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Dimensions of Well-being

8 Dimensions of Well-Being

Healthy Hawk programs and events recognize eight aspects of well-being that together influence our quality of life. Discover each dimension and find opportunities to engage.

kure sunset


Emotional well-being considers how you relate to your own thoughts, reactions, and feelings. It involves becoming mindful of your and coping with life experiences. Being emotionally "well" means you can express yourself in healthy and appropriate ways.

white blossoming tree


Engagement or social well-being encompasses advocacy and service to others. Engaging in our communities helps us to affirm our intersecting identities and surround ourselves with a positive support network.

students engaging outside


Financial well-being involves learning to manage budgets and financial resources. It helps us maintain sustainable lifestyles and plan our futures through financial strategies like savings and investments.

person working on laptop


Intellectual well-being involves being curious about the world and other people’s perspectives. It can include academic study or activities like learning a language or how to cook. Diverse knowledge and skills help us assess situations and make healthy, safe decisions.

wooden walkway


Occupational well-being focuses on satisfying work. It often means learning transferable skills, participating in professional development, and establishing a healthy work/life balance.

student conducting chemistry experiment


Physical well-being means living a balanced life through healthy nutrition, regular movement, and a consistent sleep schedule.

trees on campus


Spiritual well-being involves finding connection and meaning in our daily lives. It may refer to a specific religious practice or activities like self-reflection and meditation. It often includes learning acceptance and recognizing how we attach meaning to life events.

four plants


Sustainable well-being means understanding how the environment affects personal and community wellness. The air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat directly impact our physical health, and natural settings can influence our physical, intellectual, or spiritual well-being.

outdoor gathering

Additional resources

Emotional well-being refers to how you relate to your own thoughts, reactions, and feelings. It involves becoming mindful of the entire range of emotions you may experience and learning to cope with those experiences that occur in your life. Being emotionally “well” means that you are able to express yourself in a healthy and appropriate manner.

  • Coping: To address responsibilities in a calm and adequate manner
  • Mindfulness: A technique in which one focuses attention on the present to experience thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement
  • Self-Worth: The sense of one’s own value

Engagement (social) well-being encompasses advocacy and service to others which allows us to surround ourselves with a positive support network.

  • Advocacy: Supporting or advancing a cause for the betterment of disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, society, or the earth in general. Promoting awareness or education regarding an issue, and donating your time, energy, or resources to help organize a movement or create change are all aspects of advocating.
  • Service: To volunteer, “to choose to act in recognition of a need, with an attitude of social responsibility and without concern for monetary profit, going beyond one's basic obligations”. Assisting others without expecting any reward or gain; being involved in projects that serve others or contribute for the betterment of the larger community.
  • Support Network: Developing and maintaining healthy relationships and creating an employee network for motivation, encouragement, to cheer on one another, and to talk about ways to overcome challenges. Embodying the “love where you work” sentiment by building a positive, fun community.
  • Workplace Involvement: Being involved with a committee or initiative allows employees to learn how to work as a team, time-management skills, gain leadership skills and build networks. Employees build a network with other employees, alumni, or community members who share similar interests or can provide mentorship(s).

Financial well-being involves learning budget management in order to maintain a sustainable lifestyle while also learning to plan for the future through savings and investments.

  • Budget Management/Budgeting: A budget, simply put, is a plan for your money. This plan requires tracking of income and expenses, and ensuring that all expenses are paid on time and hopefully some could be saved in case of an emergency or for a larger purchase.
  • Retirement & Investment: A popular way to gain financial security is by saving money and investing it. It’s not an easy task for most people. Most literature says pay yourself first. This means via the budgeting process, determine how much you can place into a special account first; then pay your bills. Setting goals about saving can be a great motivator. Gaining knowledge regarding different retirement options and college savings accounts can also be a great motivator to save.

Intellectual well-being refers to remaining curious about the world around us. It not only includes identifying areas of improvement, but also learning and applying new skills and knowledge that grows an employee’s ability to assess situations and make healthy and safe decisions. Being open minded and willing to hear others’ perspectives is an important step toward intellectual wellness.

  • Critical Thinking: Clear, rational, open-minded approach to analyzing information
  • Curiosity: A desire to learn and be open to new experiences
  • Lifelong Learning: The state of remaining open to new experience throughout the life span
  • Safety: Awareness and understanding of potential risks associated with the physical environments around us, and utilizing knowledge and experience to make healthy and high moral decisions

Occupational well-being allows us to engage in aspects of our work to develop satisfaction such as learning transferable skills, participate in professional development opportunities, and embrace a work/life balance.

  • Professional Development: Learning or gaining skills to enhance careers. This can be done through certifications, education, webinars, networking, and more. It encourages you to explore various career options based on your career interests, work values, and personal preferences. This can also include job shadows and informational interviews
  • Transferable Skills: Identifying and growing skills and abilities that are relevant and helpful across different areas of life: professionally and personally.
  • Work/life balance: Ability to achieve balance between your work and leisure time; addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers

Physical well-being is living a balanced life through healthy nutrition, regular movement, and a consistent sleep schedule.

  • Movement: Healthy adults aged 18-65 years should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on 5 day/week or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on 3 day/week. Adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
  • Eating: Good nutrition means enjoying an adequate amount of a variety of mostly nutrient-dense, lightly-processed foods from all groups. Healthy eating is flexible, and while it involves being conscious of your food choices, it also means giving yourself the freedom to enjoy occasional treats without guilt. Eating enough, regularly enough, is far more important than what you eat.
  • Rest: Rest is essential for your body to relax and your muscles to rejuvenate after moving. Regular sleep habits include 7-9 hours of sleep each night, an occasional nap of 30 minutes, a noise-free environment for resting, and practicing relaxation exercises to recharge the body.

Spiritual well-being reflects finding connection and meaning in our daily lives. It may refer to a specific religious practice, but for workplace purposes, it includes finding time for self-reflection and meditation. It often includes learning acceptance and recognizing how we attach meaning to events that occur in our lives.

  • Connection: The association or a relationship with others
  • Meaning: One’s purpose or intention
  • Purpose: The reason for existence

Sustainable well-being is an understanding of how the environment is linked to the ability to protect and promote personal and community wellness. The health of the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat, directly affects our ability to maintain physical health.

The same chemicals that harm the environment are also important to avoid in cleaning products, food, and cosmetics. Additionally, the preservation of natural areas for recreation and leisure is important for intellectual as well as physical health.

  • Ecological Balance: The equilibrium of needs as a result of the interconnectedness of land, water, air, and living things.
  • Ocean Preservation: The planned study, protection, and mitigation of ocean habitats and ecosystems.
  • Water Conservancy: To preserve all water resources by reducing water waste and pollution.

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