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What Are 8 Dimensions of Wellness?

active senior lady in a yoga pose

How do you define well-being? As we mature, we learn that true well-being isn’t a simple matter of physical fitness or a healthy diet. It takes a holistic approach to live fully and age well. One well-rounded approach is to pay attention to 8 dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, , vocational, environmental, and health services.

Actively nurturing these 8 dimensions of wellness can add life to our years. In fact, research suggests that 70% of physical aging and about 50% of mental aging is determined by our lifestyle and the choices we make every day. While each dimension is necessary for us to flourish, this doesn’t mean we have to give them equal emphasis. The goal is to create a personal balance that’s authentic and meaningful to the way we live.

Physical Wellness

Whether you’re in good health or managing a health condition of some kind, physical wellness entails caring for your body so it’s as well as it can be.

  • Add more lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and good fats to your diet.
  • Avoid highly processed and sugary foods and drinks.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you smoke, commit to quitting.
  • Engage in regular activity that builds your strength, flexibility and stamina.
  • See your physician for regular checkups, immunizations and health screenings.

Emotional Wellness

Understanding your feelings, values and attitudes — and knowing they matter — helps you stay positive and enthusiastic about your life.

  • Build optimism by framing life experiences in a constructive way.
  • Practice self-acceptance instead of comparing yourself to others.
  • Participate in healthy activities that make you feel good about yourself.
  • Learn to empathize with other people’s experiences and feelings.
  • Be realistic about expectations and schedules.
  • Build resiliency by accepting that change and setbacks are part of life.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Social Wellness

Maintaining healthy relationships and having a sense of community minimizes the effects of isolation and loneliness we all have from time to time.

  • Make time to connect with your community and people around you.
  • Accept and learn more about the social and cultural background of others.
  • Open yourself up to new interest groups and social networks.
  • Look for ways you can actively improve your community.
  • Allow others to care about you.

Intellectual Wellness

Getting older doesn’t mean an end to intellectual growth. Maintain your curiosity about the world and continue to expand your knowledge.

  • Seek out problem-solving, mind-expanding experiences.
  • Challenge yourself with stimulating interactions.
  • Take part in lifelong learning classes.
  • Respond positively to intellectual challenges.
  • Explore how to share your knowledge or skills with others.

Spiritual Wellness

Spirituality is perhaps the most personal of all 8 dimensions of wellness. With or without organized religion, we’re all searching for purpose, value and meaning in our lives.

  • Participate in activities consistent with your beliefs.
  • Look for joy in simple things.
  • Maintain a regular practice of prayer, meditation or quiet contemplation.
  • Seek harmony instead of discord.
  • Express compassion toward others.
  • Practice gratitude and self-reflection.

Vocational Wellness

It’s satisfying to feel useful and be appreciated for our talents and skills. Continue to explore how you can serve, share — and lead.

  • Continue paid employment, even if it’s just for fun.
  • Use the skills you’ve earned to enter a new occupation.
  • Volunteer for work that provides personal satisfaction.
  • Explore a new vocation tied to your values or goals.
  • Offer to mentor others and help with their career planning.
  • Become an ambassador or spokesperson for an organization you enjoy.

Environmental Wellness

Our environment affects our quality of life, and the way we feel about our environment impacts our overall wellness.

  • Educate yourself on how your social, natural and built environment affects your health.
  • Commit to a healthier environment by reducing your use of plastics and chemicals.
  • Avoid produce or meats grown with harmful pesticides and hormones.
  • Spend time in nature to get fresh air and the benefits of being in a green space.

Wellness with Health Services

Choosing senior-focused preventive care supports all other dimensions of wellness as we age.

  • Maintain regular health screenings recommended for seniors.
  • Educate yourself about age-related health issues you or a loved one might experience.
  • Partner with a health care provider who specializes in senior-related health care.
  • Choose therapeutic and recuperative care in a senior-friendly setting.

Successful Aging

It takes effort and planning to integrate all dimensions of wellness into your life. When seniors choose to age at home, they need to actively pursue opportunities for recreation, entertainment, socialization and other forms of fulfillment. Unless they do, their wellness can erode without them even realizing it.

Life in a senior living community is woven through with such opportunities, and they’re just on the other side of your door. Nowadays, senior living communities, like Regency Oaks, promote health and wellness through a multitude of ways. Planned activities abound, but there are also the natural, spontaneous encounters and get-togethers that make community living such a benefit. At Regency Oaks, we offer a lifestyle that empowers seniors to take charge of their wellness, build social connections with those around them, and create purpose and meaning in what they do. And that empowerment is the key to successful aging. Learn more by contacting us today.