What are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness?

A broader view of human well-being

What is Wellness?

A happy and healthy woman

People often think about health and wellness in terms of physical health, such as exercise, nutrition, weight management, etc. But wellness is so much more. According to the definition from the Lexico.com Oxford dictionary, wellness is defined as "The state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal." Wellness is thus striving for health, and also living life fully in a way that allows you to become the best kind of person you can be.

Many theories talk about what is important for an individual's overall health and satisfaction. At SunInMe.org, we use a popular and easy-to-understand model of The Eight Dimensions of Wellness.

A happy and healthy woman with the Sun in the background.

What Are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness?

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness provides rough guidelines on what is important for human health and well-being.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are:

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1. Physical wellness

This is about healthy habits regarding physical activity, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, appropriate health care, practicing safe behaviors, and overall physical health.

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2. Emotional wellness

Involves your ability to cope with life stress, express emotions, and feel positive about your life. People with healthy emotional wellness feel confident, in control of their feelings and behaviors, build satisfying relationships with others, can handle life challenges, and can love themselves and others.

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3. Social wellness

Refers to developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system. Social activities can help us become more connected with others and with nature. This may include spending time with friends, family, pets, and the community.

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4. Spiritual wellness

Involves having meaning and purpose in life, together with a sense of balance and peace.

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5. Intellectual wellness

Is about recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

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6. Occupational wellness

Personal satisfaction and enrichment from work and from other activities that similarly provide meaning and purpose, while also reflecting personal values, interests and beliefs.

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7. Financial wellness

The ability to have financial resources to meet practical needs, and a sense of control and knowledge about personal finances. Satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

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8. Environmental wellness

Is about maintaining optimal living conditions that support and protect the Earth's natural environment. It includes our microenvironment (the places where we live, learn, work, etc.) and our macro-environment (our communities, country, and the whole planet).

Graphical interpretation of Wellness related things (exercise, health, sleep, hydration, hygiene, vitality, self esteem, healing, digestion, etc.)

These dimensions of wellness, like life itself, are all connected with one another. In your pursuit of a better quality of life, each dimension needs your constant attention and nurturing. It is not necessary to keep them equally balanced at all times, we all know that life is constantly changing. However, we recommend that your goal is to be aware of the state of each dimension at all times so that you can strive to achieve a harmony that works for you.

A woman and a man are jogging
Group of happy people practicing yoga on a beach
Group of happy people practicing yoga on a beach

As you can see, wellness is fueling your body, engaging your mind, nurturing your spirit, and living fully, safely, in dignity, and harmony, surrounded with positive people, connected with healthy relationships.

Remember that wellness is not the absence of illness or stress. You can still strive for wellness even if you are experiencing these challenges in your life.

Learn about the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, and make wellness a part of your everyday life. Strive to become a better, healthier and happier you.

Challenge yourself and complete the Free Wellness Test:

Wellness Test

The test will help you determine which wellness areas you are good at and where you have room for progress.