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The 6 Dimensions of Health and How To Nourish Them

It can be hard to ignore the marketing drumbeat of the wellness industry: crystals, detoxing, probiotics, supplements…oh so many supplements. And as a result, there’s a feeling that the secret to wellness is hidden somewhere inside a Goop store or self-help book.

The reality is that much of the wellness industry doesn’t work.

So where do we go for our wellness fix?

Once our basic needs are met, scientists cite nourishing six dimensions of our health. According to research, these dimensions work together to achieve greater wellness than any over-the-counter quick fix.

1: Physical – Move and Eat Well

Get out and move. Even 30 minutes of activity can have substantial effects on our health and well-being. And as a bonus, try to do some of that movement outside as being outside has positive health effects.

As for diet, keep it simple. Avoid processed and fried foods as well as fad diets and supplements (many of them don’t work).

2: Emotional – Share Your Feelings

It’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to be vulnerable. Avoiding or hiding our feelings just makes it worse. Seek professional help, if necessary. But most importantly, sharing your feelings is a sign of strength, not weakness.

3: Cognitive – Do Uninterrupted, Deep Work

In the constant search for finding our passions, we often get discouraged and stop. Instead of finding the perfect passion, understand that a passion or interest takes time to emerge. Lower the bar of expectation and try to get lost in the work or activity at hand.

Eliminate distractions and try to give, whatever it is, your undivided attention. Being fully present and engaged can actually make us feel pretty good.

4: Social – Relationships Matter

Full calendars, beeping phones, the cult of busyness shouldn’t take priority over cultivating relationships. Americans are suffering from loneliness and its affecting our health. Digital relationships cannot replace in-person ones.

Instead of picking up the phone to scan through social media, set up lunch with a friend. Our network of friends can be our source of greatest strength and support when we need it and even when we think we don’t.

5: Spiritual – Find Awe in Something Bigger Than Yourself

Connecting with something beyond or bigger than ourselves is important. Organized religion, although on the decline, has provided a purpose and sense of awe for people that gives them direction and meaning in their lives. People need meaning in their lives with or without religion.

So in lieu of religion, work on finding a sense of direction, motivation, and cultivating core values. Experience awe by watching a sunset, listening to music, or watching a performance to develop feelings bigger and greater than ourselves.

6: Environmental – Take Care of Your Surroundings

Take a moment to consider your environment. Is your phone always on? Is there healthy food in your cupboard? Do you have a routine for staying healthy? Are you getting enough sleep?

Adjust and design an environment that is conducive to the behavior you desire. And not just your environment, but the actual environment. Take care of the planet and pick up litter. Leave nature a little better than you found it.

Source: Outside Magazine

Sonja Stilp M.D. is a doctor and founder of RISE. She is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with fellowship training in interventional spine and sports medicine. Schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Stilp at RISE in Boulder, Colorado.

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