Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

The six dimensions of wellness

The six dimensions of wellness – physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational and social – are each important on their own and even more so because they are interconnected.

For example, a child who is physically active is more likely to do well in school.

Seniors and elders who are socially connected are more likely to enjoy physical and mental health.

In this way, wellness is holistic and reflects the breadth and depth of our experience as individuals and as members of families, workplaces and communities.

Family Camping PhotoPhysical wellness means having the strength, flexibility and energy needed for daily activities at home, work and play without getting too tired or worn out.  It also means engaging in healthy behaviours (such as being active every day, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet) and avoiding or limiting unhealthy behaviours (like smoking and drinking).

Emotional wellness is about feeling good about one’s self, being able to  recognize, accept, understand and constructively share feelings (including love, hope, sadness, fear, and anger) and having the skills to cope with the challenges that life brings.

Intellectual wellness is about being curious and committed to life-long learning. It’s about  actively seeking out new ideas and experiences, and gaining new skills and knowledge.

Spiritual wellness is the ability to find peace and harmony, to live in ways which reflect one’s values, and find purpose and meaning in life. It includes gratitude, hope, forgiveness, and tolerance that comes from a connection with self, others, nature, and/or a higher power.

Occupational wellness refers to achieving personal fulfillment through meaningful daily activity, including paid and unpaid work, parenting, caregiving and homemaking, and volunteer activities.

Social wellness is the ability to develop and maintain positive, respectful, and meaningful relationships with others. It is also about giving and receiving support. It includes taking action to make neighbourhoods and communities good places to live.

It’s important to recognize that wellness goes beyond how we think, feel and act as individuals. Our wellness is also influenced – in both positive and negative ways – by the options and opportunities which are available in the places we live, learn, work and play.

Learn more