Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

What is Wellness & Why Is It Important?

Posted by William Kirkpatrick on Jul 10, 2017


"A conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential."

Wellness is much more than merely physical health, exercise or nutrition. It is the full integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. 

This post provides a broad, yet specific sense of what wellness means, the different types of wellness and steps to improve your everyday life. 

Why Wellness Matters

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.

"If there was a fountain of youth, it would rest in the souls of those who are seeking optimal health as they age," says Beverly Bernstein Joie, president/CEO of Complete Care Strategies. "The priority to seek optimal health spells less heart disease, strokes, and cognitive decline."

Types of Wellness

The dimensions of wellness are occupational, spiritual, physical and intellectual. Each dimension of wellness is interrelated with another. Each dimension is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. One can reach an optimal level of wellness by understanding how to maintain and optimize each of the dimensions of wellness.  

Occupation Wellness

Occupational wellness focuses on our search for a calling and involves participating in activities that provide meaning and purpose.

It is the ability to achieve a balance between work and leisure, addressing workplace stress and building relationships with co-workers. It even involves exploring various career options and finding where you fit.

Your career encompasses so much of your time, which is why it's important for your overall well-being to do what you love and love what you do. When people are doing what they were meant to do, they deepen their sense of meaning and purpose. 

The Path To Occupational Wellness

Occupational wellness involves personal satisfaction and enrichment in one's life through work. At the center of occupational wellness is the premise that occupational development is related to one's attitude about one's work. 

Ask yourself:

  • Do I enjoy going to work most days?
  • Does my career offer me a manageable workload?
  • Do I feel that I can talk to my boss and co-workers when problems arise?

If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your occupational wellness.

How To Improve Occupational Wellness

  • Write out your occupational goals and create a plan to reach them
  • Keep motivated to work towards what you want
  • Enjoy what you do, do what you enjoy
  • Increase your skills and knowledge to advance your occupational wellness goals 
  • Find the benefits and positives in your current job 
  • Create connections with your co-workers
  • Avoid over working yourself, find a work/life balance

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual Wellness represents your personal beliefs and values and involves having meaning, purpose, and a sense of balance and peace. 

Spiritual wellness refers to the practice of integrating those beliefs and values with action toward bettering both yourself and the world around you.

Why is Spiritual Wellness Important?

Spirituality is important because contemplative practice is good for you. Contemplative practices are activities that guide you to direct your attention to a specific focus—often an inward-looking reflection or concentration on a specific concept.

A person who is spiritually well examines personal values and beliefs, searches for the deeper meanings of life, has a clear understanding of right and wrong, reflects and meditates and finds joy in everyday life.

How To Improve Your Spiritual Wellness: 

1. Explore your spiritual core

By exploring your spiritual core, you are simply asking yourself questions about the person you are and your meaning. Are you taking the time to determine what values, principles, and beliefs are important to you? Are you using your spirituality to drive your actions and thoughts and give a better meaning to life?

These questions will lead you down a road where you will think more in-depth about yourself and allow you to notice things about yourself that will help you achieve fulfillment.

2. Look for deeper meanings

Looking for deeper meanings in your life and analyzing occurring patterns will help you see that you have control over your destiny. Being aware of this can help you achieve a happy and healthy life.

3. Express youself

Expressing what is on your mind will help you to maintain a focused mind. Try writing down your thoughts - you may be able to think clearer and move forward.

4. Try yoga

Yoga will surely help you on your way to enhancing your spiritual wellness. It will relieve the physical and emotional tension. All the things like bad emotions and feelings that interrupt your wellbeing will leave permanently. 

5. Travel

Taking time for yourself to travel to a comforting place or somewhere new can do wonders for your mind. Being all by yourself in a quiet and peaceful surrounding helps you increase the connection with your inner self and it’ll greatly help you strengthen your spiritual wellness. You can utilize your leisure time by meditating or doing yoga.

6. Think positively

Weeding out the negative thoughts will enrich your life for certain. Leaving space for the positive can bring you the changes you desire for a long time.

7. Take time to meditate

While managing your time and daily tasks can be hard, it is crucial to devote time to yourself. Take five to 10 minutes each day to meditate. Fitting mediation and relaxation into your lifestyle will free your mind and foster a stronger relationship with your spiritual wellness. 

Physical Wellness

Good physical health habits through nutrition, exercise, and appropriate health care make up the physical dimension of wellness.

Physical wellness promotes proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning. It encourages the balance of physical activity, nutrition and mental well-being to keep your body in top condition.

As you become conscious of your physical health, you are able to identify elements you are successful in as well as elements you would like to improve.

Why is Physical Wellness Important?

Physical Wellness encourages us to care for our bodies through physical activity, proper nutrition, and a strong mind.

The Route to Physical Wellness

Understanding your body’s physical health is crucial in order to develop balanced physical wellness. When you take the route to physical wellness you will learn to understand how your body performs physically and be able to connect it to how you feel mentally. Physical wellness encourages principles of good health and knowledge, which affect behavior patterns that lead to a healthy lifestyle.

Physical Activity

Being physically active is essential to keeping your body in its top condition. A few proven benefits of physical activity are strengthened bones and muscles, reduced risk of disease and stroke, and more energy.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • Are you getting regular physical activity whenever you can, and making it fun? 

  • Have you been taking “shortcuts” to exercise, like parking further away from the store and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator? 

  • Have you identified your optimal Body Mass Index and begun working toward it, one day at a time? 


It is important to nurture your body by eating a well-balanced diet. Filling yourself with a variety of nutrients and vitamins will not only help prevent illness, but will also keep your body functioning at its best. 

Here are some questions to think about:

  • Do you have access to fresh, healthy food?
  • Do you eat at home so you can track what you're eating?
  • Do you set small, healthy eating goals each dar, week or month? 

How To Improve Physical Wellness:

  • Exercise or engage in physical activity for 30 minutes each day
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Recognize signs when your body begins feeling ill
  • Eat variations of wholesome, healthy foods
  • Control your meal portions
  • Try to sleep between 7-9 hours each night
An inspiring quote comes from the president/CEO of Complete Care Strategies, Beverly Bernstein Joie, who said, "When the priority is to live well and manage chronic diseases, the choice for a healthy lifestyle is what we can control about our own future. What often gets in the way is ourselves."

Intellectual Wellness 

Intellectual wellness means engaging in creative and stimulating mental activities to expand knowledge and skills.

Intellectual Wellness is achieved through self-directed behavior focused on learning. It is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions and betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to intellectual wellness. 

Intellectually well people cherish mental growth and stimulation, are involved in intellectual and cultural activities and are engaged in the exploration of new ideas and understandings. They are also curious and interested in the communities as well as the world around them. 

Why is Intellectual Wellness Important?

Intellectual wellness encourages learning. It is important to explore new ideas and understandings in order to become more mindful and better-rounded. Having an optimal level of intellectual wellness inspires exploration.

Intellectual wellness also stimulates curiosity. Curiosity is important because it motivates you to try new things and develop an understanding of how you see the relationship between yourself, others and the environment.

How to Improve Intellectual Wellness:

1) Read

Reading is known to have many benefits including improvement in memory, vocabulary and an increase in the capacity to empathize with others. Reading can inform you, make you think and question your preconceived notions, help you connect with a character or engage you as you try to predict the twist ending. All of these things feed the mind and nurture your intellectual wellness.

2) Explore

Sometimes it takes interaction with the world around you to improve your intellectual wellness. There are plenty of ways to boost your intellectual curiosity without spending all day at the library: you can go to a museum, go on a nature walk, see an educational movie or simply explore a place you have never been to before.

3) Create

Being able to create does wonders for both your intellectual and mental health. Similar to the positive effects of reading, being creative is known to improve memory retention as well as emotional stability.

Wellness & Creating Balance 

Creating balance in our lives is an important part of wellness. A balanced life can mean many things, depending on culture, circumstances, resources, and other factors. Balance means making sure we have time to do the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. This includes working, having fun, spending time with family and friends, participating in the community, being physically active, praying, relaxing and sleeping.

Because we each have individual needs, preferences, and capabilities, what we consider “balance” will also look different. And it’s important for us to re-balance from time to time, to adjust to what is going on in our lives.

When we’re trying to get through a tough time, balance is especially important. In these times, our habits and routines can help us get that feeling of control back. This means focusing on ourselves as well as the roles we play in the lives of others.

Our roles and relationships with others help define who we are and give us a sense of purpose. Being engaged in life and relationships provides a measure of balance and overall wellness. 

"Control the things we can I always tell my clients. Diet, exercise, stress management, being with the people we love, and a purpose to our lives is the formula," says the president/CEO of Complete Care Strategies. "Also, surround yourself with a health care team to support you along the way."

Please leave your questions or comments in the form below.

Topics: Personal Wellness Plan, Staying Healthy, Wellness, Healthy Mind