The World Health Organisation defines wellness as
“a complete state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Scientists have been studying wellness (or wellbeing, or happiness) for over ten years now in a number of studies. We have followed this research closely – we are particularly drawn to the South Australian Wellbeing and Resilience work from Adelaide (SAHMRI).
As we point out at our page on Health, Wellbeing and Wellness there are several definitions in play, and these have emerges from different scientific, psychological and medical roots.
Our definition takes into account physical health and all its constituent parts but also mental and financial health.
Within these definitions, we have to break down the overall concept into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.
The first level we call health domains.
There are a large number of definitions of wellness, and of the domains that constitute wellness. We like the Life of Wellness site which shares our views on the domains of wellness (although it’s very Californian!).
You can also see a Canadian view here, which happens to have similar domains to the ones we have chosen.
If you type ‘dimensions of wellness’ into Google you will see a huge list of different definitions, each breaking the overall concept into different groupings. We have chosen:
1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community
When it comes to it, you can decide for yourself how you fare in each of these dimensions, or you can take our simple questionnaire to see whether this backs up your feelings.