The Eight Dimensions of Wellbeing and Why All of Them Count Towards your Success in Life and Work

When you think of what it means to take care of your health and wellbeing, your mind likely jumps to things like eating healthy, exercising, and practicing mindfulness. And these are all fantastic ways to care for your wellbeing but, what if I told you there are several more pillars to wellbeing outside of just the physical and mental? 

You may be surprised to find that there are eight dimensions of wellbeing, and each one of them counts toward your overall wellbeing and success in life. 

The eight dimensions of wellbeing encompass a holistic approach for improving and maintaining overall wellbeing. This approach also looks at other areas of life, such as the environments we’re constantly exposed to, the career paths we choose, and how we connect with the world on a spiritual level.

In this article you will learn:

  • What are the eight dimensions of wellbeing?
  • Ways to improve your wellbeing across each of the dimensions

What Are the Eight Dimensions of Wellbeing?

As I mentioned earlier, wellbeing is more than just taking care of your body and mind. A holistic approach to wellbeing considers every single area of a person’s life and focuses on improving each area to reach an optimal level of wellbeing. 

The eight dimensions of wellbeing are:

  • Physical wellbeing
  • Emotional/mental wellbeing 
  • Intellectual wellbeing 
  • Environmental wellbeing 
  • Occupational wellbeing 
  • Social wellbeing 
  • Spiritual well being
  • Financial wellbeing 

Download Your Free PDF Cheat Sheet with all the 8 Dimensions for Wellbeing Here.

1. Physical Wellbeing 

Physical wellness is achieved through a combination of good eating habits, regular exercise, and quality sleep. 

Optimising your physical health begins with educating yourself on diet and nutrition while avoiding the consumption of anything that can cause harm long-term, such as processed sugars, recreational drugs, or excessive alcohol use. 

Maintaining physical wellness also means becoming attuned to your body and its particular needs while staying on the lookout for any warning signs that could require medical attention. Prioritising physical wellness involves taking a proactive approach to your health instead of waiting until your health deteriorates and taking a reactive approach. 

Once you start paying attention to your physical health, you’ll be more appreciative of the positive relationship between good nutrition and the way that your mind and body perform. Additionally, the benefits of feeling and looking good lead to positive effects on your mental wellbeing, such as increased self-esteem, discipline, and a clearer sense of direction.

Ways to improve your physical wellbeing:

  • Focus on nutrition, find out your nutrient deficiencies, and pinpoint any health concerns.
  • Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night
  • Do some exercise or movement each day.
  • Before putting anything into your body ask yourself; is this good for me?
  • Avoid processed foods and sugars.
  • Consume alcohol and caffeine in limited quantities
  • Avoid using recreational drugs and tobacco products.

2. Emotional/Mental Wellbeing

Emotional and mental wellbeing is the ability to manage your feelings and reactions effectively. A person who is emotionally well is aware and sensitive of the fact that each of us experiences a wide range of emotions.

When you’re emotionally well, you’re more capable of processing your emotions by using healthy coping mechanisms, you’re more likely to see yourself more positively, and are more resilient in the face of stress.

An emotionally well person maintains healthy and fulfilling relationships with others while also maintaining and enforcing boundaries wherever necessary.

Ways to improve your emotional and mental wellbeing:

  • Keep an optimistic attitude
  • Be considerate of your feelings and the feelings of others
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress
  • Be realistic about your expectations and time available
  • Journal
  • Talk therapy (Psychology or coaching)
  • Talk to people you trust 
  • Make time to do what you love and what makes you happy
  • Slow down and balance/manage stress
  • Surround yourself with positive people and get rid of the toxic ones
  • Set boundaries
  • Breathe/meditate
  • Relaxation and self-care

3. Intellectual Wellbeing 

The intellectual dimension places emphasis on ways to expand knowledge and skills through intellectually stimulating activities. 

When you want to improve your intellectual wellbeing, your focus should be on expanding your knowledge and skills. Intellectual wellbeing means keeping your mind stimulated through activities related to creativity, problem-solving, and learning. 

The dimension of intellectual wellbeing encourages you to spend more time pursuing interests, reading, and learning through taking courses, for example. 

Tips for improving your intellectual wellbeing:

  • Learn because you want to
  • Attend workshops
  • Engage in creative and stimulating activities 
  • Challenge yourself by trying an activity outside your usual comfort zone
  • Learn how to play an instrument
  • Write a short story
  • Read a book on a topic you want to learn more about
  • Stay open to new ideas, interests, and experiences
  • Take an online course on something that interests you

4. Environmental Wellbeing 

The environments you spend the most time in, such as your home or at work, significantly affect your mood and overall wellbeing. 

When you return home after a long day at work, you should be able to find a place of comfort where you can retreat and relax. However, when you come home to a place of tension, chaos, or clutter, you’re unlikely to feel rested and recharged.

Make the spaces you spend the most time in more inviting by keeping them organised, using the right lighting, and adding personal touches that give you comfort.

Tips for improving your environmental wellbeing:

  • Keep your home free of clutter
  • If you work at home, create separation between your work area and living area
  • Create a cozy and comfortable nook in your home where you can retreat to
  • Create a workspace that represents you (at home or the office)
  • Spend time in places where you feel comfortable and safe
  • Remember: outer order, inner calm

5. Occupational Wellbeing

The occupational dimension of wellbeing emphasises personal satisfaction and enrichment through work.

Engaging in work that is meaningful to you allows you to live aligned with your values and passions. When you’re working without passion for what you do, the work can feel draining and tiresome. However, when you pursue a career that you love, you’re more likely to feel energised by it. Thus, allowing you to contribute your unique gifts, skills, and talents to work in a personally meaningful and rewarding way. 

The profession you choose, job satisfaction, career ambitions, and personal performance are all essential components of occupational wellness.

Ways to improve your occupational wellbeing:

  • Finding a day job that aligns with your values and strengths.
  • Studying areas of interest 
  • Volunteering
  • Doing work that you are passionate about 
  • Finding your strengths
  • Speak to your supervisor about utilising your strengths to create a job role that suits you better

6. Social Wellbeing

The social dimension of wellness encourages being a part of a community as an essential component of wellbeing. 

Social wellness helps us to develop a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system. After all, social support is one of the most fundamental human needs. Therefore, actively seeking ways to enhance personal relationships and friendships is the foundation for social wellness. 

It teaches us that it’s more gratifying to contribute to the greater good of the community rather than only focusing on ourselves. Similarly, it is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than live in conflict.

Ways to improve your social wellbeing:

  • Connect with loved ones regularly by calling them or meeting up
  • Contribute to community initiatives by volunteering your time
  • Find friends who share common interests you can bond over

7. Spiritual Wellbeing

The spiritual dimension recognises our need to find meaning and purpose as part of our human experience. Fulfilling your spiritual needs can help you feel more connected to yourself and those around you.

While developing your spiritual wellness, you may experience feelings of doubt, despair, fear, disappointment but also positive feelings of joy, happiness, curiosity, and self-discovery. Each of these feelings are essential components in your search for meaning. You’ll know you’re on the right track when your actions become consistently more aligned with your beliefs and values.

When you take the time to engage in spiritually aligning activities regularly, you improve your overall sense of wellbeing, increase your sense of purpose, and it allows you to understand your goals in the big picture better.

Ways to improve your spiritual wellbeing:

  • Reflect and journal on your values and beliefs
  • Visit and attend a place of worship
  • Connect with others who share your beliefs
  • Come up with a mantra that aligns with your values
  • Take a walk and connect with nature
  • Practice mindful breathing
  • Try meditation
  • Practice yoga to connect your body to your breath
  • Read books on spirituality

8. Financial Wellbeing 

Financial security is something we all hope to achieve. Each of us wants to feel that we can enjoy our lives without having to worry too much about our current or future financial situation. With some careful planning, you can feel in control of your finances, leading to better financial wellbeing.

Ways to improve your financial wellbeing:

  • Budgeting 
  • Financial planning
  • With uncertainty, sometimes it may be best to plan ahead and cut spending
  • Create a rainy day fund for emergencies
  • Intentionally save up for things you want, like new appliances or a family vacation.
  • Explore easy to read finance books like ‘The Barefoot Investor.’ 

Conclusion

Taking care of your wellbeing is so much more than paying attention to your mental and physical health. In order to achieve an overall sense of wellness and high levels of life satisfaction, it’s important to focus on all eight dimensions of wellbeing.

By looking at wellbeing from all these key areas, both individuals and organisations can learn to refocus their priorities to create an experience and environment that is more pleasurable and enjoyable. 

In my Individual Wellness Coaching and School Wellbeing Consulting sessions we take a close look at all dimensions of wellness to determine which areas are working, and which could use improvement.

Book a discovery call to learn all about how this coach-led holistic approach to wellness can help you achieve any goal you set out to achieve!

Sources

https://cdn.ymaws.com/members.nationalwellness.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/sixdimensionsfactsheet.pdf?_ga=2.125095754.196233031.1629572104-1448677156.1629572104

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