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Health & Wellness

What is health and wellness?

Health promotion as defined by the American Journal of Health Promotion is the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle toward an optimal state of health. Health protection is defined as those professional activities designed to prevent or reduce occupational illness and injury as well as enhance health and well-being. This website, Sharecare.com is an example of health promotion and the activities of the professionals on it as being health protection. Wellness however is your own responsibility and is defined as a dynamic process of becoming aware of and making conscious choices towards a more balance and healthy lifestyle. It is good to know where your role lies in this process. It includes learning new life skills that address both the positive and negative aspects of human existence. Over the past 10 years the concept of wellness has expanded into seven dimensions. These dimensions collectively are called SPECIES, which stands for the social, physical, emotional, career, intellectual, environmental and spiritual dimensions.
What are the dimensions of health and wellness as accepted worldwide?

Let’s take these one by one. 1. Social wellness – this is the process of creating and maintaining healthy relationships through the choices we make. It embraces relationships at home and work, friendships and our relationships with all people and future generations. The social dimension encourages contributing to your human and physical environment for the common welfare of your community. 2. Physical wellness – this is the process of making choices to create flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, energy and strong bodies. The choices that we make regarding physical wellness relate to exercise, nutrition, rest, and sleep as well as intentional and responsible sexual choices, stress management and management of injury and illness and the responsible use of alcohol and other drugs. 3. Emotional wellness – this is the process of accepting our worth, creating, recognizing, and expresses our feelings and talking to ourselves in healthy ways. This involves creating and maintaining a positive realistic self-concept and realistically assessing potential limitations. Emotional wellness also includes the practice of talking about feelings. 4. Career wellness – this is the process of making and maintaining choices related to work which include choosing a job for which we are well suited, well trained and from which we gain satisfaction. It also includes staying current in one’s chosen field helping to create a healthy organizational environment which creates to your own and other’s well being. Career wellness requires balancing work with the other parts of your life. Intellectual wellness – this is the process of using our mind to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the universe and ourselves. 5. Intellectual wellness is not dependent on your intelligence or ability. It is about examining one’s opinions and judgments and questioning. 6. Environmental wellness – this is the process of making choices which will contribute to sustaining or improving the quality of life in the universe. This dimension includes responsible choices regarding the use of air, water, land and energy so that future generations may survive and thrive. The recognition of interdependence of humans, other animals and plants and all of nature is a central part of environmental wellness.7. Spiritual wellness. This is the process of discovering the meaning and purpose in life and demonstrating values through behaviors. Spiritual wellness includes acceptance of the concepts of wholeness, unity, diversity, individual uniqueness and the need for community as well as taking personal responsibility for one’s self and the community in which we live. By making the pursuit of total wellness in all of these dimensions a goal of yours you will reap the benefits throughout your life both personally and professionally.

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