The 9-Dimensions

I came across a model that looks at wellness through a multi-faceted lens many years ago and the concept has stayed with me from that moment on.

The model isn’t attributable to any one researcher however it forms the basis of a universal approach to Wellness. That is, there are multiple dimensions or aspects that determine our well-being and therefore our overall wellness.

Some teachers/writers talk about 4-dimensions, others 5 or 7 and the model is often referred to as the ‘wheel of life.’

For me I have identified 9 dimensions (of well-being). That is 9 parts of you that when nourished (properly maintained), provide opportunity for optimum wellness.

Everyone’s optimum will be different so the 9-dimensions provide a tool to determine how well you are around the 3-key areas of life: live – work – play and the key ingredients within those areas: energy – engage – excite.

The 9-dimensions are physical, creative, financial, environmental, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, social and emotional.

I immediately resonated with the need to explore multiple aspects of Self as often you will hear the lack (of balance) play out in daily conversations.

‘I love dancing, but I just never have the time.’ ‘I never get the promotions at work; I seem to be constantly overlooked.’ ‘I work such long hours; I never get to see the kids’ activities.’ ‘I’m drowning in debt, I never have enough money.’ I’m so tired when I get home from work, I can’t be bothered sorting nutritious food.’

On the surface these are pretty much stock standard conversation bites yet they reflect the mind-set of ‘never’, which is a focus on lack; the lack of opportunity, the lack of promotion, the lack of time, the lack of energy, the lack of money.

If, as many of the fore fathers and mothers of personal development suggest ‘we become what we think about’ then is it any wonder that we create a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy.’ That is, we end up creating the very lack we are trying to avoid.

So the perfect starting point is to create awareness of our thoughts and analyse them in context to each of the 9 dimensions in order to create strategy for doing something different or better.

Just as our physical realm requires food and water (nourishment) so do each of the other dimensions.

Download (PDF, 107KB)

Rate yourself around each of the 9-dimensions

Print out the Dimensions Table and take a moment and rate yourself. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is pretty ordinary and 5 is damn fantastic; rate yourself around each of the dimensions.

How did you do? Are there any 1s, 2s, or 3s? If so, there’s your potential starting point.

Once you have identified the potential for change, then it is time to start building strategies. Strategies don’t have to be scary or hard, simply small tweaks to get you moving in a different direction.

For example:

  • If you lack social interaction join a group – dance, cards, or bird watching.
  • If you don’t move enough make the decision to walk more and drive less. Get off your bus one stop earlier and walk. Join a walking group and enhance your social dimension also!

These are just a couple of examples to demonstrate the change does not have to feel overwhelming. The key is awareness. Using the 9 dimensions allows you to focus on the entire YOU and slowly make the changes that you can embed into your everyday life.

It will eventually and simply become a no-brainer; the way you choose to live.

Wellness - Natural State

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