The Five Components of True Wellness
Wellness is the supreme state of wholeness attainable by a human being. Good nutrition and regular exercise are critical to wellness, but there are more pillars comprising holistic wellness.
Physical wellness is composed of many smaller parts, like body mass index (BMI), glucose blood levels, organ system functions, musculature, endurance, and the rest. Yearly physical exams at a doctor’s office work to track and control such wellness factors. More than that, a physician can also refer a patient to a specialist, such as an internist or pulmonologist, if the need arises.
Emotional wellness is being able to control and compartmentalize one’s emotions. Emotional self-regulation is the person’s capacity to know as well as manage his own feelings to towards people, things, events and life in its entirety. It also helps identify triggers that lead to emotional distress. Similarly, compartmentalization is a psychological mechanism in which a person is able to maintain a healthy sense of detachment from negative emotions, as when they go through a traumatic experience or its effects.
Humans are born to socialize. To put it simply, people will reach out to others because it’s natural for them. We all crave a sense of belonging. Positive social interactions makes us feel as though we have been rewarded, that is, by a feeling of belongingness. This simple positive reinforcement is also the factor behind toxic relationships being hazardous to health, and why people who have good friendships and social networks live happier and longer lives. Therefore, it is logical to assume that strong, healthy social ties is critical to achieving total wellness.
Spiritual wellness can have a different meaning from one person to another, depending on their religious background. Nevertheless, this spirituality must receive time, attention and nourishment. It is a way of achieving a sense of being grounded.
Finally, a person’s mental state is as dynamic as his physical state. For many out there, satisfying a need for intellectual stimulation and socialization is of equal importance as receiving proper nutrition. They are simply unfulfilled without. Indeed, learning is a pivotal part of life. When we read books, write essays, ask probing questions and all that, we are learning new things about the world, especially viewpoints that may run counter to our own long-held beliefs. There is probably no more stimulating type of engagement than that which is cognitive.
In the end, our goal should be to attain full wellness, which is simply impossible unless we give enough attention to all of the above-mentioned areas. There will lots of temptations to veer us away from our goal, but discipline is critical.