SAMHSA’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness

SAMHSA’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness

-By DLC Children’s Outreach Specialist Jessica Liria, M.S.

What comes to mind when you think of the term “wellness?” Is it being physically fit? Of sound mind? Being self-sufficient? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified eight dimensions of wellness.

When all eight of these dimensions are flourishing, a person is well; however, a person’s overall quality of life can be affected if any one of the dimensions needs more attention. By connecting all aspects of wellness, we can understand which domains of our life may need more support.  It is important that we monitor and assess ourselves regularly to ensure ongoing wellness is maintained.

Review each of the following dimensions and determine where additional focus could improve your overall wellness:

  1. Physical Wellness focuses on our body—eating balanced meals, exercising regularly, and sticking to a healthy sleep routine. When physical wellness is impacted, other aspects of wellness are, too. Changes in our sleep and eating habits are often one of the first warning signs of a behavioral health concern. Think of your body as a machine that needs these basic components to function correctly. When sleep, nutrition, and movement are neglected, we cannot operate as we should.
  2. Emotional Wellness is connected to our ability to manage our feelings appropriately and to our ability to have healthy interpersonal relationships. An emotionally well person can understand and balance their own emotions and empathize with the emotions of others. Establishing healthy coping skills is an important aspect of emotional wellness.
  3. Social Wellness is characterized by having a sense of belonging and connection. Interacting with others is essential to humanity; however, the relationships we have with others need to be supportive and appropriate. Unhealthy relationships negatively impact our social and overall wellness. Our support system should leave us feeling understood, appreciated, and respected.
  4. Intellectual Wellness highlights the need for lifelong learning. Continuing to exercise our mind with thoughtful and stimulating conversations—and seeking to learn new information and skills—will keep us intellectually well. Acquiring new hobbies, staying up-to-date on topics that interest you, or engaging in mentally challenging activities are great examples of practicing intellectual wellness.
  5. Occupational Wellness is the satisfaction one receives with their work. This can span from employment to volunteering to caregiving. It is that feeling of personal enrichment from the service you are providing. If at the end of the day you feel accomplished and comforted with the impact you had on the world, then your occupational wellness is thriving!
  6. Financial Wellness is being content with current finances, but it is more than just having money in the bank. It is the ability to balance your wants with your needs and keeping an income-to-debt ratio that will not be too much to handle. Knowing your budget and setting personal savings goals will help keep you financially responsible and give you something to work towards.
  7. Spiritual Wellness is having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It includes faith or religious practices, but also represents our personal values and ethics. Understanding who we are on a deeper level—what we believe in and what our standards and morals are. It is an opportunity for self-reflection and experiencing the present moment.
  8. Environmental Wellness refers to awareness of the setting around us. We want to ensure our surroundings are safe and pleasant by limiting exposure to potential harm and negativity. This can be the physical space you are in, or the people you are surrounded by. Remove yourself from harmful situations and reduce your exposure to negativity.

After reviewing these domains, you may have found one or more dimensions that can use improvement or enhancement, and that is okay! DLC is here to help. Link with our Virtual Care Center by visiting, or call 239-455-8500, and #StandUp for your wellness!

Another way you can #StandUp and help raise awareness for the wellness of others is by becoming certified in Mental Health First Aid. This global training program provides education on the signs and symptoms of behavioral health concerns, tools to offer support, and preparation for crisis intervention scenarios. Through the training, you will also learn more about the dimensions of wellness and how to apply them to your own self-care.

DLC has certified trainers who provide Mental Health First Aid training to the public and special interest groups. To learn more, click here.

For more information about the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, visit

Aug 07, 2020 | Blog, Mental Health

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