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Copyright 2007,
American Senior Fitness









Whole-Person Wellness
for Vital Living

Jan Montague, MGS.


Part Three of five installments

The Six Dimensions
of Personal Wellness

  • Emotional

The emotional dimension of wellness emphasizes an awareness and acceptance of one's feelings. It reflects the degree to which an individual feels positive and enthusiastic about oneself and one's life. This dimension involves the capacity to manage feelings and behaviors, accept your self unconditionally, assess limitations, develop autonomy, and cope with stress.

  • Intellectual

The intellectual dimension promotes the use of one's mind to create a greater understanding and appreciation of oneself and others. It involves one's ability to think creatively and rationally. This dimension encourages individuals to expand their knowledge and skill base through a variety of resources and cultural activities.

  • Physical

The physical dimension promotes participation in activities for cardiovascular endurance, muscular strengthening, and flexibility. This multi-faceted dimension is relative to each person's abilities and disabilities. It promotes increased knowledge for achieving healthy lifestyle habits and discourages negative, excessive behavior. The physical dimension encourages participation in activities contributing to high-level wellness, including personal safety, medical self-care, and the appropriate use of the medical system.

  • Social

The social dimension is humanistic, emphasizing the creation and maintenance of healthy relationships. It enhances interdependence with others and nature and encourages the pursuit of harmony within the family. This dimension furthers positive contributions to one's human and physical environment for the common welfare of one's community.

  • Spiritual

The spiritual dimension involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It involves developing a strong sense of personal values and ethics. This dimension includes the development of an appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe.

  • Vocational

The vocational dimension emphasizes the importance of giving and receiving. It is the process of determining and achieving personal and occupational interests through meaningful activities. This dimension encourages goal setting for one's personal enrichment. Vocation wellness is linked to the creation of a positive attitude about personal and professional growth.

Effective whole-person wellness programs incorporate the wellness dimensions with personal wellness concepts that include self-responsibility, optimism, self-directed approach, self-efficacy (the belief in one's ability to successfully perform a desired task), and personal choice. These concepts change the focus from what people can't do to what they can. The result is fully integrated wellness.

(See the next issue of Experience! for Part Four of Whole-Person Wellness for Vital Living, which will describe research indicating that whole-person wellness can slow the aging process in many individuals.)

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