You often hear the word Wellness tossed around these days, it’s one of the newest workplace buzzwords. Many companies are instituting wellness activities or programs for their employees, but what is it and why the emphasis on it? How can you implement wellness in your own life?
Wellness is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the state or condition of being in good physical and mental health”.
According to the National Wellness Institute there are 6 dimensions to it;
Emotional- this includes your feelings of self worth, self control and sense of purpose
Social-how you interact and contribute to the community at large
Occupational-learning to enjoy your work and balance it with recreational activities
Intellectual-finding creative and stimulating activities for your mind
Physical-physical fitness, overall health, and diet
Spiritual-creating a belief system and values, and living by them
It really boils down to a focus on Mind, Body, and Spirit. Focusing on wellness in your own life has many huge benefits. One that is top of mind to most people in the 22nd century is managing stress. The fast food, technology heavy, keep-up-with-the-Joneses lives of individuals today takes its toll on people’s health and relationships. This is easily verifiable by looking at the rising statistics of obesity, heart disease and cancer. All of which are influenced by overall wellness.
Several years ago (at least 10) I heard Will Smith on the David Letterman show talking about how he managed stress. His advice and regimen included 30 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reading, and 10 minutes of quiet contemplation daily. That sounds to me like Mr Smith was ahead of the curve on living a life of wellness!
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services employers who implement wellness programs have employees who are more productive when at work, miss fewer work days, and incur lower health care costs. All of these reasons are great for individuals to attempt to gain higher wellness in their personal lives as well. Who doesn’t want to go to the doctor less, miss fewer days of work due to illness and be more productive in life in general?!
Wellness can be achieved through a focus on three main areas, physical fitness, and mindfulness. Through physical fitness you can impact the physical, social and emotional aspects of wellness. Through mindfulness the spiritual, intellectual and occupational aspects are addressed. So although trying to impact all six dimensions of wellness can seem a daunting task focusing on these two primary aspects will have big rewards.