NWI’S Six Dimensions of Wellness
What is wellness?
Throughout time and across cultures, the term “wellness” has been defined and applied in many ways. The National Wellness Institute encapsulates these interpretations by acknowledging that:
- Wellness is a conscious, self-directed, and evolving process of achieving one’s full potential.
- Wellness encompasses lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.
- Wellness is positive, affirming, and contributes to living a long and healthy life.
- Wellness is multicultural and holistic, involving multiple dimensions.
“Wellness is functioning optimally within your current environment.”
Mindfully focusing on wellness in our lives builds resilience and enables us to thrive amidst life’s challenges. NWI promotes Six Dimensions of Wellness: Emotional, Physical, Intellectual, Occupational, Spiritual, and Social. Addressing all six dimensions of wellness helps individuals understand what it means to be holistically W.E.L.L. by focusing on their Whole Person, Environment, Lifestyle, and Learning.
Developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI), this interdependent model for the Six Dimensions of Wellness provides the categories from which NWI derives its resources and services.
*Note: NWI Members have unlimited access to these and all available resources in the Members-only Professional Resource Library. To sign up or learn more about the benefits of NWI membership, click here.
A society that truly applies a wellness approach as a pathway to optimal living is by nature inclusive and multicultural. The Mission of the National Wellness Institute (NWI) Multicultural Competency Committee is to support NWI with increasing inclusiveness by advancing multicultural competency within wellness best practices, and to assist with the development of knowledge, awareness, and skills to deliver equitable and culturally appropriate programs and services for wellness practitioners, organizations, underserved populations, and communities.
Click here for information about NWI’s Multicultural Competency Committee and the Wellness Wheel we have created to advance the fulfillment of the committee’s mission.
Applying the Six Dimensions of Wellness model brings forth awareness of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to living a healthy life. This holistic model explains:
- How one can develop and direct self-awareness, self-regulation, curiosity, and motivation.
- How one can develop their belief systems, identify their values, and create a strong worldview.
- How one benefits from regular physical activity, nutrition, strength, vitality, and self-care.
- How one can enrich life through work and recognize its connectedness to living and playing.
- How one can use creativity and stimulating mental activities to share their gifts with others.
- How one can enhance their environment by building better living spaces and social networks.
- How one can positively contribute to their environment and engage in their community.
NWI also developed three questions to help wellness professionals and organizations assess the degree to which they are successfully incorporating wellness into their strategies and initiatives:
- Q1: Does this help individuals achieve their full potential?
- Q2: Does this recognize and address multiple dimensions of wellness?
- Q3: Does this affirm and mobilize an individual’s unique qualities and strengths?
Applying a multidimensional wellness approach that considers the WHOLE PERSON can be useful in nearly every human endeavor. As a pathway to optimal living, wellness is now being activated in a variety of associated fields, including health promotion, holistic health, clinical care, and multiple “helping professions,” including coaching, counseling, consulting, training, and instruction.