What are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness
The Center for Health Education & Wellness acknowledges that health and wellness is multifaceted and aims to promote wellbeing across eight dimensions of wellness.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the eight dimensions of wellness are: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, and social.
Each dimension is interconnected and attention must be given to all the dimensions, as neglect of anyone over time will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health, well-being, and quality of life. They do not, however, have to be equally balanced. We should aim, instead, to strive for a “personal harmony” that feels most authentic to us. We naturally have our own priorities, approaches, and aspirations, including our own views of what it means to live life fully.
Exploring each Dimension
To begin to shape your “personal harmony,” we’ve provided SAMHSA’s definitions for each dimension as well as related on-campus resources.
Emotional — Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships.
Coping and resiliency aren’t just buzzwords. The ability to rest and recover from setbacks affects mental health. Believing you can learn and grow from hardship can give you an optimistic perspective that can help you get through a difficult situation.
Spiritual — Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life.
Spirituality can provide comfort and community. It can be explored in several ways such as a faith-based practice or finding a deeper meaning through nature. It is deeply personal and can shift over time based on life experiences.
Intellectual — Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.
In addition to the required courses you have to take, there are many other ways to explore a variety of different topics and interests whether that’s through taking an elective course for fun, podcasts or getting involved with a student organization. Learning new information and skills can be joyful and can build confidence.
Physical — Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep, and nutrition.
Our bodies do so much for us. Do your best to give your body what it needs to perform in the way you would like it to. Physical wellness also includes managing health conditions, taking care of yourself when sick, and going to the doctor when needed.
Environmental — Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.
Getting outdoors and enjoying green spaces can help you feel better. Take advantage of good weather to play games with friends, study outside or simply relax. It is also important to take care of the environments you live, work and play in.
Financial — Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.
Money is a tool that helps you achieve your goals and allows you to meet basic needs. When money is not working for you, it can cause a lot of stress. Financial wellness can be a journey because it takes time to get good with money.
Occupational — Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work.
Focus on the experience you will gain and strive to build positive relationships with co-workers and supervisors. Even if you’ve landed your dream job, it’s still important to balance work and your personal life to avoid burnout, and to assess if you’re being treated fairly.
Social — Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.
The strength of your social networks, and having friends and loved ones who care about you, not only make life fulfilling, but can impact how well you overcome challenging situations.