What are the 7 dimensions of holistic health?

Well-being is total integration and the pursuit of continuous growth and balance in these seven dimensions of well-being. Although Claudio now spends much of his time in South Africa, he occasionally teaches courses in Devon; the next one will be in Totnes on Saturday, March 19 on the topic of Living Systems Leadership. He will also give a talk about his holistic wellness program in Dartington later this year; search the NOW website for more information. The idea that welfare is the exclusive domain of a favored few is no longer acceptable in the 21st century.

The idea that everyone has the right to seek the “good life” is enshrined in many documents, including the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, in our work in this field we find a distorted view of what well-being really means. From a medical point of view, it is often still seen as the absence of physical illness. Perversely, from a psychological perspective that is based on a materialistic view, it is often considered to have access to abundant resources.

So why do we find many who have access to abundant resources, are still so stressed, unhappy and physically ill? The cultural, economic and social context in which different communities live determines the extent to which the members of these communities thrive or not. Therefore, for a truly holistic view, we need to go beyond individual-centred measures and look to the organization, the economy and society as a whole. Implicit in well-being is a “political” perspective that allows us to seek positive change in society to achieve the well-being of all. It's called “The Seven Pillars”, although I prefer to think of it as the seven dimensions of human experience.

It's a start, but successful wellness programs are those that are solid and holistic and can address each of the seven dimensions of wellness at work. Emotional well-being is a dynamic state that often fluctuates with the other six dimensions of well-being. If you need more ideas on how to implement holistic workplace wellness programs, here are some additional ideas. Holistic well-being is the pursuit of continuous growth and balance in the seven dimensions of well-being.

This dimension of well-being can be developed through academia, career, cultural participation and hobbies. Claudius van Wyk is an international trainer and professional in the theory and practice of holistic well-being. Sometimes one may be more prominent than others, but neglect of any dimension over a certain period of time has adverse effects on overall health. Although most people associate well-being with physical and mental well-being, there are, in fact, 7 dimensions of well-being.

Attention should be paid to all dimensions, since the neglect of anyone over time will adversely affect others and, ultimately, one's health, well-being and quality of life.