Wellness is a key in pursuing Leadership Zen; in fact it is the ultimate goal of its practice. You can’t be happy or fulfilled when you are unwell. When we are well across a variety of dimensions of our lives, we have the potential to be the best we can be. When we are not, it is really very difficult. Being unwell compromises our minds, our bodies, and our spirits which means decreased productivity, decreased energy, and decreased enthusiasm. Not the way to live.
But what exactly is wellness? At Leadership Zen we tend to talk about Three Ideals of Balance, Renewal and Sustainability. Balance refers to your ability to manage the Three Essences of your Social, Professional, and YOURself effectively. Renewal reflects the need to to understand that energy isn’t limitless; it needs to be replenished. Sustainability means to put habits in place that make these ideals permanent – as well as to understand that our individual sustainability depends on the ability of the world to sustain itself. That is a mouthful.
Luckily, the lack of ego at Leadership Zen allows us to realize there are those who express it much better, and in this case it would be the National Wellness Institute. The following is a much simpler version of how we approach it, but it is similar in path and fundamentally the same in outcome. You can find the full text at their website here. It’s an excellent read.
Six Dimensions of Wellness
Developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI), this interdependent model, commonly referred to as the Six Dimensions of Wellness, provides the categories from which NWI derives its resources and services.
To download a pdf handout about the Six Dimensions of Wellness, click here.
Definition of Wellness
The term wellness has been applied in many ways. Although there might be different views on what wellness encompasses, the National Wellness Institute–along with the help of leaders in health and wellness–shared many interpretations and models of wellness.
Through this discussion, there appears to be general agreement that:
The definition of wellness, long used by the National Wellness Institute is consistent with these tenets. Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.
By applying the Six Dimensional Model, a person becomes aware of the interconnectedness of each dimension and how they contribute to healthy living. This holistic model explains:
Applying a wellness approach can be useful in nearly every human endeavor. As a pathway to optimal living, wellness is being applied to related fields, such as health promotion and holistic health, and has seen a growth in “helping professions” including counseling and medical arts and practices. The National Wellness Institute devised three questions that can help persons and organizations assess the degree to which wellness is incorporated into a particular approach or program:
Philosophically aligned, Leadership Zen expresses the approach a little different, and we will explore that in our writings and tools over time. Occupational refers to the Professional Self. Social equates to our definition of the Social Self. Interestingly Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, and Intellectual tend to align with our definition of the YOURself that is so very important and often neglected.
Ultimately the differences are subjective and semantic, but as we develop our language and our partnerships over time, the National Wellness Institute might be a great one to work with. In the meantime, enjoy our growing library of tools and resources to help you achieve the Three Ideals.