How we live is the essence of life. It is important to realize that although many things are beyond our ability to control, our behaviors can have immediate and long term consequences for our health and happiness. Studies have attributed over half of disease to unhealthy behaviors. Accepting responsibility for our lifestyles and learning how to live well is the challenge of "Making the Good Life a Reality!" Measurable decreases in risks to health can result from changes in diet; physical activity; injury prevention behavior; sexual habits; and tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.
Wellness / Health Promotion involves engaging in attitudes and behaviors that enhance quality of life and maximize personal potential. The concept of wellness emphasizes the need to take responsibility for behaviors that develop optimal health.
Wellness is defined as a dynamic process of learning new life skills and becoming aware of and making conscious choices toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyle across seven dimensions illustrated in the SPECIES model: Social, Physical, Emotional, Career, Intellectual, Environmental, Spiritual (Adapted from WHO: The Seven Dimensions of Wellness). (http://www.paho.org/English/AD/dpc/nc/7-dimensions-wellness.pdf).
Through a balance in these seven dimensions, individuals develop their own resources and capacity to continue a healthy lifestyle and positively engage in all facets of their life (e.g., work, community, family). Wellness is a multi-dimensional concept involving encompassing the integration and the never-ending pursuit of growth and the balance of these seven dimensions. Each of these seven dimensions influences our own sense of well-being or quality of life, and each affects and overlaps with one another. At various times, one may be more prominent than the others, however, if any one dimension is neglected for any length of time it can cause an adverse effect on one’s overall health.
Social Wellness is the process of creating and maintaining healthy relationships through the choices we make. It embraces relationships at home and work, friendships, and our relationships with all people and future generations. The social dimension encourages contributing to your human and physical environment for the common welfare of your community.
Physical Wellness is the process of making choices to create flexible, cardiovascularly fit, energetic, strong bodies. The choices we make are related to exercise, nutrition, rest and sleep, intentional and responsible sexual choices, stress management, management of injury and illness, and the responsible use of alcohol and other drugs.
Emotional Wellness is the process of accepting our worth, creating, recognizing, and expressing our feelings, and talking to ourselves in healthy ways. Creating and maintaining a positive, realistic self-concept is also part of this process, as is realistically assessing potential and limitations. Emotional wellness also includes the practice of talking about feelings--fear, anger, sadness, and joy, and selecting healthy behavioral expressions of those feelings.
Career Wellness is the process of making and maintaining choices related to work which include choosing a job for which we are well-suited, well-trained, and from which we gain satisfaction. It also includes staying current in one’s chosen field, helping to create a healthy organizational environment which contributes to your own and others’ well-being. Career wellness also requires balancing work with the rest of your life.
Intellectual Wellness is the process of using our minds to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the universe and ourselves. Intellectual wellness is not dependent on intelligence or ability; rather it requires making connections, appreciating natural connections, examining one’s opinions and judgments, and questioning.
Environmental Wellness is the process of making choices which will contribute to sustaining or improving the quality of life in the universe. This dimension includes responsible choices regarding the use of air, water, land and energy so that future generations of each species may survive and thrive. The recognition of interdependence of humans, other animals, plants and all of nature is a central tenet of environmental wellness.
Spiritual Wellness is the process of discovering meaning and purpose in life, and demonstrating values through behaviors. Spiritual wellness includes acceptance of the concepts of wholeness, unity, diversity, individual uniqueness, and the need for community as well as personal responsibility to oneself and that community.
The UNMC Center for Healthy Living has obtained a clinical-quality, automated blood pressure machine. Individuals can use the monitor anytime during the operating hours of the facility.