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The Five Dimensions of Wellness

The term ‘wellness’ can mean a variety of different things to different people. For some, wellness manifests itself through physical activity like sports or exercise. For others, it may take a more internalized form through spirituality or mentality. Regardless of what wellness means to you, there are ways you can practice healthy habits daily to attain better physical, mental, and overall well-being.


Now more than ever we must take care of our minds and bodies. Here are tips from our Colorado Spirit team on how you can cultivate every aspect of wellness in your life!


SPIRITUAL WELLNESS


Spiritual wellness is connecting to something greater than yourself and following a set of values, morals, and beliefs to guide your actions and help to form meaningful habits. Habits can also provide a sense of purpose and meaning.


Spiritual wellness and the habits it helps to create and enforce have the potential to make your decisions and choices easier and to keep you grounded during periods of change. This practice has become even more important during the uncertainty and instability related to COVID-19.


Tips for Spiritual Wellness

  • Have a powerful reason. Remind yourself regularly why these changes are important and your motivation for adjusting. Write, draw, and vision board your way and place it in a meaningful spot in your home, on your phone, or in your office.

  • Ask ‘what’ instead of ‘why’. This can look like shifting your mentality from ‘why can’t I follow through?’ or ‘why do I always get stuck at this point?’ to ‘what do I need to put in place to take the next step?’

  • Learn your “bologna” coping patterns. These are the things you do when you are avoiding something. They could look like scrolling social media, eating, exercising, or getting into a conflict with a housemate. Not every bologna coping tool is detrimental at first, it is the turning away from our values and goals that becomes problematic. Don’t guilt yourself or start a loop of negative self-talk. Notice your habits and turn back to a value you’re working on to take step forward.


PHYSICAL WELLNESS


Physical wellness involves making choices to fulfill our bodies in a meaningful way that aligns with our values concerning our physical health. Physical wellness balances all aspects of the physical self which includes sleep, movement, nutrition, hygiene, relaxation, sexual health, management of illness and injuries, and the usage of drugs and alcohol.


If we combine all the benefits of paying attention to our body’s wants and needs, we can improve our thinking, the way we feel in our bodies, and our mood. Balancing activities for all areas of wellness takes time, intentionality, and compassion.


Tips for Physical Wellness

  • Ignore prescriptive language that demands you label or measure your activities. This can look like letting go of what people tell you what you “ought to” or “should” do. Physical wellness is going to look different for everyone, so let go of any preconceived notions!

  • Don’t wait for motivation to do something—do it when you think of it. Motivation can be difficult when it comes to physical activity, so try and hone in and take advantage of your mentality when the opportunity strikes.

  • Lastly, have fun, do what feels good, and don’t overdo it. Physical activity should be enjoyable and make us feel good. Whether it is going for an evening stroll or picking up jujutsu, figure out what your interests are and pursue them!


INTELLECTUAL WELLNESS


Intellectual wellness is the creativity and mental growth that we developed through school, but about topics, we pick. Meant to expand our knowledge and skills, cultivating intellectual wellness can feel like school, but working past these feelings and keeping in mind that you’re in control of what you learn can keep those feelings at bay.


Intellectual wellness helps to stimulate creativity and curiosity as well, which helps us to keep interacting more with the world around us. Curiosity helps us to be open to new things and new experiences.


Tips for Intellectual Wellness

  • When curiosity strikes, follow it. This can help develop a love for learning and philosophy for “life-long learning”. Knowledge is endless, so take advantage of it when a new topic piques your interest.

  • Start goals with words like expand, create, develop, analyze, critique, concentrate, understand, evaluate, problem solve, predict, comprehend, etc. This puts learning and intellectual growth at the forefront of that goal.

  • Pick up a hobby that feels difficult at first. Learning isn’t always meant to be easy, but it is almost always rewarding. By challenging yourself you’ll grow both intellectually and personally.


SOCIAL WELLNESS


Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. This dimension involves building healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with yourself and those around you.


Social wellness is important for maintaining harmony in all relationships – from acquaintances to close friends and immediate family. This dimension is critical to building resilience in the other dimensions such as emotional wellness as well.


Tips for Social Wellness

  • Tune into your social interactions and be present in your social interactions. Consider questions like, “How do I feel when I engage in this interaction?”, “What are my personal values that this relationship supports?”, or “What do you I value about this relationship?” By tuning in, you’ll start to gain perspective into how to maintain harmony, how to navigate conflict, and where to set boundaries.

  • Make time for yourself and your interests. Nurturing yourself is key in being able to be social with others. Think about your aspirations for this dimension. Have you always wanted to be part of that committee or participate in that community activity but never have? Have you always wanted to start that routine or ritual with your friends or family? Maybe it’s time to put your intentionality to work and finally engage.

  • Get creative. If you’re feeling like you’re already stretched thin or you’re not someone who needs a lot of social interaction, you can still nurture your social wellness in other ways. Maybe you spend time outdoors with a pet or with your plants and engage socially with the occasional wave to a stranger passing by. Think about ways to embark on this journey that works for your schedule and your needs!


EMOTIONAL WELLNESS


Emotional wellness is the process of recognizing, understanding, and accepting our emotions. It involves the ability to remain in the present moment and effectively handle change and challenges that come our way.


Emotions are an important part of being human, allowing us to experience life in a meaningful way. When we choose to engage with our emotions, we can know ourselves better, learn deeper insight into why we feel this way, and decide how to move forward based on our values.


Tips for emotional wellness

  • Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of tuning in to the present moment. This tool creates intentional space between a reaction and an action, allowing us more freedom to choose how we want to act.

  • Gratitude journal. A gratitude journal gives us a personal place to remember the good things in our lives. When we jot down things for which we are grateful, our brain releases the “feel-good” hormones, i.e. dopamine and serotonin. This betters our mood, helping us to feel optimistic and experience more joy and pleasure.

  • Find a safe person with whom to share your emotions. Being transparent with a trustworthy person who will listen to what we’re going through often helps us feel less alone in our experience. It is an opportunity to transform a bad feeling into a better one by risking being known, as well as nurtures connection and support.

Remember, Jefferson Center’s Colorado Spirit team is here for you. Offering free and confidential support, we can help you with counseling tips and strategies to cope successfully and referrals to additional mental health resources. Call us if you need to talk at 720-731-4689.


If you or someone you know is in a crisis, please call 1-844-493-8255 or visit our 24/7 crisis walk-in center at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.