The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that the concept of “wellness” refers to being in good physical shape and mental health. Since the two are closely linked, an imbalance in one area of life can cause distress in another. Similarly, taking care of one side of the equation can benefit the other.

Broadly speaking, there are eight dimensions of wellness. They cover every aspect of modern-day life:

Emotional wellness: coping with life and maintaining healthy relationships

Environmental wellness: being in pleasant living situations that promote health

Financial wellness: being content with current and future financial situations

Intellectual wellness: practicing creativity and actively expanding knowledge and skills

Occupational wellness: being satisfied and fulfilled with professional life

Physical wellness: exercise, healthy food habits, and getting enough sleep

Social wellness: having a balanced pool of friends and a cadre of close confidants

Spiritual wellness: not necessary religious, but having a sense of purpose and meaning in life

All eight dimensions are important in recovery, and many treatment centers will have classes or groups that discuss each dimension in some level of detail. This is why, for example, a number of facilities offer (or encourage) exercise as part of their programs; running can relieve depression, clear the mind, boost short-term brain functioning, and heighten awareness, to the point of making a person “comfortable with the uncomfortable.”

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