Understanding Wellness

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us” Ken Levin

The National Wellness Institute (www.nationalwellness.org) defines Wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence”.

The NWI bases its understanding of Wellness on the 6 Dimensions Model developed by one of its co-founders, Dr. Bill Hettler. The 6 Dimensions are categories to help understand wellness, and they are: occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional.

Wellness is a holistic lifestyle that is positive and affirming in which there is a conscious attempt to initiate a process that evolves toward achieving one’s full potential holistically along the six dimensions.

According to the NWI, wellness is incorporated into a particular approach or program if it helps people achieve their full potential, addresses the whole person according to the six dimensions, and leverages peoples’ strengths and positive qualities.

As a state of health and wellbeing, wellness is linked closely to your daily lifestyle choices; therefore each one of us is ultimately responsible for our own health and to proactively seek and manage states of good health in each dimension physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally, mentally, socially, occupational and environmental aspects in an optimal state and balance.

A person cannot always control the environment or surroundings, but one can control oneself and what one does to shape those experiences. Using and adopting wellness-oriented philosophies, individuals can reasonably expect to achieve a higher state of awareness and increased control over the quality of their life.