You Are More Than Your Numbers

What are the Eight Elements of Wellness, and what simple things can you do to incorporate them to improve your overall health?

When it comes to your health, there are lots of things you can measure and assign a number to. You may keep track of your heart rate, your BMI, and how many calories you eat each day. Your healthcare provider will monitor and record your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and more.

While knowing your health numbers is important to making sure you are within normal ranges to stay healthy, there is more to achieving wellness than the numbers on your chart. What else do we need to know to help us paint a more accurate picture of our wellness? How can we take steps to improve our complete health that includes elements of our physical, mental, and spiritual health?

What is Wellness?
Have you noticed that our society seems obsessed with numbers? Whether it’s following stock market returns, charting our children’s growth, or tracking the number of steps we take every day, we tend to assign numbers to things to help us determine whether the results are good or bad. But the key to good health is about more than measuring and tracking a collection of numbers.

When we think of wellness, we often think of being free from illness. But wellness is also about being proactive with our health and making choices to ensure we are living as healthfully and happily as possible. Our wellness is more than just our physical health. It can determine the quality of our lives, and can have a big impact on our stress levels, mental health, and risk of disease.

Eight elements of wellness: Each of these building blocks is essential to your overall health.

  1. Emotional – Understanding your feelings and coping with stress.
    Simple Tips:

    • Pay attention to self-care
    • Practice relaxation techniques
    • Develop skills to help you learn from experiences
  2. Environmental – Living a life that is respectful of the planet.
    Simple Tips:

    • Connect with nature
    • Protect the environment
    • Raise your awareness of your impact on the Earth
  3. Financial – Learning how to manage your expenses.
    Simple Tips:

    • Understand how to responsibly handle your money
    • Avoid financial stress by anticipating expenses
    • Use online apps to track your spending
  4. Intellectual – Having an open mind about new ideas.
    Simple Tips:

    • Explore educational opportunities
    • Be curious and expand your knowledge
    • Participate in cultural events
  5. Occupational – Taking satisfaction in your work.
    Simple Tips:

    • Take pride in your achievements
    • Feel a sense of contribution
    • Enjoy what you do
  6. Physical – Keeping your body healthy.
    Simple Tips:

    • Visit your doctor for check-ups and screenings, and make an appointment if you notice anything unusual
    • Eat a nutritious diet
    • Stay active
    • Get enough rest
  7. Social – Building healthy relationships.
    Simple Tips:

    • Create a support network
    • Develop intimate relationships
    • Strengthen bonds with family
  8. Spiritual – Developing values to help you seek purpose.
    Simple Tips:

    • Use resources to cope with problems
    • Practice religion if you choose
    • Use relaxation or meditation techniques to help seek peace.


DO ONE THING: Understand that there is more to your health than numbers on a chart, and incorporate simple tips from the Eight Elements of Wellness.

SHARED DECISION MAKING: Discuss how to optimize your personal wellness with your healthcare provider.