Updated: Mar 3
I feel like wellness is more of a buzzword than something people truly understand. Many people relate wellness to being healthy and things that can make you healthy. I think most people think health is the physical body and wellness is the body and mind but it goes much deeper than that.
My favorite model of wellness is an Ayurvedic approach to the wellness wheel. In this model, the wheel has eight different spokes. If each "spoke" or aspect of wellness is in balance then your wheel will roll effortlessly and you are embodying true wellness.
These are the eight different aspects of wellness and what you will struggle with if it is out of balance, and what your life will be like if they are in balance. Try rating yourself in each area on a scale of 1-10, with one being low and ten being perfection.
Let's start with physical wellness. When you are lacking physical wellness, you may be struggling with a lack of energy, skin problems, digestive issues, illness, weight gain, hair loss, aches, and pains, or other physical ailments.
Physical wellness is easy to identify when it is a 10 out of 10 because you feel absolutely alive! You have abundant energy yet can sleep well and deeply at night. You are not suffering from any physical ailments.
Your emotional wellness may be suffering if you feel like you are controlled by your emotions and they can be quite a roller coaster! You may find yourself easily triggered by what other people say, do, or how they treat you. You can dwell on the negative and turn a short-term emotional state into a permanent mood and mindset. On the opposite side of this, you may be bypassing your emotions. You could do this by using your religion, positive platitudes, or suppressing and repressing your emotions.
When you have a high level of emotional wellness, you are able to let your emotions come and feel them fully without labeling them as good or bad. Once the emotion moves through you, you are able to come back into a calm and collected state. You allow yourself to feel things and express what you need to so that you don't have to suppress or repress anything.
I think spiritual wellness is a tiny bit harder to identify as it is more individual. You may consider it a connection with something divine, like God. To other people, it could be a connection with their highest Self. When this aspect of wellness is out of balance, you could find yourself disconnected from the divine or your highest Self. You may have a loud inner critic and unhealthy internal dialogue. You may have weak ethics or act in ways that are unethical. Another sign of imbalance is that you are living your life based on the conditioning of who your family, friends, and society told you to be instead of honoring your true nature.
When your spiritual wellness is in balance, you will find yourself living with more joy and gratitude. You understand when your ego mind is trying to lead you astray and how to tune into your highest Self instead. You are in tune with your intuition and listen to it whenever it sends you signals. You feel more connected with a higher sense of purpose and act in a way that is ethical and considers what is best for everyone.
Relationship wellness is an aspect I think many people struggle with and don't often consider it a part of how wellness works. When you are lacking in this area you may struggle to set boundaries or they could also be so strong that they create a wall around you. You could sacrifice your own needs and be a people-pleaser that puts everyone else first. You can struggle to speak up and use your voice or be harsh and critical of everyone around you. You could also be stuck in toxic relationships whether that is with someone romantically, in a friendship, or with family.
Relationship wellness looks like having healthy, supportive relationships with clear boundaries and agreements. You feel comfortable and confident speaking up, can listen with compassion, and are getting your needs met. There is a balance of give and take in your relationships. You are able to accept people for who they are and feel comfortable being your true Self.
One of the easier aspects of wellness to recognize is your occupational wellness. If you feel like you are in a soul-sucking job or working just for a paycheck so you have security and stability, then this is going to be unhealthy. If you don't work, this could feel more like you have no true purpose in life and are just flying by the seat of your pants every day or are stuck in a mundane routine.
When you have optimal levels of occupational wellness, you feel like you are living a life of higher purpose. You are passionate and joyful about what you do, how you do it, and where you do it. You can have a sense of being in the alignment of what your unique soul has been put on Earth to do in this lifetime.
Your environmental wellness is one aspect you may not have considered. I'm sure you have noticed when your house is full of clutter, your car is a mess, and your office is dull then your psyche is affected by this too. This can be applied to any physical space around you. Is there a room or space in your house you avoid? Would you be embarassed if your family, friends, or boss saw the way you take care of any of the spaces around you? That can be a clear indicator that you need to work on your environmental health.
This is a healthy aspect of your wellness when the environments around you are clean, organized, and bring you contentment and happiness when you see them. You are also mindful of your impact on the global environment and take care to recycle, use your own water bottle, use reusable bags, buy in bulk and locally, and follow as many sustainable practices as you can.
Although I have left financial wellness near the bottom of the list, I think you will find it impacts your body, mind, and spirit quite significantly. That is why these elements make up a circle, each aspect is equally important. Having a poverty or scarcity-based mindset is a sign this is out of balance. If you are always broke or afraid of spending money, even though you do have savings then it is important to work on this aspect of wellness. Money may be a primary stressor in your life and you could be in debt to companies, friends, or even family.
The opposite end of this is an abundance mindset. You are at peace with your finances and know that things will always work in your favor. You may still have debt, but you are responsible with your bills and pay everything on time. You place your debts to friends and family over companies rather than leaving them for last.
Last but certainly not least on the wellness wheel is healing the past. When you have things in the past that are unhealed then you will be carrying shame, guilt, anger, or resentment. If you are thinking back about certain people or events that happened, those original emotions you felt wash over you again. You can also be easily triggered by how people treat you, what they say to you, or certain situations. You may try to avoid thinking about these things by keeping yourself busy or distracted, or you may use substances like food, alcohol, or drugs to numb your feelings.
When your past is healed then you have forgiven all situations and people in your past, including yourself. You have done the healing work whether through therapy, coaching, inner child healing, shadow healing, or your own process. Without doing the work, I can tell you that you have not fully healed the past. You may be repressing or suppressing it. When you have healed the past it doesn't bother you to think about it at all, there is no emotional wave that comes with it. You don't get triggered by anything and realize that situations, conversations, and people say more about the other person than they do about you. You are able to connect with your highest Self and you have overall peace of mind.
That's it! Those are the eight aspects of wellness that I work with my clients on and in my group coaching program. I have a couple of free worksheets available to help guide you through reflecting on how to improve your wellness wheel available in the Healing with Hilery facebook group.
We have a new session of my group coaching program starting the week of March 15, 2023 if you are interested in joining us. You will learn A LOT about each aspect of wellness and how to bring it to optimal levels so you truly feel your best in all aspects of life. My approach to coaching is to educate you and give you simple practices that you can apply to see quick results. Please reach out if you have any questions!.