Wellness and wellbeing are synonymous terms seen increasingly over the last few years. The concept arose in the 1950s by Dr. Halbert L Dunn, who published his ideas in his book, “High-Level Wellness.” He defined wellness as a state of physical, mental, and social health determined by behaviors and choices. Wellness is not just health but striving in all areas of life.

The concept of wellness has evolved over a long period, roots in ancient times. The Indian practice of Ayurveda began in about 3000BC and was a holistic system of health aiming to create harmony between body, mind, and spirit. It aimed to tailor each person’s diet, exercise, routines, social life, and meditation time to balance life. Yoga and meditation have their origins in this practice. Around the same time, Traditional Chinese Medicine developed in the east based on similar principles and influenced Taoism and Buddhism. In 500BC, Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, stressed the importance of preventing disease, not just curing it.

The problem with the term wellness is it has become too broad and lacks specificity. It is used to promote claims of fake or unproven therapies. It has created as many problems as it was meant to solve. First, the idea of “unwellness” now exists without basis. While western medicine has always worked by the principles of wellness, the “wellness industry” has tried to set itself apart to satisfy those who feel orthodox medicine does not do enough for them. Despite this, wellness can be a handy and practical tool to help us think about the bigger picture in our lives and coach us to make healthier life choices.

There are core dimensions to well-being, and each plays a part in our overall wellness. Here you will examine each in your own life and workplace and measure where you are. You will think about which are most important to you and how to prioritize improving them. You will plan what to do and how to review your progress.

The Dimensions Of Wellbeing

Current wellbeing models have eight dimensions. First, let’s look at what we mean by these. 

Emotional well-being is understanding and respecting your feelings, values, and attitudes. It’s appreciating the feelings of others and understanding their emotional reactions. It’s learning how to manage your emotions constructively and not overly expressing negativity.

Financial wellbeing is not about earning as much money as possible but managing your resources to live within your means, making informed financial decisions and investments, setting realistic goals in life tailored to your standards, and preparing for unexpected events. We all have our economic values, priorities, needs, and circumstances, which are unique.
Social wellbeing is maintaining healthy relationships, making the most of being with others, and developing friendships, work, and intimate relationships. It is being mindful of caring for others and allowing others to manage for you. On an individual level, it is about kindness. On a broader level, it is about contributing to your community.

Spiritual wellness is finding purpose, value, and meaning in life, and this may be with or without involvement in organized religion. It is being involved and participating in these beliefs and values. It is about understanding the moral dimension of life, how all people and things are connected, and the underlying need for all people to behave towards each other in the manner they wish to be treated.

Occupational wellness has work that provides satisfaction, enjoyment, and enrichment consistent with your values, goals, and lifestyle. It contributes unique skills and talent to your meaningful and rewarding work for you and others.

Physical wellness is caring for your body and staying healthy. If you have pre-existing illnesses, it is about how you take care of these and what resources you use, including your medical professionals, to treat them and prevent them from worsening.

Intellectual wellness is growing your mind academically, staying curious, and seeing learning as a valuable lifelong pursuit. ‘sIt responding positively to academic challenges. It wants to expand your knowledge, skills, and wisdom.

Environmental wellness is understanding how your community, housing, and surrounding natural environment impact your health and wellbeing. From a broader perspective, it is an awareness of the Earth’s health and respecting how this affects your and everyone else’s health.

Improving your well-being based on the principles mentioned above can have some of the most considerable positive effects on your health and wellbeing.


  • Dr. Tomi Mitchell

    M.D | Leadership Coach| Wellness & Productivity Coach

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell, MD, empowers executives, lawyers, doctors, business owners, and other leaders to eliminate burnout and increase workplace productivity and relationships.  She uses her three-step framework, Embrace, Evaluate & Energize, to empower her clients to have clarity. 

    As a public speaker and trainer, she brings energy to the crowd, captures their attention, and gives them clear, actionable steps to apply immediately to their life. Dr. Tomi Mitchell believes in getting to the root causes of life's challenges, instead of taking a temporary BandAid approach to life. She is a writer, with a book coming out in Summer 2023. She is also the host of The Mental Health & Wellness Show.  To learn more about her framework, check out the following link: Learn More.