Nine dimensions of well-being: optimize your personal health and well-being
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This is a condensed excerpt from the health and wellness chapter of the new book Evidence-Based Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Nursing and Healthcare: A Practical Guide to Success. Click on here for free access to the full chapter until 02/15/2020.
Although nurses, other clinicians, and health officials take great care of others, they often do not prioritize their own care.
Burnout and depression now affect more than 50% of clinicians in the United States and compromise the quality and safety of health care, as nurses and physicians with poor mental and physical health are at greater risk of committing harm. medical errors. A recent national study of more than 2,300 nurses from 19 health systems across the country found depression to be the leading cause of medical errors. In this study, nurses who reported poor mental or physical health had a 26% to 71% higher likelihood of making medical errors. It is essential that health officials and clinicians prioritize their own care so that they can achieve optimal health and well-being for themselves, support a high level of well-being among their staff, and providing the highest quality, safe care to others.
The nine dimensions of well-being
Taking time each day to monitor and care for your own well-being can have multiple rewards for you, from physical to emotional and financial health and well-being.
Here is an overview of the nine dimensions of well-being, designed to get you started on your way to optimal well-being. Each dimension of well-being is vital and interconnected. Just as a flight attendant tells you to put on an oxygen mask before putting one on your child, you cannot take good care of your family, staff or patients unless you give proper care. put your health and well-being first. be and engage in good personal care.
Physical well-being is not just about exercise; this includes eating a healthy diet, participating in preventive care and regular check-ups, proactively managing any health problems that arise, and maintaining healthy living practices on a daily basis. Focusing on personal care now will have lasting positive effects on your long-term health and well-being.
Emotional well-being includes the ability to identify, express, and deal with all of your feelings. It also includes practicing techniques for dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety, and seeking help when your feelings become overwhelming or interfere with day-to-day functioning.
Financial wellness involves being fully aware of your financial situation and budget, and managing your money to achieve realistic goals. When you analyze, plan well, and take control of your spending, you can make big changes in the way you save, spend, and feel. Almost three in four Americans surveyed in a recent American Psychological Association (APA) (2015) study reported experiencing financial stress. Financial stress can affect your physical and emotional well-being. According to the APA, high levels of financial stress are associated with an increased risk of ulcers, migraines, heart attacks, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, and can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and overeating.
Just as a flexible body indicates physical health, a flexible mind indicates intellectual health. When a person is intellectually healthy, they have a value for lifelong learning; promotes critical thinking; develops moral reasoning; broadens worldviews; and engages in education for the pursuit of knowledge. Each time you learn a new skill or concept, try to understand a different point of view, or exercise your mind with puzzles and games, you develop intellectual well-being. Studies show that intellectual exercise can improve the physical structure of your brain to help prevent cognitive decline.
Engaging in work that provides personal satisfaction and enrichment and that is aligned with your values, goals and lifestyle will keep you in good professional health. After sleep, most of our time is spent at work, so consider whether your job motivates you and allows you to use your strengths or abilities to their fullest potential. Burnout, stress and job dissatisfaction should prompt an assessment of your professional well-being. Even if you can’t change your workplace right now, you can change your approach to the stressors and challenges you face at work.
Social well-being can be defined as our ability to interact effectively with the people around us and to create a support system that includes family and friends. Evidence shows that social connections not only help us cope with stress, but also keep us healthy.
A review of over 100 studies on the benefits of the arts (music, visual arts, dance and writing) found that creative expression has a powerful impact on the health and well-being of diverse patient populations (Jacobs, 2015 ). Most studies agree that engaging in the arts decreases depressive symptoms, increases positive emotions, reduces stress, and in some cases improves immune system function.
Creative wellness means valuing and participating in a wide range of artistic and cultural experiences to understand and appreciate the world around you. Expressing your feelings and opinions through the arts can be a great stress reliever. Don’t let self-judgment or perfectionism get in your way. Allow yourself creative freedom without worrying about how well you’re doing it and take the time to appreciate the creative efforts of others.
Increased awareness of your surroundings can improve your overall well-being. Being respectful of the environment means recognizing the responsibility to preserve, protect and improve the environment, and appreciating your connection with nature. Environmental well-being intersects with social well-being when you work to preserve the environment for future generations and improve conditions for others around the world. Research has shown that green spaces, such as parks, forests and river corridors, are good for our physical and mental health. Your environment is not limited to the great outdoors, however; it also includes everything around you: your home, your car, your workplace, the food you eat, and the people you interact with.
Much of spiritual well-being is about your goal, not religion. You can seek spiritual well-being in a number of ways, including quiet soul-searching, reading, and open dialogue with others. A spiritually good person might explore the depth of human purpose, reflect on human connectedness, and seek answers to questions such as “Why are we here?” Spiritual wellness includes being open to exploring your own beliefs and respecting the beliefs of others.
Protect and cultivate your health and well-being
Changing your wellness habits is not easy; it usually takes 30 to 60 days to make or break a new habit. Setting goals for your well-being can make a significant positive difference in your life and in the lives of others. When trying to make changes, set SMART goals: goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Most people fail to achieve their health and wellness goals because they set unrealistic goals for themselves. For example, if you only exercise for 15 minutes, twice a week, don’t set a goal of exercising for 30 minutes 5 days a week. A more realistic goal is 15 minutes three times a week or 20 minutes twice a week.