.

Intellectually well people are also curious and interested in the communities as well as the world around them.

Are you engaged in the process of intellectual wellness?
  • Am I open to new ideas?
  • Do I seek personal growth by learning new skills?
  • Do I search for lifelong learning opportunities and stimulating mental activities?
  • Do I look for ways to use creativity?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your intellectual wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : A gear with cogs or teeth represents a unit of labor or effort.

Occupational Wellness is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Continuing education
  • Satisfying career/profession
  • Volunteering
  • Workplace safety
  • Exercise
Occupational Wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time, addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It focuses on our search for a calling and involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit.

Because what we do for a living encompasses so much of our time, it's important for our overall well-being to do what we love and love what we do. When people are doing what they were meant to do, they deepen their sense of meaning and purpose.
The Path to Occupational Wellness

The occupational dimension of wellness recognizes personal satisfaction and enrichment in one's life through work. At the center of occupational wellness is the premise that occupational development is related to one's attitude about one's work. Traveling a path toward your occupational wellness, you'll contribute your unique gifts, skills and talents to work that are both personally meaningful and rewarding. You'll convey your values through your involvement in activities that are gratifying for you. The choice of profession, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and personal performance are all important components of your path's terrain.

Are you engaged in the process of intellectual wellness?
  • Do I enjoy going to work most days?
  • Do I have a manageable workload at work?
  • Do I feel that I can talk to my boss and co-workers with problems arise?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your intellectual wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside


THE SYMBOL : The tree is a general, easy-to-identify representative of the natural realm.

Environmental Wellness is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.


EXAMPLES
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Reusing materials
  • Adopting Leave-No-Trace
  • Conserving water and fuels
  • Spend time in a state/national park
  • Finding value in surroundings
  • Positive workplace and attitude
  • Air quality
We may not think much about Environmental Wellness as part of an overall wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on the way we feel overall.

Environmental well-being includes trying to live in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you. Protecting yourself from environmental hazards and minimizing the negative impact of your behavior on the environment are also central elements.

Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is a critical part of environmental wellness. Examples of environmental threats include air pollution, ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight, chemicals, noise, water pollution, and second-hand smoke.
Achieving Environmental Wellness

Environmental wellness involves a number of different aspects of personal and societal responsibilities, including:
  • Being aware of the earth's natural resources and their respective limits
  • Living a life accountable to environmental needs, both in the present and in the long-term
  • Realizing the effects of their daily habits on the world around them


Are you engaged in the process of environmental wellness?
  • Do I recycle?
  • If I see a safety hazard, do I take the steps to fix the problem?
  • Do I volunteer time to worthy causes?
  • Am I aware of my surroundings at all times?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your environmental wellness.



Source: University of California, Riverside

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