What is Holistic Wellness? And why it matters

You may think about wellness in terms of health. Holistic wellness looks being healthy across all areas of your life. There are 8 dimensions of wellness that affect the quality of your life.

Instead of looking at your health in terms of if you’re battling the latest bug going around the office, look at your life from a wider range of factors to understand your holistic wellness.

Think about how work stress has affected you in the past. What decisions did you make or even avoid as a result? And how did that affect other aspects of your life?

We’ve all been there where everything feels out of control or overwhelming because one area of your life is weighing on the others. By taking a look at the bigger picture and understanding the dimensions of wellness you can understand where you may need to make changes to create a life you’re more excited about.

And put yourself in a position to better manage the curveballs that will come up from time to time.

5 flat stones to consider what is holistic wellness

One quick note before continuing. I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I’m sharing what’s working for me based on my research to help you figure out what to consider next. Check with your favorite medical professional to help you decide what works best for you.

What are the eight dimensions of wellness?

The eight dimensions of wellness are: physical, emotional (or mental), intellectual, environmental, social, occupational, financial, and spiritual. And while the eight areas of wellness were defined in the mental health community, everyone can benefit from understanding how they affect our lives.

These eight dimensions contribute to your quality of life:


Starting with the one you’re likely most familiar with, physical wellness includes knowing you need physical activity, a healthy diet with good nutrition and of course sleep.

You’ve probably run into a time where you were working on a very busy schedule, not eating enough, and definitely not sleeping enough. How did you feel? Knowing what you know now, what changes would you make to improve the situation for the future?


Emotional (or mental) wellness includes how you’re dealing with your life and the relationships you have.


Intentional wellness focuses on finding ways to expand your skills and knowledge. You don’t want to live a life by staying stagnant. We thrive on learning and doing new things. Creative activities break the monotony of everyday life.


Are you living in a safe environment you enjoy? Environmental wellness is truly needed for your health well-being.


By nature, we are social beings and social wellness looks at the connections you have. We need to feel like we belong and have a support system. 


Occupational wellness may be a challenging one. Think about your work and if it gives you personal satisfaction. Do you feel like you’re growing there? 


Money and your finances are other areas that commonly creates stress. Financial wellness relates to how you feel about your current and future financial status.

This is where creating savings goals or even additional streams of income can help you build a sense of feeling better about your financial future.


Even if you don’t consider yourself a spiritual person in a traditional sense, spiritual wellness looks at if you feel you have a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Why are the 8 dimensions of wellness important?

You probably think of wellness in terms of health, meaning are you under the weather with an illness. Wellness ultimately looks at additional factors across 8 dimensions that affect your quality of life.

It’s not possible to maintain a 100% balance across all wellness areas. At the same time, you probably can remember what it’s like when one of these is extremely off compared to the others.

Understanding the eight dimensions allows you to take action to live a happier, healthier life.

And the more awareness you have of the wellness dimensions, the better you can prepare to deal with situations that affect them.

What are you going to do next to improve your holistic wellness?

Holistic wellness includes all the factors that affect your well-being, not just if you’re dealing with an illness or not. And while it’s not possible to have 100% balance across all of the factors, making improvements and preparing to deal with challenges will help you improve your quality of life.

What changes are you considering making within the eight areas of wellness?

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What is holistic wellness? And why it matters