8 Ways to Improve Your Overall Wellness

8 Ways to Improve Your Overall Wellness

-By David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) Children’s Outreach Specialist Jessica Liria, M.S.

Many thoughts come to mind when considering the term “wellness.” Examples include being physically fit, of sound mind or self-sufficient.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has identified eight dimensions of wellness. When all eight of these dimensions are flourishing, a person is well; however, if any one of them is not receiving enough attention or care, it will impact the overall quality of life.

One way to help maintain ongoing wellness is to regularly monitor and assess each dimension.

What are the 8 Dimensions?

  1. Physical Wellness focuses on the body—eating balanced meals, exercising regularly, and establishing a healthy sleep routine. When physical wellness is impacted, other aspects of wellness are, too. Changes in sleeping and eating habits can be one of the first warning signs of a behavioral health concern. The body needs the basic components of sleep, proper nutrition and movement to function correctly.
  2. Emotional Wellness embodies the ability to manage emotions appropriately and the 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 and establishing healthy relationships leads to a strong support system. Unhealthy relationships will negatively impact our social and overall wellness.
  4. Intellectual Wellness highlights the need for lifelong learning. Acquiring new hobbies and skills, staying up-to-date on topics of interest, engaging in thoughtful conversations or stimulating the mind with a challenging activity are great ways to strengthen this dimension.
  5. Occupational Wellness is the satisfaction one receives with their own work. This can span from employment to volunteering to caregiving. It is that feeling of personal enrichment from providing a service. This dimension thrives on feeling accomplished and making a positive impact.
  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 wants with needs and keeping an income-to-debt ratio that will not be too much to handle. Managing a budget maintains financial responsibility and setting savings goals promotes a future-oriented mindset.
  7. Spiritual Wellness is having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It includes faith or religious practices, but also represents personal values and ethics. This requires personal reflection into beliefs, standards and morals.
  8. Environmental Wellness refers to the setting around us. Ensure surroundings are safe and pleasant by limiting the potential of harm and negativity. The environment can be the physical space being occupied and/or the other individuals in the area. Seek settings that are enjoyable and promote positivity.

How can I learn more about improving wellness?

The brain plays a vital role in each of the eight dimensions of wellness. Even though this critical organ is responsible for operating the entire body, it is often the least cared for when it comes to prevention and treatment.

The importance that mental health has on all areas of wellness is easily overlooked and its challenges continue to be stigmatized. Unfortunately, the need for mental health services is in high demand. It is time to call on all members of the community to address this growing concern.

To bring in the new year, David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) is launching an exciting community initiative to promote the importance of mental wellness. Mind Your Mind with DLC in 2022 is a year-long initiative designed to raise awareness around mental health. Each month, DLC will highlight a new wellness related topic and incorporate articles, videos, learning opportunities, resources, and more. To learn more, visit DLCMindYourMind.org.

Dec 07, 2021 | Blog, Mental Health

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