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Wellness, Balance, Growth


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."


Wellness has been defined as "the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort" or "as an actively sought goal." Wellness can be divided into seven dimensions: emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, physical, environmental, and occupational. As a college student, here are some ways you can work on these dimensions in your own life:

Emotional wellness is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. It's the ability to express emotions appropriately, adjust to change, cope with stress in a healthy way and enjoy life despite its occasional disappointments and frustrations.

Cultivate an optimistic attitude, seek and provide support, practice stress management techniques.

Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. It endows us with the ease and confidence to be outgoing, friendly and affectionate toward others.

Volunteer in the community, attend SXU athletic events, join a student organization, donate blood.

Intellectual wellness is a state in which your mind in engaged in lively interaction with the world around you. It implies that you can apply the things you have learned and have the desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges.

Visit a museum, study abroad, read a book that's not required, attend a political event.

Spiritual wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives, to develop congruency between values and actions. It implies a search for meaning and purpose in life, and to work toward a state of harmony with oneself and others while balancing inner needs with the rest of the world.

Learn about belief systems different from your own, take a religion or philosophy class to explore your values.

Physical wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that slows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. It's maintained by good nutrition, regular exercise, avoiding harmful habits and making informed and responsible decisions about health.

Exercise five days/week, eat vegetables and fruit daily, get eight hours of sleep each night.

Environmental wellness is the ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us.

Reduce, reuse and recycle; bike/walk to class; use re-usable water bottles.

Occupational wellness is preparing and making use of your gifts, skills and talents in order to gain purpose, happiness and enrichment in your life. It means successfully integrating a commitment to your occupation into a total lifestyle that is satisfying and rewarding.

Update your resume yearly, attend the job fair, talk with the Center for SUCCESS.

Balance and Growth

You can see that wellness may be a goal we never totally achieve. But it's a great goal to work toward. Some of these may be easier for you than others. Finding balance in each of these areas will be difficult as a college student, and you'll have experiences and opportunities for growth in all of them. The Counseling Center is here to help with problems and concerns in any of these areas, but we can also help with growth and improvement. Make use of all the resources SXU has for you, and may the upcoming year bring you wellness!

If this is an emergency, please call 911 or 3911 on campus.