James Madison University

Wellness Dimensions



Intellectual Wellness

Goal: Gaining new knowledge/learning.

Intellectual wellness encourages engaging in creative, stimulating mental activities. An intellectually well person uses resources available to expand her/his knowledge in improved skills along with expanding potential for sharing with others. Some aspects of intellectual wellness include: openness to new ideas, a capacity to think critically, being curious, questioning concepts, and solving problems.

Emotional Wellness

Goal: Establishing an awareness and acceptance of your feelings.

Emotional wellness includes the degree to which one feels positive and enthusiastic about oneself and life. Many people can find guidance through expressing emotions to a trusted confidant or trained professional. Some aspects of emotional wellness include: optimism, trust, self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-control, and coping with stress.

Social / Cultural Wellness

Goal: Developing healthy relationships and becoming culturally competent.

Social wellness encourages contributing to one's human and physical environment to the common welfare of one's community. Cultural wellness implies understanding, awareness and intrinsic respect for aspects of diversity. A culturally well person acknowledges and accepts the impact of these aspects of diversity on sexual orientation, religion, gender, racial and ethnic backgrounds, age groups, and disabilities. Some aspects of social wellness include: establishing a support network and participating in the enrichment of one's community, country, and world.

Occupational Wellness

Goal: Establishing a satisfying career.

Occupational wellness relates to preparing for a career in which an individual will gain personal enrichment and satisfaction. Some aspects of occupational wellness include: job satisfaction, enjoyment with the type of work, looking forward to work in the morning, and establishing a sense of community with co-workers.

Spiritual Wellness

Goal: Establishing a sense of self beyond physical being.

Spiritual wellness involves seeking meaning and purpose in human existence. It includes efforts to develop one's personal philosophy as well as the development of a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces that exist in the universe. Some aspects of spiritual wellness include: belief and practice of a religious faith, experiencing peace with nature, meditating, or developing skills in activities such as yoga.

Environmental Wellness

Goal: Protecting oneself from the world's physical hazards.

Environmental wellness is sometimes defined by the livability of your surroundings. Personal health depends on the health of the planet from the safety of the food supply to the degree of violence in society. Some additional aspects of environmental wellness include: ultraviolet radiation, water pollution, air pollution, lead paint, and secondhand tobacco smoke.