Why is Wellness Important?
Wellness—it’s more than a buzzword.
Wellness is a holistic approach to health that includes more than our physical and mental wellbeing; wellness encompasses emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing for full body wellness, too. When we can examine our wellbeing from all of these perspectives and address unmet needs, we can live happier, healthier lives.
Wellness is Multidimensional
Wellness is a complex state of being that involves more than just physical or mental health. To help describe wellness, many health and wellness professionals use models that describe the multiple components of wellness. Most models of wellness describe five or more dimensions, but some include as many as 12 dimensions.
Depending on who you ask, the dimensions of wellness may include:
- Physical: A healthy body that is able to engage in normal physical activities without pain or dysfunction
- Intellectual: The ability to engage in critical thinking, participate in learning, solve problems, and engage in creative activities
- Emotional: Experiencing emotions appropriate to the situation, reacting appropriately to stress, being able to share feelings and empathize with others
- Social: The ability to connect and interact with other people in the community
Each dimension contributes to overall wellness, and strength of one component helps offset weaknesses in another. When injury or illness challenges your physical wellness by preventing you from working or engaging in your favorite hobby, your emotional wellness can help you remain positive and optimistic enough to seek out and participate in treatment. In this case, your emotional wellness gives you the strength to ask others for help and your intellectual wellness gives you the tools you need to learn about treating your illness or injury.
The Importance of Wellness
Wellness is important because it shapes nearly every aspect of everyday life. Physical wellness allows you to move around without pain, for example, so you can function well while working, doing housework, or playing sports. Poor physical wellness, by comparison, can make it difficult to engage in any physical activity at all without being in pain, dizzy or short of breath. Emotional wellness helps you process grief, anger, or frustration during life’s inevitable downturns and helps you experience joy and optimism when things are going well. Social wellness gives you a shoulder to cry on and someone to celebrate with.
In short, wellness helps you stay on track and move forward down the path towards a fulfilling life, even when the road gets rough.
Everyone wants to have optimal wellness, of course, because life is much more meaningful, fulfilling, and fun when we feel well physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Unfortunately, overall wellness can be difficult to achieve and maintain, especially as we get older. To maintain overall wellness, we need to strengthen each dimension of wellness.
- Physical: Attained through regular exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and healthy behaviors
- Intellectual: Staying informed of current affairs, participating in learning and problem-solving activities, engaging in creative ventures
- Emotional: Developing healthy coping mechanisms and practicing mindfulness of one’s emotions
- Social: Strengthening bonds with existing friends and family members; expanding social circles
Some activities benefit more than one dimension of human wellness. A healthy diet and exercise strengthen physical wellness, for example, but proper nutrition and regular activity also trigger the production of “feel good” hormones and chemicals that help improve our emotional state and mental sharpness. Playing sports with friends improves physical wellness as well as social wellness; learning more about nutrition and healthcare treatments boosts mental wellness and physical wellness.
Certain healthcare treatments and types of self-care can boost multi-dimensional wellness too. For example, red light therapy can reduce physical pain and inflammation while helping you feel better mentally and emotionally. Red light therapy uses the power of light energy to stimulate the production of energy in the mitochondria, known as the “powerhouse of cells.” Stimulating mitochondrial production gives cells the energy they need to heal and function correctly.
Applying red light to a physical injury can reduce pain and promote healing—alleviating pain and speeding the healing process can also boost emotional and social wellness. Red light therapy can also enhance metabolic activity in brain cells to decrease depression and support healthy cognitive function, which can help give you the positive mental state needed for engaging in physical activity.
Learn more about red light therapy today to optimize your wellness tomorrow. The more you know about red light therapy, the more benefit it can bring to your overall health.