This year’s Connection Café Fall Series is happy to present the 7 Dimensions of Wellness. The idea of wellness should not be limited to one idea, and that is why this series is covering the “Lifestyle Redesign” model, (Cassidy, et al, 2017). To learn about all the different areas, please register for sessions at www.go.osu.edu/ConnecttoWellness for Friday morning presentations and watch for more blogs.
Why is intellectual wellness important? According to Clark, et al (2015), lifestyle factors determine 50% of a person’s mental capacity. Cognitive functioning can be improved by intellectual wellness, and it can even decrease the risk of cognitive decline as we get older. We should continue to learn across our lifespan, applying that knowledge to develop our skills, and sharing it with others.
So how do we apply wellness to our intellect? Besides categorizing wellness into seven different areas, intellectual wellness can be split even further. The idea of “general intelligence” seems limiting. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences breaks down intelligence into 8 categories through which a person can promote their own intellectual wellness. Let’s take a closer look at each type, and an example of how you might use them to promote wellness.
- Bodily or Kinesthetic refers to activities that connect your mind and body. This is not only doing activities like exercise or learning new sports, but also this area is good for those who like crafting.
- Interpersonal wellness can be achieved by having meaningful relationships with others. This can be worked on through socializing, meeting new people and working on improving existing relationships.
- Intrapersonal wellness can be developed by gaining a better understanding of oneself by setting personal goals and barriers, and spirituality or meditation.
- Linguistic or verbal wellness is achieved though writing stories or poems, reading, or learning new languages.
- Logical or Mathematical wellness is not only related to solving and calculating math problems but playing games that involve strategies and critical thinking.
- Musical wellness could be listening to music, practicing a new instrument, or even signing alone in your car.
- Naturalist, or natural wellness, involves spending time with the natural world through gardening and taking care of animals.
- Visual or spatial wellness is the ability to navigate the world around you or doing activities such as puzzles and sudoku.
It is important that no matter what dimension of wellness you are wanting to work on to remember the acronym SMART as a guide when setting wellness goals. Making sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely helps to ensure your success! At times we can be unrealistic with our goals, making them too hard to reach, so be SMART with your goal setting.
Some activities that you may be able to think of doing to enhance your intellectual wellness might fit more than one of these categories. Dancing for example can be both a form of bodily and musical wellness. Some crafts might also use logic problems solving, or can be done in a group, promoting interpersonal wellness. Websites can also be a great resource for finding ideas for increasing intellectual wellness, such as these:
- Brain training websites and apps visit: https://www.verywellmind.com/top-websites-and-games-for-brain-exercise-2224140 and https://www.cognifit.com/brain-games
- Memory aid strategies visit: https://www.myotspot.com/memory-aids-cognitive-impairment/
Enjoy your wellness!