A very helpful understanding of wellness is laid out by The National Wellness Institute. Please refer to the following webpage for further information: www.NationalWellness.org/Six-Dimensions
The Wellness Institute states that wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence. There are six different dimensions in which we can achieve wellness: emotional, spiritual, occupational, social, physical and intellectual. It seems that wellness entails striving towards a state of balance in one’s life. Note that the term “striving for” is used instead of “reaching” a state of balance. This would be difficult to achieve and may seem overwhelming for many people. However, as long as we are working towards a state of balance or wellness, then we are on the right path.
If you feel you are struggling to achieve a state of wellness in your life, then you are not alone. This is a common struggle for members of our North American Society. There are many pressures in our society to be productive, successful, and worthy members of the community. However, there is little emphasis on having healthy emotional expression, strong relationships with others or a deep and meaningful spiritual life. These aspects of our lives are just as important to feeling vital and whole as feeling a sense of achievement in our career or a state of physical health. Working on achieving wellness can be a lifelong goal that will offer numerous benefits including a better quality of life and reduced stress.
Stress can be defined as any physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt.
Stress can affect all aspects of your life, including your emotions, behaviours, thinking ability, and physical health. Specific symptoms may include:
- Feeling agitated, frustrated and overwhelmed
- Low energy
- Upset stomach
- Muscle tension
- Frequent colds and infections
- Inability to focus
- Constant worrying
- Changes in appetite
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Nervous behaviours such as nail biting
Long-term stress can lead to the development of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal problems. There are many ways to relieve stress such as exercise, practicing yoga, meditation, relaxation exercises, and engaging in activities that you enjoy such as gardening, painting or looking after pets. As you learn to cope more effectively with your stress, you will make room for peace, hope and joy. Everyone deserves to experience freedom from chronic stress and worry.