Wellness matters

Consider the eight dimensions of wellness when moving toward a better-rounded wellness or health plan.

Many people don’t think about wellness as a huge umbrella encompassing many different factors in a person’s life. Most think of a specific area of their life, like losing weight or taking steps to quit smoking. Wellness is the multitude of factors in a person’s life that impact their health. For example, this could include activities that help individuals decrease the amount of financial stress they are under. Making differences in spending or speaking with a financial advisor or local bank could help with the amount of stress in a person’s life. This isn’t usually a subject people consider when they think of wellness.

There are eight dimensions of wellness to consider when moving toward a better-rounded wellness or health plan. The organization of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) gives ideas on how to increase overall health and wellness in an individual’s life.


Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships

  • Be aware of and listen to your feelings.
  • Express your feelings to people you trust.


Satisfaction with current and future financial situations

  • Be thoughtful and creative about your budgeting and spending.
  • As needed, meet with financial professionals who provide free or low-cost services for guidance.


Developing a sense of connection and belonging and forming a well-developed support system

  • Make at least one social connection per day by calling, e-mailing or visiting someone.
  • Get active in a support group.


Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life

  • Make time for practices that enhance your sense of connection to self, nature and others.
  • Take time to discover what values, principles and beliefs are most important to you.


Personal satisfaction and enrichment derived through one’s work

  • Work toward a career in a field you are passionate about or a volunteer activity that has meaning for you.
  • Communicate with your supervisor regularly and get support when needed.


Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep and nutrition

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator and replace driving with walking or bicycling when possible.
  • Get enough sleep. Your body needs it to rejuvenate and stay well.


Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

  • Research a topic that interests you and share what you learned with others.
  • Find creative outlets that stimulate your mind and sense of curiosity.


Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being

  • Appreciate nature and the beauty that surrounds you.
  • Seek out music and other experiences that have a calming effect on your well-being.

Moving toward a healthy lifestyle and considering these eight areas of wellness can improve the health of individuals concerned with their welfare.

Michigan State University Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute has many programs to help the public with their overall wellness advice and goals. Experts from Michigan State University Extension make it possible to make your lifestyle healthy for the long haul. Being aware of the eight dimensions of wellness is the start of making a positive difference in complete wellbeing. 

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