4 Components of Wellbeing
Health and wellbeing are often divided into seemingly separate spheres. However, with research and developments in the healthcare fields it is becoming more and more evident that those different spheres directly impact each other. While there may be many more areas of wellness such as SAMHSA’s identified 8 Dimensions of Wellness (MFP (samhsa.gov)), we will focus on 4 components in this article.
4 Components of Wellbeing:
Biological: Physical body and functions
Psychological: Thoughts and emotions
Social: Interactions with others
Spiritual: Sense of purpose and connection
Our physical bodies help us navigate through physical reality and interact with the world around us. When we neglect to care for our bodies, we can experience different conditions and ailments that limit us. These conditions can also have an impact on our psychological well-being due to the stress that goes along with them. Certain psychiatric disorders may also be directly connected to the health of our physical brain such as mood disorders, ADD/ADHD, and cognitive disorders.
Biological Wellbeing Strategies: Eat a healthy whole food diet minimizing processed ingredients such as excess salt, hydrogenated oils, and sugar. Engage in moderate daily exercise, get proper sleep, and avoid unhealthy substances such as alcohol and drugs.
Our minds are often very busy. Examining our thought patterns can give us insight into our mental health. Sometimes we can become self-critical or hyper aware of negatives. Our past can shape our current thought patterns, especially when we have experienced trauma or adversity. Our thoughts are also related to our sense of self and our body image. Thoughts can impact our behaviors which can in turn have an impact in other realms of wellbeing such as our physical health and social interactions.
Psychological Wellbeing Strategies: Seek therapies such as EMDR and Brain Spotting to process unresolved traumas. Start a daily gratitude practice, journal your thoughts and feelings, and engage in mindfulness practices and meditation.
Interpersonal relationships are highly important. If we are struggling in other realms of wellbeing, having someone in our lives that we can trust and seek for support and guidance can make a major difference. If we are having stressful interactions with friends or loved ones, it can have a negative impact on our mental state. It is important to surround yourself with healthy sources of social support.
Social Wellbeing Strategies: Spend time with people that build you up. Limit time with people that are critical or bring your mood down. Practice assertive communication when addressing conflict and make an effort to schedule social interaction if you tend to isolate yourself.
Spirituality can include religious belief or practice, but it does not have to. Spirituality involves our sense of purpose and connection to something greater than ourselves. For some, that could be a divine figure. For others it could be an energetic force or connection with nature. The most important thing is that you have a sense of connection in a way that is meaningful for you. When people lack a sense of purpose or
higher connection, this can lead to serious mental health issues including depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction.
Spiritual Wellbeing Strategies: Make a list of your values and live in accordance with them. Spend quiet time in nature, engage in meditation or prayer, explore your sense of purpose, and volunteer for causes that you care about.
Oftentimes, we place more emphasis on caring for one or two of these components while neglecting the others. It is important to balance our attention and care in all these areas to support optimal wellbeing. Take time to reflect on your own level of wellbeing in each of these components of wellness. Are there ones that you neglect? Are there ones you may dedicate too much time to? It is important to maintain balance in caring for yourself in a holistic way. If you need support and guidance, consider scheduling therapy or coaching sessions.