Definition of Wellness
The National Wellness Institute uses this definition: The term wellness has been applied in many ways. Although there might be different views on what wellness encompasses, the National Wellness Institute - along with the help of leaders in health and wellness - shared many interpretations and models of wellness. Through this discussion, there appears to be general agreement that:
- Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process
of achieving full potential
- Wellness is multi-dimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle,
mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
- Wellness is positive and affirming
The definition of wellness, long used by the National Wellness Institute is consistent with these tenets. Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.
- Physical Wellness encourages regular physical activities, good nutrition, sleep and occasional connections with healthcare providers to prevent illness and disease. It discourages harmful behaviors that include tobacco, excessive alcohol, non-prescription medications and other drugs.
- Emotional Wellness is having the ability to understand, acknowledge and accept a wide range of feelings in oneself and in others. It includes the ability to balance reason and emotion and it leads to improved self-esteem and confidence.
- Intellectual Wellness includes being open to new ideas and the desire to learn from challenges and experiences. It encourages ongoing intellectual growth, curiosity and creativity.
- Social Wellness involves developing friendships, healthy sexual behaviors and meaningful social networks.
- Spiritual Wellness is the willingness to seek meaning and purpose in human existence; being open and respectful of the diverse multi-cultural beliefs and backgrounds of others and building a set of guiding values and principles
- Occupational Wellness includes making positive career-life choices that lead to personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life.
Adapted from the Association of University College Counseling Center Directors www.aucccd.org