Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wellness Wednesday: {The Wheel of Wellness Pt. 1}

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization

Happy Wellness Wednesday! This is the 3rd week of this made up "holiday" on my blog:) If you missed the first two posts, you may want to check them out:
Wellness Wednesday: {An Introduction}
Wellness Wednesday: {An Introduction pt. 2}

As I said before, we often tend to think of health in terms of physical, mental, and spiritual. I think looking at only a few types of wellness misses the point, though. I prefer this:

The Wheel of Wellness

Source (click for full size image)

I love visuals, and I think this is an excellent way to view health. This model, created by Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer uses the idea of a Wheel to describe wellness. 

A wheel doesn't function well when a part is broken. It gets lose, wobbles, and eventually can no longer function properly. Overall wellness is important, and is made up of many smaller parts. Even if some of these parts are working well, if there's a part that's broken, that will decrease the overall wellness of the whole. 
The important thing to realize is that one area affects another area, so while physical wellness might be excellent, a lack of mental health will begin to affect the physical wellness component. That's why it's so important to work on increasing your wellness in more then just one area!

This wheel is made up of 5 life tasks with a total of 17 different components of wellness (did you think there were 17 components of wellness?!). 

The 5 Life-Tasks include:
  1. Spirituality
  2. Self-Regulation
  3. Work & Leisure
  4. Friendship
  5. Love
There are 12 components under Self-Regulation (which make up the spokes on the wheel), and many of these components are what we generally think of us health. If you click on the picture above, you can see what each of these factors are. I could spend a years worth of wellness wednesdays talking about each of these factors. I promise I won't. But I am planning on talking about each of them to some extent. And obviously it can't be just one or two blog posts:) 
It's easy to look at the wheel of above, and realize how much work we each need to do in these areas, and feel completely overwhelmed! Remember that wellness is a process that is never complete! Even if we can't get to a perfect level of wellness, 60% of wellness in that area is better then 40%. Of course this type of thinking means you need to let go of the "all or nothing thinking" and embrace the shades of gray, but you'll be more successful in changing behavior if you can do this!

Here's what I'd like to know:
What do you think of the "Wheel of Wellness"?
Does it surprise you that there are so many different components of wellness?


  1. embrace the aren't going to let me blow that off, are you??? :D

    i have printed the wheel, and will examine it as suggested. thank you!

  2. Haha! Of course I'm not going to let you forget about embracing the gray:) Remember to not let yourself get too overwhelmed with each of the 17 components. It's a lot at first, but wellness can be a gradual process of growth:)

  3. This blog is really helpful! Thank you for useful tools like the wheel...I'm currently writing a blog to help raise awareness for depression in young professionals. Check it out if you have time!

  4. Sooz- Thanks for your sweet comment! I'm glad you find some of the things I've posted helpful:) I'll definitely be checking out your blog!