What does it mean to be in good health? There was a time in my life when I thought being healthy related to my physical condition. That time, of course, was when I was younger; it all seemed pretty simple: I was fit, had no chronic aches and pains and took little to no medication. Then, life caught up with me. Certainly age had a bit to do with it, as did focusing time and energy on a young family instead of just on myself. The effects of a career, complete with long work days, added to my growing certainty that good health was not as easy to define as it once was – nor was it as easy a state to reach.
About ten years ago, well into my fourth decade, I began to think of health in broader terms. I began to consider a much wider standard than the condition of my physical body, and the vernacular for my broader view was "wellness." Out of that change of perspective came a discussion here at Beatitudes Campus on what it meant to be healthy across a continuum of related spheres. Before long, a new focus on a holistic approach to wellness was born, and we introduced the Seven Dimensions of Wellness to our community – residents and employees alike.
Here are the Seven Dimensions of Wellness in a nutshell:
Intellectual: Exercising your mind as if it were a muscle; developing brain capacity.
Spiritual: Experiencing life fully while seeking meaning and purpose in human existence; developing congruency between your values and behaviors.
Physical: Working toward an aerobically fit, flexible and strong body; avoiding illness and injury or treating them appropriately.
Emotional: Creating and sustaining a realistic, positive self concept and enthusiasm for life.
Social: Creating and maintaining a healthy relationship; seeing yourself as part of something larger and being concerned for the health of that larger community.
Vocational/Volunteer: Making occupational and volunteer choices that promote self-esteem as well as providing personal income or service.
Financial: Using my financial and other resources wisely and in a manner consistent with my values; taking responsibility for living within my means.
Over the past ten years, we’ve learned a great deal about how all Seven Dimensions of Wellness work together in a dynamic fashion to create lives that are integrated and satisfying. If you’d like more information on this subject or would like a presentation on this wellness philosophy, please let us know. We'd be happy to share our enthusiasm for an approach to health and well-being that is far more realistic and full of promise compared to the outmoded standards related to physical health!
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