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What is being well?

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Wellness and wellbeing is a multibillion dollar industry, so much so that we should all be 'well' beings. We hear the phrase so often these days - especially over the last few months and its a perennial favourite of employers, but what actually is it? How do you know when you are

‘being well’ enough? How can you measure it? And does it much matter anyway?!

According to the Collins Dictionary, your wellbeing is your “health and happiness”, and the

Macmillian Dictionary goes one further with the suggestion that it is the “satisfactory state

that someone or something should be in, that involves such things as being happy, healthy,

and safe, and having enough money.”

The business of wellbeing is multifactorial. It is not just what you eat or how you move that

has you be well. It is a more complicated picture of also having good mental health, a high

level of satisfaction with your life, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage

your stress levels.

While it is not necessary to feel that every single one of the elements below is A-OK, you

cannot enjoy an overall sense of wellness without having some kind of balance in these key


  • Physical – this includes what you eat and how active you are.

  • Emotional – your ability to cope with everyday life as well as how you think and feel about yourself. 

  • Social – the extent to which you feel you belong and social inclusion. Rolled into this are your relationships with others, and your values, beliefs and traditions. 

  • Spiritual. This is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. Achieved through being connected to our inner self, to nature or even a higher power. 

  • Intellectual. It is important to gain and maintain intellectual wellness as it helps us to expand our knowledge and skills in order to live an enjoyable and successful life. 

  • Economic - your ability to meet your basic needs and feel a sense of security.

How can you measure how well you are doing?

The experience of ‘wellness’ is very subjective. It is not for others to tell you how well (or

otherwise) you are doing at your own wellbeing. One of the tools I like to use when

working with clients is the Wheel of Life, which offers a 360-degree view of your

current life situation.

Each segment in the wheel represents a different area of your life that is important for overall

health and wellbeing. Of course, my wheel is skewed towards nutrition and lifestyle, but the

effect is pretty much the same. You would score yourself based on how you feel about

different areas of your life: health, weight, fitness, energy levels, personal achievements,

work/career, sense of purpose, happiness, fun, family life, social life and friendships, and

(last but not least) ‘me time’.

Try the Wheel of Life for yourself

The great thing about the Wheel of Life is that it allows you to take an honest look at what’s

working in your life right now and where else you would like to see improvements, then find

ways to link your health goals, so there is a positive impact in other ways too, helping to

increase your motivation and commitment.

Consider each area of your life now and rate on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied you feel in the

correct area in your wheel. 10 is high, and 1 is low. It’s completely normal for people to

discover they are satisfied with some areas of their lives and very unsatisfied with others.

Remember that this is really a helicopter view, allowing you the luxury of evaluating the

whole of your life and not piecemeal.

It’s also common for some of my clients to get a bit upset if they see they score low in more

areas than they’d like. If you try the Wheel of Life Exercise and don’t like what you see, don’t

panic. The job within your programme (if you’re working alongside me on improving your

health and nutrition) is to take actions consistent with improving specific areas of your life

that you feel need a boost.

Try the exercise and see how you fare. There are a handful of things I try to be

mindful of as I go about my day-to-day life.

  • I look for ways to connect; to talk and listen to others, and to live in the moment.

  • I consider how I can build more activity naturally into my day by walking when there is a realistic option, and moving my body in a way that feels good rather than a chore or a punishment.

  • I observe and take notice of the simple things that bring joy. Focussing on things I am grateful for makes a big difference to how I experience my life.

  • I am always on the look-out for ways to embrace new experiences, to grow and learn.

  • I try to be generous with my time, kind words and my presence.

If you would like to talk over your Wheel of Life results book in for a 30 minute complimentary consultation.

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