Most know to eat right and exercise. This has been a common theme for decades for good health. As long as you are eating your fruits and vegetables, controlling portions, balancing calories in with calories out, we should be all set, right?
Then why is obesity at its highest?
Why do so many struggle with depression or mental illness?
Why are illnesses like diabetes, cancer and Alzheimers on the rise?
The answer- Health is Multidimensional.
The 8 Dimensions
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identifies 8 Dimensions of Health. Knowing and understanding these 8 Dimensions is key to identifying your starting point towards healthier behavioral change.
The 8 Dimensions are:
Beyond Diet and Exercise
Diet and Exercise encompass only one area of what the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes as the 8 Dimensions of Health. Diet and exercise have taken center stage over the years while the emphasis on social, emotional, spiritual, financial, occupational and environmental health has been lacking. However, if all areas are not in balance, our weaker areas will prevent us from reaching overall optimal health and wellness. To help you visualize this, use the 8 Dimensions of Health compass pictured here. Consider your current habits in each of the eight areas and place a dot along the line. A dot closer to the center is considered "unhealthy" while one closer to the outside point is "healthy". When all areas have been assessed, connect the dots. A large smooth circle represents a balanced and healthy lifestyle in all dimensions. A small circle points to an unhealthy lifestyle in all dimensions of health. Most likely you have an image that does not resemble a circle at all. Some dimensions are healthy while others are unhealthy leaving your circle unbalanced.
So what next?
You have just taken an important step towards better health. Identifying areas of weakness can help point you in the direction to better health. You now have a starting point in your journey and you know your destination. Knowing what specific areas of your life to focus on is crucial to beginning your journey to your optimal health destination.
Support Along the Way
Your journey to Health and Wellness does not need to be taken solo. In fact, support from loved ones and friends is imperative to your success. Now that you have discovered your starting point, you may be asking, "What Next?". If you are unsure of your next step, I invite you to reach out to me. As a Wellness Coach, I can help plot your journey and identify the steps that will get you to your destination. Begin by downloading my FREE 8 Dimensions of Health worksheet. Once you have identified your starting point, I can help you one on one develop a plan, support you along the way and be there to celebrate your crossing the finish line!
Are you ready to embark on your path to Health and Wellness?