5 Dimensions of Health
The five dimensional model of health includes physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects. These health parameters were set by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. The quality of life of an individual or the overall well-being of an individual is determined by the interactions between these five dimensions. It’s important to understand these dimensions, and find ways to ensure a balance of mind, spirit, and body.
Physical health refers to the state of the body, and its ability to perform bodily functions. It refers to the aspects that are essential for keeping the body in the best condition. Following are a few ways to ensure good physical health:
➻ Eat nutritious food to keep the body and mind energized.
➻ Never skip meals or overeat.
➻ Water is essential for cleansing the body.
➻ Fitness through exercise will increase immunity and endurance levels of the body.
➻ Regular medical checkups can help in arresting illnesses in their early stages.
➻ Sleep at least for 7 uninterrupted hours daily.
➻ Avoid addictive substances.
This is a cognitive ability to develop skills and knowledge to enhance one’s life. Our intellectual capacity helps to stimulate our creativity and improve our decision-making ability. Here are ways to maintain intellectual health:
➻ Setting realistic goals will go a long way in keeping you healthy.
➻ Explore every opportunity with an open mind.
➻ Be aware of the demands and expectations others have from you.
➻ Have a positive outlook, especially when dealing with conflicts.
Our ability to accept and cope with our own feelings, as well as emotions experienced by others is defined as emotional well-being. Emotions contribute to almost all aspects of our life, at times, even setting course of actions. Symptoms of emotional problems such as hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and even suicidal tendencies are not always easily detectable, and these can have an adverse effect on one’s quality of life.
➻ Awareness and acceptance of our strength and shortcomings is essential for our emotional well-being.
➻ One should have the ability to handle stress and seek help, if needed.
➻ One should build strong communication networks among family, friends, and peers.
Building and maintaining satisfying relationship’s comes naturally to us, as we are social animals. Being socially accepted is also connected to our emotional well-being.
➻ One should improve or enhance one’s ability to interact with people, and be receptive to their ideas with an open mind.
➻ One should accept and understand diverse cultural norms.
➻ One should build networks among different kinds of people.
➻ One should adopt a positive self-image.
➻ One should enhance interpersonal communication skills.
Our good health is incomplete without being spiritually healthy. Being spiritual translates to the ability and desire to seek meaning and purpose of life. Spiritual health refers to our personal beliefs and values. There are no prescribed ways to attain spiritual well-being. It’s more a matter of looking inwards to understand the meaning of our existence.
Life as we know is a puzzle; health dimensions are separate pieces that need to be fitted together to understand its meaning. Though we all seek a harmonious balance between the mind, body, and spirit to lead an optimal fulfilled life, it’s rarely attained in totality. Our own feelings of weakness and non-acceptance of life’s events causes distress in our daily life. Therefore, one needs to make efforts to understand the roles played by these dimensions, as that would help us attain good health and happiness.