The Six Dimensions of Wellness

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.     


The Six Dimensions of Wellness, developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, 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 his or her 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.

Applying a wellness approach can be useful in nearly every human endeavor. As a pathway to optimal living,  The following are the six dimensions and the benefits.

Occupational wellness follows these tenets: 

  • It is better to choose a career which is consistent with our
    personal values, interests, and beliefs than to select one
    that is unrewarding to us.
  • It is better to develop functional, transferable skills
    through structured involvement opportunities then to remain inactive and uninvolved.

Physical wellness follows these tenets:

  • It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance
    good health rather than those which impair it.
  • It is better to be physically fit than out of shape.

Social wellness follows these tenets: 

  • It is better to contribute to the common welfare of our
    community than to think only of ourselves.
  • It is better to live in harmony with others and our
    environment than to live in conflict with them.

Emotional wellness follows these tenets:

  • It is better to be aware of and accept our feelings than to deny them.
  • It is better to be optimistic in our approach to life than pessimistic. 

 Intellectual wellness follows these tenets: 

  • It is better to stretch and challenge our minds with intellectual and creative pursuits than to become self- satisfied and unproductive. 
  • It is better to identify potential problems and choose appropriate courses of action based on available information than to wait, worry, and contend with major concerns later. 

Spiritual wellness follows these tenets: 

  • It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves
    and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close
    our minds and become intolerant.
  • It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent
    with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Portions of this Blog provided by the following resources: Six Dimensions of Wellness Model ©1976 by Bill Hettler, MD
© National Wellness Institute, Inc. | | 715.342.2969 

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