The Wellness Wheel


By: Nikki Nies

Health and wellness are words that go hand in hand.  Why health often understood as physical, mental and emotional, wellness is not always as easy to define.

Like health, wellness is a culmination of several factors: physical, spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual, environmental and occupational.  Wellness is an ongoing process, focusing on maintaining balance , being well-rounded and increasing one’s quality of life.

Type of Wellness Explanation Examples
Physical Perception and expectation of physical health
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating properly
  • Getting regular physical check-ups
  • Avoid tobacco or illicit drugs
Spiritual Positive perception of meaning and pupose
  • Open to different cultures
  • Volunteer your time and/or participate in community service
  • Personal reflection and able to define personal values
  • Care about welfare of others and acting out of that care
  • Environmentally and sustainably friendly
Social Perception of having family, friend and/or coworker support when in need; perceived to be a valued support provider
  • Developing friendships
  • Communicating your feelings
  • Contributing time and energy to community
  • Being comfortable in your own skin
  • Recognize a need for “fun” in your life
  • Able to interact easily with other cultures, lifestyles, backgrounds, etc.
  • Finding balance with relaxation and responsibilities
Emotional Possession of self-identity and positive sense of self worth; ability to cope and/or improve mood states
  • A positive attitude and ability to cope with stress
  • Taking ownership of actions
  • Having realistic expectations
  • Viewing challenges as opportunities, not obstacles
  • Being independent, but knowing when to ask for help
  • Being sensitive feelings of your own and others
Intellectual Being internally energized by optimal amount of stimulating activity
  • Listening and questioning
  • Observant
  • Staying current in world affairs
  • Trying new experiences
  • Finding applications for materials learned
  • Learning because you want to, not because you have to
Environmental Positive perception of environment one works and lives in
  • Being aware of natural environment one lives in
  • Recognize opportunities and seize them to lead to new skills
  • Ensure stability and longevity through use of natural resources
Occupational One’s outlook on work and career
  • Finding worth and satisfaction from work
  • Ensure comfortable environment and relationships
  • Improve work through active learning and skill development
  • Find job that is equally rewarding, fulfilling as well as in line with personal interests, values and beliefs

After reading through the seven components of wellness, what’s your initial reaction to your wellness wheel?  What strengths of your wheel and what can you improve on moving forward?


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