What is Wellness?

What is Wellness?

Wellness is an interactive process of becoming aware of and practicing healthy choices to create a more successful and balanced lifestyle.

In working to become more well it is important for each individual to consider and enjoy the process. Everyone is in a different place and those differences should be celebrated and encouraged to support growth and awareness within a holistic environment.

wellness logo

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Elements of Wellness

UNL utilizes a 7-element model of wellness including emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual dimensions. This wellness model has been an internationally accepted model for over 10 years. It was chosen by the UNL Chancellor's Committee on Wellness over other models because of the inclusion of intellectual and environmental elements; elements we feel are important in a university setting.

About the Elements

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The awareness and acceptance of feelings and emotions. Emotional Wellness The heart represents the general source of emotions (vs. the mind /brain as a symbol for rational thought).
  • Fitness and exercise
  • Relationships with friends/family
  • Balancing work and family
  • Laughing and crying
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Personal contact, ie. hugging
Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Emotional Wellness?
Evaluate your own emotional wellness with this brief quiz.
  • Am I able to maintain a balance of work, family, friends, and other obligations?
  • Do I have ways to reduce stress in my life?
  • Am I able to make decisions with a minimum of stress and worry?
  • Am I able to set priorities?
If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your emotional wellness.
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The openness to new concepts and ideas. Intellectual Wellness A light bulb is a general representative for fresh thinking, innovation, and creativity.
  • Reading & learning for fun
  • Participation in class, organization
  • Adopting a new hobby
  • Traveling
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Self-help information

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Intellectual Wellness?

  • Am I open to new ideas?
  • Do I seek personal growth by learning new skills?
  • Do I search for lifelong learning opportunities and stimulating mental activities?
  • Do I look for ways to use creativity?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your intellectual wellness.

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Meaning and purpose of human existence Spiritual Wellness

The sun represents the beginning and end of a day; a reflection of the source of growth and vitality in the universe.

ΓΆ?ΒΆ Solar symbols can have meaning in astrology, religion, mythology, mysticism, and divination.

  • Meditation; prayer
  • Religious affiliation
  • Explore and enjoy the flora & fauna of a wilderness area.
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Exercise
  • Freedom
  • Outdoor act

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Spiritual Wellness?
Evaluate your own spiritual wellness with this brief quiz.

  • Do I make time for relaxation in my day?
  • Do I make time for meditation and/or prayer?
  • Do my values guide my decisions and actions?
  • Am I accepting of the views of others?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your spiritual wellness.

Spiritual Wellness Inventory
For many, when the term "spiritual wellness" is used, one may automatically associate to church, religion, or God. Although these terms may be applicable to some, spiritual wellness encompasses much more. Spiritual wellness is defined as the meaning of human existence- which can only be identified on an individual level. Keep in mind, you cannot have spiritual wellness without the other elements of wellness- it is a package deal!

The Spiritual Wellness Inventory¹ below can be used to thoughtfully reflect upon your spiritual wellness.

  1. I am willing to forgive myself and others.
  2. I have a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose in my life.
  3. I have a belief system (e.g., spiritual, atheist, religious).
  4. I participate in regular spiritual activities with people who share my beliefs, and I am open to hearing about other's beliefs.
  5. I accept my limitations without embarrassment or apology.
  6. I keep the purpose of my life clearly in mind and let it guide my decision-making.
  7. I freely give to others.
  8. I am comfortable about knowing things without knowing precisely how I know them (intuition).
  9. I allow others the freedom to believe what they want without pressuring them to accept my beliefs.
  10. I look for and work toward balance.
  11. I continually explore personal beliefs, values and priorities.
  12. Principles, ethics and morals provide guides for my life.

¹Resource: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca. This is a non-scientific inventory.

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Recognition of interdependence with nature Environmental Wellness

The tree is a general, easy-to-identify representative of the natural realm.

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Reusing materiels
  • Adopting Leave-No-Trace
  • Conserving water and fuels
  • Spend time in a state/national park
  • Finding value in surroundings
  • Positive workplace & attitude
  • Air quality

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Environmental Wellness?

  • Do I recycle?
  • If I see a safety hazard, do I take the steps to fix the problem?
  • Do I volunteer time to worthy causes?
  • Am I aware of my surroundings at all times?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your environmental wellness.

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Ability to perform social roles effectively, comfortably, and without harming others Social Wellness

Three persons with connected hands represent harmony, networking, and friendship.

  • Establish and maintain personal friendships
  • Community involvement
  • Attending social settings, ie. festivals, neighborhood events
  • Group fitness classes
  • Hobby/activity organizations

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Social Wellness?

    • Do I plan time to be with my family and friends?
    • Do I enjoy the time I spend with others?
    • Are my relationships with others positive and rewarding?
    • Do I explore diversity by interacting with people of other cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your social wellness.

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Maintenance of a healthy body through good nutrition, regular exercise, and avoidance of harmful habits Physical Wellness

An individual person represents the human body.

  • Fitness and exercise; stretching
  • Personal hygiene
  • Walk/cycle to work
  • Know your numbers: cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure
  • Good nutrition
  • Adequate sleeping patterns
  • Regular medical/dental exams

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Physical Wellness?

  • Do I know important health numbers, like my cholesterol, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels?
  • Do I get annual physical exams?
  • Do I avoid using tobacco products?
  • Do I get sufficient amount of sleep?
  • Do I have an established exercise routine?

If you answered " No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your physical wellness.

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Ability to enjoy a chosen career and/or contribute to society through volunteer activities Occupational Wellness

A gear with cogs or teeth represents a unit of labor or effort.

  • Continuing education
  • Satisfying career/profession
  • Volunteering
  • Workplace safety
  • Exercise

Wellness Pulse Check: Are you engaged in the process of Occupational Wellness? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I enjoy going to work most days?
  • Do I have a manageable workload at work?
  • Do I feel that I can talk to my boss and co-workers with problems arise?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your occupational wellness.

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