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THE PILLARS OF HEALTH
While the word “health” is often understood as the absence of disease or sickness, it is a limited definition which lacks the comprehensive nature of a more extensive approach. With this in mind, it is essential that we start assessing our holistic health and wellness from a broader viewpoint. So, wellness depends on many more factors and significant considerations than just merely avoiding the flu each year.
The comprehensive view of health and wellness can be divided into seven pillars of health, a definition that takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, financial, and environmental aspects of wellness. These seven elements can provide you with a sense of how to optimize your wellness, but that doesn’t mean they are a prescription set in stone. The path to well-being is not one-size-fits-all as it is a journey which is unique and different for each individual.
The information that follows discusses each pillar.
People often think of exercise when they consider physical wellness. Undoubtedly, regular physical activity is a significant part of the equation. However, it is not the only aspect of physical wellness that deserves attention. We also require proper sleep hygiene and nutrition.
Additionally, proper nutrition is intimately tied to physical health. Optimal nutrition must likely be personalized based on sex, age, body chemistry, and activity level. A healthy, balanced diet requires that you consume foods with the nutrients that help your body and mind to thrive. If meeting nutrient requirements through diet is challenging, supplements can help provide the nutrients your body needs.
Emotional wellness involves being capable of navigating your feelings. This includes identifying, assessing, and sharing those feelings with others effectively. The challenges of life can take you on an emotional ride. The better you can understand, process, and manage your emotions, the smoother the ride will be.
Social wellness involves connecting with others and forming positive relationships. Additionally, if those connections become unstable, social wellness is about dealing with any conflicts appropriately.
Spiritual wellness may look different for everyone because it’s a personal element of overall wellness. Depending on how an individual defines it, it can play a stronger role in one person’s life more than another person’s. How each person chooses to strengthen their spiritual health is up to individual preference.
Continually engaging the mind strengthens intellectual wellness. Building new skills and knowledge that inspire, challenge, and help you grow can keep your intellect healthy.
Being financially well involves living within your means and planning for the future appropriately. Pursuing financial betterment can strengthen the other pillars of holistic health and wellness. Financial troubles are one of the leading stressors people experience. Taking small, calculated steps to control your spending and save money can lighten the burden on everyday living.
Environmental wellness involves your immediate personal surroundings and the community where you work and live. Environmental wellness is determined by the interchange between an individual and their environment. The more you care for and respect your built and natural environments, the better they can support and sustain your life.
To assess your own personalized approach to wellness, reflect on these seven pillars of health and wellness. If you need help, contact a wellness professional for advice and guidance.
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