January is Mental Wellness Month! Mental wellness is about how all aspects of our lives come together and influence our overall state of well-being. It is not just the absence of a mental illness. Mental wellness is something that we can all consistently strive for. At Miracles, we think mental wellness is important and are committed to helping you improve your well-being for a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Mental wellness affects all aspects of our lives and can determine how we act, feel, and think. Our mental wellness can also impact how we respond to stress, connect with others, and make decisions.
Because our mental wellness is determined by the ways in which different aspects of our lives come together, it is broken up into 8 dimensions. To gain a better understanding of your current state of well-being and how you can work to improve it, we will provide a breakdown of each dimension. You may realize that, while you have achieved wellness in some dimensions, other dimensions may be negatively affecting your overall wellness. These can be focus areas for personal improvement.
Emotional Wellness Our awareness, understanding, and acceptance of our emotions, as well as our ability to manage challenges and change. Being emotionally well allows us to identify and accept how we are feeling, then decide how we want to respond. We can express our feelings without any constraints, which leads to a happier life.
How to achieve it: Accept that emotions occur and allow them to be felt; Embrace a positive outlook; Practice mindfulness; Be grateful; Seek help from others when needed; Develop coping skills or ways to manage stress
Occupational Wellness Our ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure in a way that promotes enrichment and personal satisfaction. The way we feel about our work affects our overall well-being. When we do not feel a sense of enjoyment or fulfillment from our careers, we can become depressed. When we are content with our careers, we experience greater proficiency, productivity, commitment, energy, & enthusiasm.
How to achieve it: Set realistic goals and work toward them; Reflect on yourself and your needs; Seek motivating and interesting work; Practice open communication and conflict management with colleagues; Find ways to enjoy daily tasks; Focus on the positives in your job
Social Wellness How we interact with others. It is about how connected we feel to our community and our ability to maintain healthy relationships. It is important for us to have a supportive social network to rely on. The quality of our relationships affects our identity, self-esteem, & other dimensions of wellness. Strong social wellness also builds emotional resilience.
How to achieve it: Reflect on yourself and your social needs; Make connections; Stay in touch with supportive family and friends; Practice self-disclosure; Join a club or organization; Balance personal and social time; Create healthy boundaries.
Financial Wellness Our ability to understand and successfully mange financial expenses. Financial wellness involves being informed about financial concerns and prepared for financial changes. Finance is a common source of stress, anxiety, and fear. Financial wellness allows us to enjoy our lives, while living within our means. Investing in our financial wellness now can help us be prepared for future financial constraints and life’s challenges.
How to achieve it: Find your why- what motivates you financially?; Keep organized records of your finances; Plan ahead and set budget goals; Limit impulsive spending; Avoid multiple lines of credit; Don’t put it off- identify problems before they start!
Intellectual Wellness Engaging in a variety of mentally stimulating activities to help us organize our experiences, problem solve, think creatively and expand our knowledge. Intellectual wellness encourages learning, exploration, and curiosity. When we are curious, we are motivated to try new things, improve skill sets, challenge ourselves, and become more open-minded.
How to achieve it: Academic, cultural, and community involvement; Pick up a hobby; Travel; Explore new avenues of creativity and artistic expression; Practice critical thinking; Find practical applications for learning
Environmental Wellness Being aware of, caring about, and interacting with nature and your personal environment. When we are more environmentally aware, we understand how our daily habits affect the environment. Environmental wellness encourages us to respect our environment and practice healthy habits that promote a healthy environment. Feeling more in control of our environment can also reduce anxiety.
How to achieve it: Conserve energy; Recycle; Spend time outdoors; Clean up after yourself or pick up litter; Practice sustainability
Physical Wellness Taking care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning. Physical wellness involves taking responsibility for our own health, being more aware of our physical well-being, and establishing a routine of making healthy choices. When we are physically well, we can balance physical activity, nutrition, and our mental well-being, leading to greater energy & functioning, and a reduced risk for depression.
How to achieve it: Maintain a healthy & well-balanced diet; Visit a primary care physician for regular checkups; Maintain a regular sleep schedule; Avoid/reduce activities or substances that negatively impact your body; Exercise regularly; Learn your body’s warning signs when it starts to feel ill
Spiritual Wellness Exploring our personal values and beliefs and incorporating them into our daily lives. Spiritual wellness allows us to live with meaning and purpose, appreciate life experiences, and balance our inner self with the outside world. Being in tune with our spiritual selves can include believing in a religious faith, but it can also just mean learning about ourselves and how we see ourselves in the world.
How to achieve it: Explore your inner self- thoughts about who you are; Create a personal mission statement; Practice mindfulness, meditation, and/or prayer; Practice acceptance and compassion; Perform random acts of kindness, serve, or volunteer; Be curious; Look for a religious faith that you agree with
If you would like to work on a specific area in your life in order to improve your overall mental wellness, our therapists are here to help! We can help you identify the dimensions that you may be struggling with and work together to create a plan for how you can improve in these specific dimensions. We also understand that trying to balance wellness in all of these dimensions can be overwhelming and we are here to help you manage any anxiety that you may feel.
You can also follow along with us on Facebook for helpful videos and infographics related to mental wellness.