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How Many Dimensions of Health Determine Wellness?

When I attended the University of Vermont in the 80s, I learned there were five dimensions of health. These dimensions included physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual.

I also learned that there was a connection across these dimensions. A good example in my life is how stress affects what I eat. I reach for sweets and caffeine. I know a strategy like taking a walk can help me. Some people swear by meditation and deep breathing exercises. I tried this but find that physical activity helps me most of the time. The key is to find the right tool that works for you to counter a trigger to behavior that can affect wellness if the pattern continues.

The University of California lists seven dimensions that add the occupational and environmental dimensions of wellness. Regardless of how it is framed, wellness is sensed on a continuum. The perceptions and feelings of wellness matter on an individual, family and community level. Awareness is the first step followed by understanding wellness across the dimensions. Finally strategies help us take action to make change to improve the sense of well-being.