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Six essential components of health

Multicultural Competency

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 Wellness

By applying the Six Dimensional Model, a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living. This holistic model explains:

  • How a person contributes to their environment and community ,and how to build better living spaces and social networks
  • The enrichment of life through work, and its interconnectedness to living and playing
  • The development of belief systems, values, and creating a world-view
  • The benefits of regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, strength and vitality as well as personal responsibility, self-care and when to seek medical attention
  • Self-esteem, self-control, and determination as a sense of direction
  • Creative and stimulating mental activities, and sharing your gifts with others

The National Wellness Institute devised three questions that can help persons and organizations assess the degree to which wellness is incorporated into a particular approach or program:

  • Does this help people achieve their full potential?
  • Does this recognize and address the whole person (multi-dimensional approach)?
  • Does this affirm and mobilize peoples’ positive qualities and strengths?

Applying a wellness approach can be useful in nearly every human endeavor. As a pathway to optimal living, wellness is being applied to related fields, such as health promotion and holistic health, and has seen a growth in “helping professions” including coaching, counseling, and medical arts and practices.

Healthy is more than just how you look, what you weigh or your workouts. I often chat with people about their health and they share their workout schedule and what they eat. While these are key components of our overall healthy, they are not the entire picture.

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Health is how you,

  • feel in the morning when you wake up
  • feel when you go to bed
  • handle stress
  • deal with your busy week ahead
  • handle relationships in your life

I find there are six key components of health. Physical, Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional, Environmental and Social. Let’s chat about each of these areas and some key components to health in these areas.

1) Physical

Although this is where many people define their health it is only a small component. Physical health includes our endurance, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular, digestive health and more. This is how prepared our body is each day to move through the world. It is a key component of health and must be a part of our self care routine, however if we stop here we are missing many components of our health.

The basics of physical health is moving your body for 30 minutes a day, drinking half your body weight in ounces of water or more, getting eight hours of sleep a night, eating a well balanced diet.

2) Intellectual

‘Once you stop learning, you start dying.’ Albert Einstein. I simply love this this quote. Our minds are designed to continue learning, to continue improving. We as humans thrive on this. Learning comes in many forms, books, podcasts, classes, masterminds, coaches, community, conversations and more.

What we fill our minds with impacts every area of our lives. Do you listen to the negativity of the news on the way to work or do you listen to a motivating podcast? Do the people around you challenge you to think bigger or pull you back to think smaller? Fuel your mind and fuel it with positivity. Schedule in time to learn and grown your mind.

3) Spiritual

Spiritual health is different for everyone and it truly doesn’t matter what you believe in, or what your practices are. What I find is important here is that you take time daily to pause and clear your mind. Some of the most common ways to clear your mind is through meditation, prayer, or journaling.

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Spiritual health can also be expanded by finding ways to give back, to find a sense of purpose. Can you volunteer your time to give to others?

4) Emotional

Emotional health and wellness is extremely important and also very complex. This is the health of our mind, of our thoughts, our feelings. Are you able to maintain a positive mindset when stress arrives? I personally find that planning my week, and having my daily to do lists helps me to stay in a positive emotional state. Physical exercise, proper diets and supplementation, social interactions all play a role in emotional health as well. You see many of these components are intertwined.

Another great release for me when my emotions are running high is to journal. I enjoy getting my thoughts out of my mind and onto paper.

If you are struggling with emotional health it is always important to seek professional support.

5) Environmental

This includes your living situation, your work situation, your friend circle. What environments do you find yourself in? When you walk into your home or job do you feel safe, comfortable, peaceful, or do you feel anxious, overwhelmed, tired?

Our environments are a key component to our health. I have personally experienced this, while living in a toxic environment all other areas of my health were negatively effected. This can be a harder component then others to change, however, start with what can be changed. Ensuring the immediate environment is clean and organized.

6) Social

Social health includes all relationships. This includes with your family, friends and community. We are designed to be social beings. Do you have healthy relationships with those key people in your life? How about at work? I often ask my clients what do they have in their schedule for the week that is fun and this is an area many people struggle with. To simplify the concept, even adults need play dates. Go for a hike with a friend, dinner with your family, see a movie. Get out and be social, whatever that looks like for you. Make sure it is in the schedule so it happens.

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Socially it is easy to feel like you need to say yes to everything that comes your way. I find with my clients this is an area we need to work on what we are saying yes and no to. It is ok to say no to things that do that lift you up, that do not help you move in the direction of health and wellness you are trying to go.

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In my 90 day Get Healthy Now program I work with my clients on all of these components. It is important to take a wholistic or whole body approach to our health and wellness and I find if we spend all of our time in one area the others fall short. If we want true lifelong health and wellness we need to address each of these areas. We spend time on our minds, finding balance in our lives and on our bodies.

Are you ready to truly get healthy from the inside out? Are you ready to not only get healthy, but to stay healthy? This program is for you! Set up a time to chat with me and see if it is a good fit by clicking HERE.

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Dr. Jennifer Shaw is a doctor of physical therapy, a yoga instructor and a wellness consultant. She helps successful women break free of the fad diets and on again, off again exercise routine and weight loss struggles so they can finally move from overwhelm and exhaustion so they can find and keep the body of their dreams. 

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What is Health Care Transition?

Health care transition, or HCT, is the process of moving from a child/family-centered model of health care to an adult/patient-centered model of health care, with or without transferring to a new clinician. It involves planning, transfer, and integration into adult-centered health care. The goals of health care transition are: 1) To improve the ability of youth and young adults with and without special health care needs to manage their own health care and effectively use health services, and; 2) To ensure an organized process in pediatric and adult health care practices to facilitate transition preparation, transfer of care, and integration into adult-centered health care.