Eight Dimensions of Wellness Skip Navigation

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

Study break from finals week

Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual wellness is the utilization of human resources and learning resources to expand knowledge and improve skills. Intellectual wellness refers to active participation in scholastic cultural, and community activities, being open to new ideas, thinking critically, and seeking out new challenges. An intellectually well person assimilates what is learned in the classroom with what is experienced outside the classroom in order to enhance their potential for living a more fulfilling life. You have a sense of humor and a sense of your place in the world. You are creative and curious and never stop learning.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness is demonstrated by the overall comfort with and acceptance of one’s full range of feelings. Positive emotions such as happiness, amusement, excitement, contentment and love contribute to our overall sense of well-being. It is striving to meet emotional needs constructively. It is maintaining good mental health, a positive attitude, high self-esteem, and a strong self-image. Emotional wellness includes learning how to deal with stress in a positive way. 

Occupational Wellness
Occupational wellness is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure time. Attitudes about work, school, and career goals greatly affect performance and interactions with others. To achieve occupational wellness you must explore your true purpose and calling in life, learn to cope with work stress, and find a career that lines up with your ultimate dreams. Your occupation is what you will spend most of your time doing so you want it to feel meaningful. This requires taking directed steps to get in touch with who you are and what you want from your chosen career.

Multicultural Wellness

One who is healthy in a multicultural sense understands that difference is an essential ingredient in the recipe for quality, improvement, and success. Multicultural wellness is also about discovering and understanding one's own identity as a bridge to understanding others.
Multicultural wellness is about the ability and desire to live and engage in a diverse community. It is about not only understanding the perspectives of others but also soliciting and valuing differing ideas. Multicultural wellness is more than tolerating or accepting the differences of others. 

Environmental Wellness

We may not think much about environmental wellness as part of an overall wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on the way we feel.

Environmental Wellness encompasses not just our relationship with the planet and nature but our relationship with our personal surroundings as well. It involves taking care of our possessions, homes, cars, and places of business. When our personal surroundings are well cared for, clean and organized, we experience a greater sense of comfort and less anxiety. Environmental Wellness also involves caring for and appreciating nature.

It is important to act with sustainability as a goal and to reduce your carbon footprint, but also to consider here the impact of your environment on you.

Social Wellness
Social wellness is the ability to interact with others, establish and maintain relationships, have friendships that last and improve your quality of life. Socially well people are actively involved in community. Social health means being aware of, participating in, and feeling connected to your community. Social well-being is enhanced by establishing supportive social networks through meaningful relationships with family, friends, colleagues and other significant individuals.

This is influenced first, by our ability to manage how we present ourselves to the world around us and how we are perceived. It is also affected by our interactions and reactions to our environment and everything in it.

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness is demonstrated by the overall fitness of an individual. It encourages principles of good health and knowledge which can affect behavior patterns that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Physical wellness involves respecting your body’s own uniqueness and diversity, and engaging in practices that move you towards a higher level of health. Optimal physical well-being includes connecting with your physical self and avoiding harmful habits, while remaining focused on the balance of body-mind-spirit.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness refers to integrating our beliefs and values with our actions. A sense of purpose, direction, and awareness are important. It is also about realizing what values, rights, and responsibilities take some thought and discussion.

The first step in developing values and spiritual wellness is to examine your own values: respect, honesty, human life, family, education, religion, health, wealth, community service, and diversity. Discuss values with others, spend time and act in a manner congruent with your values and the values of the community/society. Establish beliefs, values, and actions as well as lifetime goals, clear the mind and listen to your own thoughts.

Sense of purpose and spirituality at Colgate

Below, Mark Shiner, the associate university chaplain and Catholic campus minister, discusses matters of spirituality on campus.