What is Wellness?When one hears the word wellness, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the quality/state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal,” indicating that wellness incorporates a goal towards health. Wellness in daily living incorporates being balanced in five major life areas that includes the emotional, mental, physical, social and spiritual state of the individual. When one is concerned about his/her wellness, one’s goal is to live a more balanced life in these five areas. A major approach in building a balanced life of wellness is in making a practice of developing various coping skills and strategies. In the following paragraphs, the five areas of wellness will be discussed in understanding how each area affects daily living.
When it comes to emotional wellness, it is the ability to regulate one’s range of emotions in a healthy manner. For example, Sarah received personal information that angered her; however, she quickly realized that she was unable to handle the matter immediately and so focused her energies on being productive in completing her work day. When an individual is able to respond, instead of react in circumstances, it indicates that the individual is in control of his/her own emotions. When it comes to mental wellness, it is having the ability to utilize coping skills in overcoming a major stressor. For example, John was feeling an increased level of anxiety over his test; however, he remembered to breathe in and out deeply and also to count, until his anxiety decreased, where he was able to focus on his test. When an individual is able to utilize coping skills in stressful situations, it indicates a mental strength and awareness for increased wellness.
Physical wellness encompasses having a healthy mindset when it comes to diet, exercise and nutrition. For instance, an individual that is focused on exercising regularly as well as eating more nutritiously in his/her goal towards physical health exemplifies wellness. When it comes to social wellness, it is the ability to balance one’s time and energy with the influences of family, friends and work. For example, being able to balance an 8-10 hour work day with time spent with family and friends is another wellness factor. When an individual is able to manage his/her time well, it increases the wellness in their life. When it comes to spiritual wellness, it encompasses how one balances one’s ethical and moral standards with various life decisions. For instance, an individual making the decision to lie versus not lying in a situation due to his/her own ethical/moral standards. Every individual has a set of standards that he/she lives by on a daily basis; spiritual wellness is in how truthful one is to him/herself in following those standards.
What are some of the signs that one is not balanced with wellness and life?
Emotional – When one is unable to control their emotions and continues to allow the distress to eventually bring them to a depressed state.
Mental – When an individual is unable to utilize coping strategies and/or skills and allows the stressful situation to increase their anxiety whereby making it very difficult for the individual to think clearly about the circumstance.
Physical – When an individual begins to eat excessively or chooses not to eat due to stressful circumstances.
Social – When one consistently isolates him/herself, focuses on and spends time only on work; on the other hand, an individual that excessively socializes and avoids work, consistently loses employment positions, etc.
Spiritual – When an individual consistently goes against his/her own ethical/moral standards.
It is important that individuals work towards a lifestyle of wellness because it promotes health, positivity and prosperity for the individual. It helps the individual with a balanced outlook in handling situations and circumstances and clarifies focus and energies for one to strive further with their life goals, aspirations and dreams.
Reference: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary copyright © 2012 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Copyright ©  Dr. Dinelly Holder, Ph.D. All rights reserved.