How to use the 8 Pillars of Wellness

pillars of wellness

When it comes to becoming the best versions of ourselves, there are 8 pillars of wellness to which we have to dedicate our energy and efforts. They are physical health, nutritional health, emotional health, social health, spiritual health, intellectual health, financial health, and environmental health.

You can become a healthier and happier version of yourself by working toward developing each of the 8 pillars of wellness. 

As you are working on the pillars of life, do consider that it’s important to spend as close to an equal amount of time developing each of them because they are all important. 

8 pillars of wellness

The 8 Pillars of Wellness

As you embark on your journey toward better health, the idea of incorporating the 8 pillars of wellness into your routine may sound overwhelming. However, there is a good chance that you already use at least some of these pillars in your daily life. Here’s a simple outline of the 8 pillars of wellness, plus a few ideas of how you can implement them into your life.

Physical Wellness – How your body feels & what you put into it

Physical Health:

Exercise is only one component of a much larger concept known as “physical wellness.” The practice of regular physical activity is unquestionably an important component of this pillar; however, holistic physical wellness is comprised of several other aspects, including  (but not limited to) hygiene and healthy sleep routines.

In terms of personal hygiene, developing good habits will not only make you healthier, but will also boost your self-confidence. Taking frequent showers and washing your hands, for example, are two important things you can do to build up this aspect of your physical health.

And while everyone knows how important sleep is, getting good quality sleep can be a challenge, especially for mothers of young children. If this is you, there are several easy things you can do to help yourself get more rest. If being a mother of young children is not your excuse, consider that the National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults aged 18 to 64 should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and adults over the age of 65 should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

If you do not have healthy sleep habits now, it may be a little challenging to change those habits, but it’s possible. You can start turning off your electronic devices thirty minutes before bedtime. Also, consider using blackout curtains to block out light, and white-noise machines to block sounds. By implementing these three simple things, you are likely to get a better quality of sleep.

Nutritional well-being:

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is encouraged for adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.

The nutritional requirements of an individual can vary depending on factors such as their age, gender, level of physical activity, and overall body chemistry. Talk things over with your physician to come up with a meal plan that will work for you. This may involve making adjustments to the kinds of foods you eat or incorporating dietary supplements into your routine.

Emotional Health – How you feel

The emotional wellness pillar addresses your feelings, the ease with which you can understand and navigate your feelings, as well as communicate them with other people. It is highly likely that each of us will face challenges and the range of feelings that accompany them at some point in our lives. However, the capacity to reflect on how these feelings influence our actions is an essential component of overall wellness.

A crucial component of your overall holistic wellness is the degree to which you can keep your emotions under control or, at the very least, be aware of how they can influence the relationships you have. If you’ve ever had the experience of not being able to manage your feelings or communicate them with other people, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your primary care physician about the possibility of getting some kind of professional help to help you build this pillar in your life.

Social Wellness – Your relationship with others

The state of our connections and relationships with other people is an important component of our social wellness. Because of our inherently social nature, we gain a better understanding of who we are and where we belong in the world through the relationships we cultivate and the perspectives of those with whom we regularly interact. Besides developing constructive relationships with other people, this aspect of wellness entails having the ability to settle any disagreements that may crop up in a way that is both healthy and considerate.

When difficulties arise or stress intensifies, it is helpful to have a strong support system in place, such as a network of healthy friendships and relationships. Developing and sustaining these connections requires commitment, but the benefits that come from them will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Mental Health – How and what you think

According to Lao Tzu, we become what we think—we are the product of the thoughts we consistently embrace. For example, if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts, you will have a negative life. If you constantly think empowering thoughts, you will have an empowered life.

To live a healthy mental life, we need to recognize our worth (self-love) and embrace a system of thoughts and beliefs (and people) that support our dreams and goals.

Spiritual Health – Your values and beliefs

The spiritual component of wellness is highly individualized, depending on the person and their particular spirituality. The practices and principles that guide a person’s life constitute their spirituality. This contributes to the sense of purpose and meaning that people have in their lives, which in turn helps to direct their actions.

Many people cultivate this pillar by engaging in spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, or many other activities that foster a connection with a higher power. Along the same lines as social wellness, spiritual wellness is an essential component that enables us to make it through challenging times, grow our capacity for resilience, and find grace in the face of life’s challenges.

Intellectual Health – How you grow yourself intellectually

When you expose yourself to new experiences that both inform and challenge your thinking, you are building up your intellectual wellness. After finishing your formal education, one of the best ways to continue developing new abilities and interests throughout one’s life is to cultivate a healthy thirst for knowledge. This can be as easy as having profound, intellectual conversations with friends and family or setting aside time each day to play brain puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku. Another option is to read books that challenge your mind.

Financial Wellness – What you have and make

Living within one’s means and making appropriate preparations for one’s future are the two primary components of the financial wellness pillar. Beginning the process of developing this pillar can be challenging, but in the end, you will be happy that you did it. Having financial problems affects not only your finances but also your mental and physical health and your relationship with others. It is, therefore, in your best interest to get your finances under control.

Environmental Health – Your surroundings

Your immediate surroundings, as well as the community in which you work and live, are important components of environmental wellness. This requires showing the environment that you live in respect by contributing to its preservation in any way that you are able. This could mean doing things like volunteering to clean up a city park that you frequent or recycling old electronics.

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