The 7 Dimensions of Wellness (7DW) is a framework that assists individuals, health professionals and lifestyle medicine research to identify the current position of an individuals “whole-person” health. This framework is supported by a questionnaire, which uses established scientifically validated ‘wellness instruments’, to creates a time dated ‘wellness snapshot’. Creating new snapshots over time enables one to see change, both positive and/or negative, over time for an individual’s whole person health. This framework is designed to easily identify areas of need so that an individual and their health professional can work together to achieve optimal whole person health over time. We encourage individuals to complete the 7DW questionnaire every quarter so that they can record, identify and improve their whole person health.
The 7 Dimensions of Wellness are:
A state when you are personally feeling great, have the ability to understand and improve yourself, as well as having empathy and understanding of other people’s emotions. Emotionally thriving involves having the mindset and mastering the tools that enable you to work through stressful situations and handle negative emotional events. It is also about dealing with phobias, anxieties, and depression with the goal of experiencing a positive emotional outlook.
Having vibrant physical health and the prevention of disease in your body. Aspects of physical health include how you move your muscles through exercise and their capacity to stretch. Additionally, it is important to provide energy through optimal nutrition and hydration as well as understand how your dietary intake can help or harm your body and impact your gut microbiome. Your daily and weekly rest patterns are also crucial to healing and being physically energised. Likewise, the avoidance of harmful drugs and negative lifestyle choices will further assist your wellness.
Enjoying satisfying relationships and having good social support from your family, peers, friends and your community. Aspects include the ability to communicate effectively by expressing your feelings, needs, and opinions. Additionally, maintaining intimacy and having good conflict management skills to engage positively with your social group are also important features. These relationships can be strengthened through the appreciation and engagement of personal cultural history. This will further assist in positively building your identity and your community.
Using your skills and talents to express your values and achieve fulfilment in life. This includes your professional career and its financial benefits to your lifestyle, unpaid work and giving back to your community through service. Additionally, the extent of your enrichment is also dependent on your attitude towards these activities and the ability to balance between your roles and responsibilities.
Having a strong connection to something bigger than yourself that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning in your life. It involves the ability to identify and use routines, rites, and practices that enable an individual to de-stress, value reflection and be connected to God. The act of forgiveness, expressing gratitude and having hope are central to spiritual wellness. Having a spiritual connection is about a personal understanding of the value of life and brings all the dimensions of wellness together to help you live your best life.
Approaching life with a mindset of lifelong learning. Realising your potential involves developing your talents and skills with an understanding of your life’s purpose. Additionally, achieving optimal intellectual stimulation, with adequate time for reflection and critical thinking is crucial to achieving a more satisfied life. Making the most of opportunities to learn, express your creativity and share knowledge and experiences can also enhance your personal growth, contribute to society and improve your wellness.
Interacting positively with the environment on a local, community and global level. Improving your personal footprint and understanding how your surroundings impact your personal wellness is vital. This involves having clean air to breathe, obtaining adequate sunlight, optimising nature’s resources and engaging with blue and green spaces for rejuvenation. Avoiding toxic substances and noise pollution is also important to achieving environmental wellness.