When we speak of health, the first thing that comes to mind is having a body that’s in great shape. While physical health is important, there’s much more to good health than just that. There are other components that make up our well-being and it is vital that we recognize and seek to improve each of these.
The Center for Health identifies five distinct yet interrelated dimensions of health and overall well-being – physical health, intellectual health, emotional health, social health, and spiritual health. These health parameters have been established by the World Health Organization back in 1948 and have become the benchmarks for assessing a person’s overall health status.
You may be healthier in some areas compared to the others; however, you become more effective in your life pursuits when you are healthy in all five dimensions. It has been determined through research that improving your health in a particular dimension will have a positive impact on your health in other dimensions.
While you may think it’s all too challenging to strike a perfect balance in all dimensions, you can gradually work on one or two dimensions at a time and move on to other areas as you progress.
Let us learn about the 5 specific dimensions of health and how you can improve on each:
Physical Health – We are all quite familiar with this dimension which focuses on the importance of proper nutrition and regular physical activity. Seek to improve on this area by having a nutritious and well-balanced diet to keep both the body and mind well fed. Establish discipline over your eating and exercise habits. By doing so you increase you endurance levels and lessen your risk for a host of medical conditions.
Have yourself checked by a physician regularly to arrest undesirable health conditions in their early stages. Avoid addictive substances and get adequate rest and sleep daily. These are just a few ways to enhance your health in the physical dimension.
Intellectual Health – A sound body and mind go hand in hand. Intellectual health is the cognitive ability to acquire and develop the knowledge and skills you need to enhance certain aspects in your life. Creativity and insight in decision making form a significant part of intellectual health and you can improve in these areas by approaching every opportunity with an open mind. Be realistic when you set goals to achieve and know the demands expected of you when you do so. Above all, have a positive outlook and an objective mind, especially when dealing with conflict situations. These are a few guidelines you can follow to improve on intellectual health.
Emotional Health – Your emotions get to work in your ability to cope with your feelings and that of other people. Emotional well-being is about acceptance and action – we deal with situations that affect our emotions on a daily basis and how we respond to these determines our level of emotional health.
Seek to improve in this area by primarily being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You should also work on your capacity to deal with stress and seek help if you need to. Assess your emotional relationships and build strong communication networks with the people closest to you. These are a few good ways to improve on your health in the emotional dimension.
Social Health – Relationships form a significant aspect of our lives and a good part of our happiness depends on ability to build and maintain satisfying affiliations with other people. We are social animals who strive to be accepted by others. In order to build strong relationships, we need to improve our ability to establish connections and interact with people and their ideas. We need to build networks among different groups and understand diverse cultural norms. Work on enhancing your interpersonal communication and connections skills to build strong social ties. These are a few strategies you can take on to improve your social health.
Spiritual Health – Our overall health and well-being wouldn’t mean a thing if we are not spiritually healthy. Spiritual health is about understanding your purpose for living and involves a personal belief or value system which guides all your actions in life. Among the five dimensions of health, this is the only aspect where there are no prescribed methods to attaining spiritual well-being. It’s a more personal thing which involves an in-depth journey into your being, your understanding of your existence, and your relationship with your Creator.
The five dimensions of health are like separate pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that need to be put together to create sense and meaning. An understanding of the distinct roles they play will allow us to achieve a perfect balance between mind, body and spirit.
About The Guest Author – Sean Byrne is the founder of ItsAboutTreadmills.com. ItsAboutTreadmills.com is A Treadmill Review based site for those that wish to read up on reviews of treadmills. You can read many reviews on the site such as this Sole treadmill device and this popular treadmill machine. Sean’s interests are keeping fit, heath, vegetarianism and spirituality.