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8 Dimensions of Well-Being

8 Dimensions of Well-Being illustration

Well-being is a holistic integration of physical, mental and spiritual wellness, which fuels the body, engages the mind and nurtures the spirit.

Well-being encompasses eight mutually interdependent dimensions: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial and environmental. Attention must be given to all the dimensions, as neglect of any one over time will adversely affect the others, and ultimately one’s health, well-being and quality of life. The opposite is true as well: when you engage with each dimension, they can build on each other and strengthen your overall well-being. They do not, however, have to be equally balanced.

Well-being is a dynamic process and therefore a journey, not a destination, that involves ongoing engagement. How much and how often you attend to each area is up to you. Strive for a “personal harmony” that feels most authentic to you.

a red circle with a smiley face and the word "Emotional"


Emotional wellbeing is about coping effectively with life and creating positive relationships. It inspires self-care, relaxation, stress reduction, and the ability to develop inner strength to meet life’s challenges. When life events become unpredictable it is normal to experience stress and anxiety. A certain amount of stress can be productive as it motivates us to take action. How each of us responds to stress is as individual as we are.

a blue circle with a briefcase and the word "Educational"


Knowing how to study effectively, having good study habits, attending classes regularly, maintaining good time management skills, and self-discipline are keys to student success that you are probably familiar with.

a gold circle with a stick figure stretching and the word "Physical"


Physical wellbeing is taking care of your body for optimal health and functioning. It encompasses a variety of healthy behaviors including regular medical check-ups, adequate exercise, proper nutrition and avoiding harmful habits such as risky alcohol and other drug use. As you are very satisfied in this dimension of well being we encourage you to continue what you are doing to maintain optimal health and functioning.

a teal circle with a group of three stick figures and the word "Social"


Social wellbeing is about the relationships we have and how we interact with others. It is establishing a sense of connection, belonging, developing a strong support network, and dealing with conflict effectively. Social wellbeing also includes showing respect for others, oneself, and other cultures. It is also choosing to nurture meaningful relationships with family, friends, and colleagues, and building just and caring communities.

a blue circle containing a lotus leaf and the word "Spiritual"


The basis of spirituality is discovering a sense of meaningfulness in your life and coming to know that you have a purpose to fulfill. There are many factors that help define one’s spirituality such as beliefs, values, ethics, principles, morals, and religious faith.

an orange circle with leaves and the word "Environmental"


Our physical environment has a direct impact on our overall well-being. We spend a lot of time thinking about what's around us. Adjusting your surroundings can dramatically improve your overall wellbeing. Everyone is different, where you may thrive in a little clutter someone else might need to straighten up and organize their desk and room around them.

a gold circle with an abstract bar graph and the word "Financial"


Financial Wellbeing involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Money plays a critical role in our lives and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance. Financial stress is repeatedly found to be a common source of stress, anxiety and fear for college students.

a teal circle with an illustration of a brain and the word "Intellectual"


Intellectual well-being encourages creativity and stimulating mental activities. Our minds need to be continuously inspired and exercised just like our bodies. We encourage you to explore new ideas and understandings in order to become more mindful and better rounded. Having an optimal level of intellectual well-being inspires exploration and stimulates curiosity. What are you curious about and would like to explore? What new challenges would you like to take on? What new skills would you like to learn? And what new environments would you like to be in?

For additional resources related to the eight dimensions of well-being and wellness model, please use the links below:

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