What is our purpose? Why do we feel and believe we are here? No matter what we feel our divine purpose may be, we all want it to be a happy journey, don’t we? We all strive to get involved in things that make us feel happy, healthy, loved, and fulfilled. All these questions tie into our personal well-being.
Living with a happy mind, a strong body and a meaningful purpose is often how our well-being can be perceived. This feeling of well-being often comes from connections between several different factors. These include what we experience, how we interpret our experiences, and in the end, how we respond to them. It’s about living life to the fullest so that we can start to feel better each day. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. It is up to each of us to act and live intentionally and become who we want to be.
Easier said than done, right?
How do we create well-being
Well, whilst we know that working towards a better version of ourselves is an evolution, we can begin to understand our well-being by viewing it in the context of 8 dimensions. The 8 dimensions of well-being are aspects of our lives that we interact with everyday. We use them to enrich our knowledge, guide our decision-making, put that knowledge and decision making into action and ultimately develop a balanced state of well-being.
The 8 dimensions in the well-being ‘ecosystem’ are connected, just like everything in an ecosystem is connected. They cannot function alone.
Our feelings of vitality and health are shaped by our daily practices, the quality of our relationships, and our connection with the environment we live in. We have families, friends, a community, a career, and other aspirations making up our lives and requiring our energy and attention.
A holistic life experience depends on our ability to find a balance between the different dimensions of well-being. These are all linked in the context of our overall life experience. This might explain why, even if we focus on a single dimension, we may not feel healthy overall.
The impact of the 8 dimensions
Here are a few examples to help us understand what impact each of these dimensions may have e.g., exercise (physical dimension) is proven to reduce stress (mental dimension). Healthy sleep is proven to reduce anxiety. Our financial position often impacts our overall mood or levels of stress and even physical health.
Have you ever noticed how complimenting another person or doing a good deed makes you feel better?
Do you find that doing some exercise helps you feel better, even if you didn’t want to do it to begin with?
Do you ever feel a physical response to the thought of financial instability?
It is how we cultivate a positive relationship towards these dimensions that allows us to engage with care and compassion towards ourselves, the ones we love and the world we live in.
|Dimension||What is it?||How does it contribute?|
|Environmental||Relates to both our social and natural surroundings, which directly impacts how we feel.||Creating a healthy environmental dimension results in feelings of calmness and comfort in our surroundings. Feelings of being nurtured and nourished will surface when we connect to our environment. Through the ability to find gratitude for the friends we have, the air we breathe, the food we eat or the water we drink, we understand that our health is codependent on the health of our environment.|
|Financial||A feeling of satisfaction about our financial situation.||A healthy financial dimension is the feeling of comfort about our wealth and financial outlook. Financial well-being is not success related but rather a by-product of it. Feeling successful in the ability to provide shelter and food for our friends or family leads to purpose and fulfilment.|
|Intellectual||Recognizing our unique talents, creativity, and seeking out ways to use our knowledge and skills.||A healthy intellectual dimension is when we hold ourselves accountable for the time we spend learning, exploring, and discovering new things about ourselves and the world around us. It opens us up to finding creative freedom and further developing interests that guide us towards growth.|
|Mental||An internal way of thinking, feeling, and connecting, which helps us become accepting of who we are right now.||Having a healthy mental dimension benefits our experience as humans by encouraging our intentions and actions to match one another. Ideally, we would all like our minds to be filled with compassion and a sense of peace. By embracing our emotions, we should start to feel a sense of self-acceptance which will allow us to be vulnerable, honest and open towards ourselves and others.|
|Occupational||A feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment with our choice of work.||A balanced occupational dimension is understanding that our career, responsibilities, role, and work-position is guided by meaning and purpose. If we find meaning and purpose in what we do for a living, we will start feeling fulfilled which will help us grow.|
|Physical||Affected by physical activity, healthy nutrition, and adequate sleep. It is the ability to have a strong and healthy body that will work for us and allow us to actively engage in physical tasks.||Having a healthy physical dimension allows us to develop a feeling of accomplishment and determination. Combining physical activity, good quality sleep and suitable nutrition will lead to the release of feel-good hormones, which will then lead to a natural supply of happiness and joy.|
|Social||A sense of connectedness and belonging.||A healthy social dimension is expressed in feelings of being appreciated, respected, and loved in our circle. Our attention towards our relationships should have a focus on looking for quality, not quantity. We find love and meaning when we experience giving without expectations and receiving from a place of love.|
|Spiritual||Our values and beliefs, which are used to help us find meaning and purpose in our lives.||A healthy spiritual dimension reminds us that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. By honouring the positive and sacred nature of human life through faith, we are open to the significance of our place on earth. Feelings of gratitude become present. Spirituality is knowing that all the answers we are looking for can be found within whatever our belief system is.|
There is a well-known statement that says happiness is a state of mind and if each of these dimensions are carefully considered and nurtured and taken care of, then happiness will change from merely a state of mind to a state of feeling, a state of being and a general state of holistic well-being.