What does ‘wellness’ mean to you? Lifecare breaks down the wider list of facets we must consider to achieve a true sense of wellbeing
If modern day marketing is to be believed, following a single diet, exercise programme, app or mentor can lead us to a life of ‘wellness’. A buzzword now overused to the point of confusion, wellness needs far more explanation if we truly wish to achieve it, and experts agree this involves a holistic approach, which many like to call SPECIES.
SPECIES is an acronym backed by the World Health Organization, including a list of seven ‘dimensions’ we need to work through, inside and out, to achieve true wellness. The letters represent our Social, Physical, Emotional, Career, Intellectual, Environmental and Spiritual needs as human beings, all of which must be met in order for us to reach the state of positivity, calm and compassion associated with a ‘well’ body and mind.
Lifecare details each of the seven dimensions, and how they can contribute to complete wellness.
1. Social wellness is our support network
Social wellness is our ability to create, maintain and promote effective relationships with others. It includes good communication skills, actively seeking opportunities to connect, developing healthy attachments, self-respect and the ability to determine when a relationship is not beneficial to us. The American Medical Student Association defines social wellness as ‘interdependence with others’ and encourages harmony within family and friendships.
2. Physical wellness is feeling fit and able
The National Wellness Institute combines physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength and vitality into its description of physical wellness. As well as a general ability to tackle the day-to-day activities and demands of our lives with relative ease, it is also about realising our personal responsibility to our health, prioritising self-care and knowing when to seek medical attention.
3. Emotional wellness is self-awareness
Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change or difficult times, according to the National Institutes of Health. People considered ‘emotionally well’ are resilient, grateful and self-aware. They have fewer negative emotions, a higher level of appreciation and hold on to positive experiences for longer, which empowers them to deal with the challenges they face.
4. Career wellness is all about fulfillment
Also referred to as occupational, career wellness is not exclusively linked to employment. It is based on the feeling of fulfillment that we can take from work, as well as other life roles, such as parenthood or community positions. This dimension deals with work-life balance and happiness at work, as well as feeling like you’re contributing to the world and constantly growing in skills. “It is essential to contribute the unique gifts, skills, and talents to work that are both personally meaningful and rewarding in order to gain purpose, happiness, and enrichment in life,” cites the US School of Health Sciences and Wellness.
5. Intellectual wellness is opening our minds
Harvard University’s Center for Wellness and Health Promotion tells us intellectual wellness consists of critical thinking, stimulating curiosity, problem solving and creativity, which requires sustainment and cultivation. It is a commitment to lifelong learning; opening our minds to new ideas, experiences and concepts, which will not only expand our knowledge but also our sense of purpose.
6. Environmental wellness is recognising responsibility
Environmental wellness is an awareness of our own role in creating and protecting our environment, respecting nature and every creature we share it with. The World Health Organization describes it as “the process of making choices to create sustainable human and ecological communities, improving qualities in air, water, land and space,” which is not solely beneficial to the planet, as the outcome brings a sense of accomplishment and wellbeing to our own lives.
7. Spiritual wellness is a sense of inner peace
Spiritual wellness is the strength we as human beings experience from having a set of core beliefs by which we make decisions and fundamentally live our lives. When we are connected to our spirituality, we tie our values to our behaviours, which provides us with a sense of harmony and inner peace. The UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists says: “All healthcare tries to relieve pain and to cure – but good healthcare tries to do more. Spirituality emphasises the healing of the person, not the disease. It views life as a journey, where good and bad experiences can help you to learn, develop and mature.”
Lifecare can help you connect with such wellness experts. For more information, kindly contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +971 54 997 3168
Sources: WHO, The American Medical Student Association, The National Wellness Institute , National Institutes of Health, US School of Health Sciences and Wellness, Harvard University’s Center for Wellness and Health Promotion, UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists.