Strategies for successful aging
Jul 06, 2011
It’s no secret that adopting a balanced and healthy lifestyle is the key to a long and meaningful life. The challenge, for most people, is how to adopt that lifestyle. Research focusing on individuals 100 years of age and older, such as the information found in National Geographic’s The Secrets of Living Longer, finds that they are routinely engaged in events and activities that strengthen and support each area of the widely-used Six Dimensions of Wellness model developed by Dr. Bill Hettler of the National Wellness Institute. The six dimensions of wellness in Dr. Hettler’s model include spiritual, physical, social, mental, emotional and vocational well-being.
Spiritual well-being is about finding meaning, purpose and hope in life. In many faith traditions, that means doing our best to love God with all of our hearts, souls and minds. Promoting spiritual well-being can be done through activities such as nature walks, prayer, meditation, worship and Bible studies.
Physical well-being focuses on optimizing physical health through good nutrition and exercise and also avoiding behaviors that may compromise health. Promoting physical well-being means practicing habits that eventually become a lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising and scheduling routine physicals.
Social well-being includes building strong relationships with family, co-workers, friends and members of your community. Social well-being is strengthened by participation in social events, organizations or clubs or simply by visiting with others.
Mental well-being means growing in self-understanding or self-actualization and continually developing and exercising the mind. This can be done by taking advantage of life-long learning opportunities and seeking out new experiences.
Emotional well-being emphasizes the importance of expressing one’s self appropriately and coping with stress in a healthy way. The benefits of emotional well-being include having a positive and enthusiastic outlook on life. Participation in yoga, support groups and meditation are a few examples of ways to promote emotional well-being.
Vocational well-being focuses on balancing work and leisure and using your gifts and talents to serve others. A few examples of ways to enhance your vocational well-being include volunteering, teaching/mentoring and community outreach.
In which of these dimensions of wellness do you feel you are strongest? Which dimensions could use some renewing?
We can all learn a thing or two about the importance of balancing these six dimensions of wellness from the centurions I mentioned earlier. What can you do to create a better balance of all six dimensions in your life? Start today!
By Laurie Parker, CTRS, ACC
Quality/Performance Improvement Consultant
Click here to contact Laurie
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