We may not think much about Environmental Wellness as part of an overall wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on the way we feel overall. Environmental well-being includes trying to live in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you.
Protecting yourself from environmental hazards and minimizing the negative impact of your behavior on the environment are also central elements. Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is a critical part of environmental wellness. Examples of environmental threats include air pollution, ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight, chemicals, noise, water pollution, and second-hand smoke.
Spiritual Wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. While different individuals may have different views of what spiritualism is, it is generally considered to be the search for meaning and purpose in human existence, leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world. The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets:
- It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant.
- It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.
Social Wellness refers to one's ability to interact with people around them. It involves using good communications skills, having meaningful relationships, respecting yourself and others, and creating a support system that includes family members and friends.
If you are a person engaged in the process of social wellness, you see the value in living in harmony with your fellow human beings, seeking positive, interdependent relationships with others, and developing healthy behaviors. You are also willing to actively seek out ways to preserve the beauty and balance of nature and the community. Social wellness follows these tenets:
- It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves.
- It is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them.
The emotionally well person is able to appropriately express and manage the entire range of feelings, including anger, fear, happiness and sadness. S/he possesses high self-esteem, a sense of humor, and a positive body image. S/he develops independence from parents/guardians and accepts responsibility for themselves and their actions. This person also seeks support from a mental health professional when needed and gathers information in order to make informed value decisions.
The financially well person is fully aware of his/her own financial state. This person sets realistic goals based on the ultimate desire to achieve happiness, both in life and financially. With self-awareness and goals in place, this individual develops a plan that best fits his/her personality, and does what is necessary to achieve the end result: financial well-being and a happy, stress-free life.
Creatively well individuals seek to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the world through a diverse range of arts and cultural experiences that shape their awareness of themselves and others. They value and actively participate in the arts as a means for self-expression, stress relief, enhancing innovative thinking, and skill-building. They also make a conscious effort to construct an atmosphere that fosters creativity and individuality.
Physical wellness involves aspects of life that are necessary to keep yourself in top condition. Optimal physical wellness is developed through the combination of beneficial physical activity/exercise and healthy eating habits. Elemental components of physical wellness include building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance and flexibility.
Physical wellness is also concerned with developing personal responsibility for your own health care, such as caring for minor illnesses and knowing when professional medical attention is needed. Developing physical wellness empowers you to be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body's warning signs. You'll understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination and a sense of direction.