Seven Dimensions of Wellness
Seven Dimensions of Wellness
For centuries people have recognized health as a natural gift that God gave us. For some, the pursuit of health means looking after oneself in order to survive. The pursuit of health can be very individualistic, often resulting in personal philosophies and beliefs about health, and even practices and rituals which have spiritual underpinnings. Modern approaches to health include prevention, early detection and treatment of diseases, promotion of general well being, and maintaining optimal social relationships.
Health, in layman’s terms, is “the absence of illness and infirmity”. Various definitions have been applied to health, with each attempting to capture the essence of what health really is. Spiritual health, however, has some interesting implications for this definition of health, since it involves the interaction of spirituality and health. Spiritual wellness includes aspects of religious belief, faith and practice. One who follows a spiritual health philosophy may wish to embrace certain aspects of that philosophy when practicing physical health. Spiritual wellness includes belief in a higher power, a connection with the spirit, and an understanding of the importance of physical action.
Spiritual wellness and health often go hand in hand. Many in the scientific community have taken a close look at spiritual health as a separate field, though. Though many scientists have made contributions to the study of physical well-being, very little research has been directed towards the realm of spiritual health. Spiritual wellness incorporates elements from physical well-being, as well as the seven dimensions of the universe known as the Diagram of Life (also called the Co-efficients of Life), and takes those dimensions into consideration in its theories and practices.
The idea of spiritual wellness includes aspects of environmental health, as well. Environmental health refers to those practices that promote overall health. This may include a healthy diet and exercise, which are necessary components of environmental well being. Spiritual wellness also takes into consideration the relationship between the physical environment and spiritual environments. Holistic health, in general, combines the ideas of environmental and physical well being, looking at the interaction between those three factors to better promote health.
Mental health is closely related to physical health, but it has its own place in the overall picture. As mental health is more affected by the physical environment than physical conditions, it is important to pay closer attention to maintaining a good physical environment, as well. In the work place, for instance, workplaces that are smoke free of noise are generally associated with greater mental health. Similarly, individuals who are involved in relaxing activities or physical fitness are often found to be in better physical condition overall.
Spiritual wellness and overall health can be influenced by environmental aspects such as pollution and noise. However, it makes sense to pay more attention to spiritual aspects of wellness, such as a positive attitude and finding meaning in one’s life, than to consider environmental factors alone. Regardless of the other seven dimensions of wellness, it should be considered as a significant factor when trying to achieve overall health and a long, happy life.