Eight Dimensions of Wellness


Physical wellness involves implementing regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and rejuvenating our bodies through rest and sleep—all things that protect us from chronic diseases and improve our quality of life.


When we feel emotionally balanced, we are aware of and able to manage our emotions, and we have a realistic and mostly positive view of ourselves, others, and the circumstances in our lives.


According to Dr. Badri Rickhi, a psychiatrist and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, Spirituality is the life we live inside ourselves, versus the life we live outside ourselves through work and play and family and involves learning how to be more forgiving, grateful, and compassionate, to be kinder and less judgmental.


Intellectual wellness involves a commitment to lifelong learning. We nurture our intellectual health when we engage in creative activities, learn new things, and expand our knowledge.


A 2008 position statement released by the Australian Psychological Association affirmed, “It is clear that the well-being and integrity of natural ecosystems and the biophysical environment are integral to human health and well-being.”  One theory is that being in nature helps us reflect on our thoughts and feelings by giving us a break from the hustle of everyday life. Another is that it helps us feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.


Occupational wellness involves the suitability of our work to our interests, skills, and values, and the fulfillment we gain from our professions. However, work does not only mean paid occupations—it also includes life roles, hobbies, or volunteer work.


A large body of research indicates that people who have more meaningful social relationships are healthier, happier, and even live longer. In other words, there seems to be a reason we feel the desire to care for our loved ones, belong to clubs and teams, and socialize with our friends.             


Striving to live a life within one’s means and taking steps to ensure one’s finances are prepared to support them in both the short and long term.


Credit:  This model was first introduced in 1976 by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute in the US.