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Wellness is a Journey

Wellness is a Journey

What does the concept of “wellness” really mean? We all desire to be functionally able for as long as possible and maintain optimal health as we journey through life. The umbrella term “wellness” is often used to loosely describe this level of health and well-being.

The National Wellness Institute defines the wellness concept using a six-dimensional philosophy. These six dimensions include:

  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Vocational

Based on this definition, wellness can be understood to mean the total integration of mind, body and spirit throughout life’s journey.  

To help you better understand the dimensions of wellness, how they impact you and what areas you need to focus on to maintain your optimal health and well-being, each dimension is more clearly defined below.

Emotional wellness emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of your feelings. It reflects how positive and enthusiastic you feel about yourself and your life. (Guided relaxation, yoga, journaling.)

Intellectual wellness promotes the use of the mind to create a greater understanding and appreciation of yourself and others. It involves your ability to think creatively and rationally.  

(Learn a new language, debate a controversial issue, play a musical instrument.)

Physical wellness promotes involvement in activities for improved cardiovascular endurance, muscular strengthening, flexibility and balance. This includes maintaining personal safety, medical self-care, and the appropriate use of the medical system. (Join a gym, visit your physician, balance class.)

Social wellness emphasizes the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships. It enhances interdependence with others and nature, and encourages the pursuit of harmony. (Book club, lunch with friends, social gatherings.)

Spiritual wellness involves seeking your meaning and purpose in human existence. It involves developing a strong sense of personal values and ethics. (Meditation, religious services, nature appreciation.)

Vocational wellness is the process of determining and achieving personal and occupational interests through meaningful activities. It emphasizes the importance of giving and receiving and is directly linked to the creation of a positive attitude about personal and professional development. (Volunteer, teach a class, mentor.)

Today, more than ever, people are more likely to be defined by what they can do rather than what they can’t do. Older adults are becoming role models for younger adults because they are achieving desirable health outcomes by combining whole-person wellness principles with personal responsibility for health. 

In the coming years, more and more senior living communities and senior service organizations will continue to adopt and adapt wellness as their core philosophy. By choosing whole-person wellness, they set the standard by promoting successful living. We must continue to focus on prevention, whole-person involvement, and the implementation of programs and services that keep people healthy in mind, body, and spirit throughout their lifespan.   


Libbi Hash has over 25 years of experience working in senior living and is the Wellness and Resident Relations Specialist for Kisco Senior Living; they provide full-service senior living communities that offer an enriched lifestyle drawn from thoughtful details. She was born and raised in Brevard County and is now enjoying raising her son here.


Check out this article in our DIGITAL MAGAZINE.


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