The Wellness Balancing Act – Are You Balanced?
Dr. Tyler Fortman
Have you ever felt tired, inefficient, or like things were “just off”? Maybe you even went to your physician and were told that you are “healthy,” yet life still seemed harder than you’d expect. It could be because your life is out of balance. Consider a flat tire – it makes the car feel unsteady and shaky, it’s hard to steer, and might even cause a wreck.
The same principles apply to your own wellness. That’s why the dimensions of wellness are often considered as part of a “wellness wheel.” Your sense of wellness requires balance across multiple dimensions.
The World Health Organization defines wellness as “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Wellness respects our complexity by acknowledging that we are multidimensional beings. It also promotes moderation, rather than excess; and, considers your role in shaping your own health to be crucial important.
This is why mindfulness based living is so popular right now – because it draws awareness to all areas of wellness.
6 Dimensions of Wellness?
Try balancing your wellness wheel!
Read each of the following statements. Then, color in the corresponding pie-shaped section of the wheel to the degree you are achieving this. For example, statement 1 is: “I eat a balanced nutritional diet.” If you feel you do this 100% of the time, color in 100% of that section. If you do this 60% of the time, color in 60% of that section. Complete this for all 36 sections of the wheel.
- I eat a balanced nutritional diet.
- I exercise at least 3 times per week.
- I choose to abstain from sex or sex is enjoyable and does not put me at risk.
- I do not use alcohol or use in moderation, am a non-smoker and avoid street drugs.
- I am generally free from illness.
- I am a reasonable weight for my height.
- I have a solid balance between saving for the future and spending for the present.
- My beliefs/values surrounding money are harmonious with my behavior.
- What I am doing with occupation/education has purpose.
- I use money positively, e.g., little or no gambling or excessive massing of goods.
- I have a balance between work/school and the other areas of my life.
- I have financial plans for the future.
- I have specific intellectual goals.
- I pursue mentally stimulating interests or hobbies.
- I am generally satisfied with my educational attainment.
- I have positive thoughts (a low degree of negativity and cynicism).
- I would describe myself as a lifelong learner.
- I commit time and energy to professional and self-development.
- I have a sense of fun and laughter.
- I am able to feel and label my feelings.
- I express my feelings appropriately.
- I have a sense of control in my life and I am able to adapt to change.
- I am able to comfort or console myself when I am distressed.
- Others would describe me as emotionally stable.
- I am able to resolve conflicts in all areas of my life.
- I am aware of the feelings of others and can respond appropriately.
- I have at least three people with whom I have a close trusting relationship.
- I am aware of and able to set and respect my own and others boundaries.
- I have satisfying social interaction with others.
- I am satisfied with my relationships/engagement with others.
- I practice meditation, pray or engage in some type of growth practice.
- I have a general sense of serenity.
- I have faith in a higher power or comfort in the understanding that there is no higher power.
- I have a sense of meaning and purpose in my life.
- I trust others and am able to forgive others and myself and let go.
- Principles/ethics/morals provide guides for my life.
This is your chance to take a look at your wellness wheel. Remember that there aren’t “right” and “wrong” wheels. The ideal focus on one dimension of wellness over another is unique to everyone. Wellness is, however, comprised of multiple dimensions.
Therefore, your attention and development of each dimension (to the extent appropriate to you) is necessary to achieve balance. So – Is your wheel shaded how you would have hoped? Which section has more shading than others? Which has less?
Take a moment to set a goal (or 2). How will you create more balance and wellness in your life? Remember these steps when setting any goal! Good luck on your journey toward balance. Don’t be afraid to try some more wellness activities too!