What the Heck is Wellness?

Just a bit of background folks before I jump right onto my soapbox…I am the Director of Wellness for a corporate wellness company that is focused on corporate fitness and wellness awareness.  I imagine a lot of people are scratching their heads right now because this term “wellness” is so often misused and the definition of it has become lost in translation.  I, myself, can say (not without embarrassment,) that I am even in a constant state of confusion on how to portray or define this idea of “wellness” for people.

For example, I walk down the street and see businesses dedicated to varying industries like: cosmetic surgery, beauty salons, massage parlors, and alternative medicine offices with “wellness” in their names. Cosmetic Wellness Center?  Oh please, how are we supposed to take the idea of wellness seriously when it is attributed to things ranging from cosmetic surgery  to crystal-toting crazies?!?

I went in search of the definition of wellness and was not shocked to find that Google had many opinions on wellness as well.  After sifting through various sites with a wide-range of thoughts on the concept itself, I settled on literally copying and pasting the ideas of others and then transforming those thoughts into my own.  I based my decision on my experience in what makes me feel “well.”

For me, it is being healthy and happy from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep.  Obviously, life isn’t without it’s complications and daily hiccups it throws at you, but knowing I have peace of mind about my health and happiness is what makes me feel “well.”

With that in mind, this definition is what I came up with: 
Wellness can be defined as the every day process of improving upon, and finding the balance between, the eight dimensions of personal well-being that determine our ongoing state of health and happiness.

I discovered a total of eight clearly defined dimensions of wellness: 
1.  Physical
2.  Emotional
3.  Social
4.  Intellectual
5.  Environmental
6.  Spiritual
7.  Occupational
8.  Financial

In upcoming blogs I will discuss each dimension at-length before, starting on Monday, October 4th (my 29th birthday actually) when I begin my year-long “Personal Wellness Challenge.”

In this challenge I devote 6 weeks to finding what each dimension of wellness means to me and then a month trying to find the ultimate balance between all eight dimensions.  Phew! I am tired just thinking about it!  Stay tuned for more on the eight dimensions of wellness and sneak peaks at some of the thoughts you might see when I begin my personal wellness journey!

WellnessAshley Pettit