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The Wellness Wheel

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

- World Health Organization

The Wellness Wheel

The Wellness Wheel is a model that was developed to help individuals assess their overall well-being and identify areas for improvement. The concept of the Wellness Wheel has its origins in ancient cultures, where the idea of "holistic health" was emphasized, taking into account the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. However, the modern version of the Wellness Wheel is attributed to Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, who developed the model in the 1970s. It has been used in cancer treatment centers throughout the world and has been applied to improve our overall sense of well-being.

Dimensions of the Wellness Wheel

The Wellness Wheel is typically divided into six or seven dimensions, depending on the specific model used. The dimensions may vary slightly depending on the source, but they generally include:
1. Physical Wellness - This dimension refers to the overall health and function of the body, including exercise, nutrition, sleep, and medical care.
2. Emotional Wellness - This dimension refers to the ability to manage emotions and cope with stress, as well as develop positive relationships with others.
3. Intellectual Wellness - This dimension refers to the ability to learn and engage with new ideas, as well as the pursuit of personal growth and development.
4. Spiritual Wellness - This dimension refers to the search for purpose and meaning in life, as well as engagement with a higher power or sense of connection to something greater than oneself.
5. Social Wellness - This dimension refers to the ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships with others, as well as engage in meaningful social connections.
6. Environmental Wellness - This dimension refers to the relationship between the individual and the environment around them, including physical surroundings and the impact of human behavior on the planet.
7. Occupational Wellness - This dimension refers to the ability to find meaning and purpose in work, as well as the pursuit of a fulfilling career.

By using the Wellness Wheel as a tool for self-assessment, we can identify areas of life that we need to focus more attention on to achieve a greater sense of overall well-being. This can lead to improved quality of life and greater satisfaction in all areas of life. For example, if someone identifies that they are neglecting their physical wellness dimension, they may choose to focus on developing a regular exercise routine or improving their diet. By focusing on all dimensions of the Wellness Wheel, individuals can achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life.
We are not just our physical health. The wellness wheel accounts for all domains in our lives. Taking a look at our lives in their entirety can help to make them more rich, fulfilling, and complete. We might find that we have some strong areas and others might need some work. It is a process that changes over time and will be different at all points in our lives.

Using the Wellness Wheel to Assess Yourself

Using a wellness wheel is a simple and effective way to assess your overall well-being and identify areas for improvement. Here are the steps to use a wellness wheel:

1. Identify your dimensions: First, identify the dimensions that are included in the specific wellness wheel you are using. The dimensions may vary slightly depending on the model used but generally include physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, environmental, and occupational wellness.
2. Rate your level of satisfaction: For each dimension, rate your level of satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Be honest with yourself and try not to overthink your answers.
3. Connect the dots: After you have rated your satisfaction level for each dimension, connect the dots between the ratings to create a visual representation of your overall well-being. This will create a unique pattern that can help you identify areas of strength and areas that may need improvement.
4. Identify areas for improvement: Once you have identified your unique pattern, take a closer look at the areas that are lower on the scale. These areas are areas that may need improvement, and you can start to develop a plan to make changes that will improve your overall well-being.
5. Take action: Use the information you have gathered to develop a plan of action that addresses the areas for improvement. This may involve setting goals, developing new habits, seeking support from others, or making changes to your environment.
6. Reassess: After you have taken action to improve your well-being, reassess your satisfaction levels in each dimension. Use the wellness wheel again to see if you have made progress and identify any areas that still need improvement.

Track Your Wellness

Your wellness wheel is changing all of the time. Our health, our jobs, and our friends change and progress over time. By using a wellness wheel regularly, you can continue to track your progress and make adjustments to your plan as needed. It is a useful tool for anyone who wants to improve their overall well-being and live a more fulfilling life.
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