How Does Your Wellness Wheel Roll, Beautiful?

How’s your beautiful life today?  What does your Wellness Wheel look like?  What’s that, you don’t have one?  Let’s do one up for you now.

What is a Wellness Wheel?

The Wellness Wheel originates from the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel.  Native American ceremonial use of the Medicine Wheel dates back 7,000 years.  These early Medicine Wheels–made by arranging stones in the shape of a bicycle wheel–have been discovered in the northern United States (Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming) and southern Canada (Alberta and Saskatchewan).  Archeologists speculate that the function and meaning of the Medicine Wheel changed over time and the specifics surrounding their original purpose, so far, are lost to time.

Today, Medicine Wheels are used in Native American spirituality and the meaning behind them can differ from nation to nation.  It’s also known as a Wellness Wheel and is used by non-Aboriginals outside of spiritual practices.  The Wellness Wheel is incorporated into some health and wellness care and education among the general population.

How Do I Make a Wellness Wheel?

The basic Wellness Wheel is a circle divided into four equal parts, representing the four parts of a person:  emotional; mental; physical; and, spiritual.

Wellness Wheels can also have six parts:  career; emotional; intellectual; physical; social; and, spiritual.  Your Wellness Wheel can have more parts, if you like.

So, go ahead and draw a circle and divide it into four (or five, or six, or more) equal-ish sections and label them accordingly.  As you consider the different parts, shade or color them in:  the center of the circle is the lowest point on the scale (or, least “well”) and the outer rim of the circle is the highest point on the scale (or, most “well”).

What Is the Purpose of a Wellness Wheel?

We often think of wellness as physical health and the absence of illness.  Physical health is an important component of wellness, but it is only one component.  Our overall wellness is comprised of all of the components outlined above.

The Wellness Wheel illustrates your balanced lifestyle.  As you look at your Wellness Wheel, you’ll notice that the components, while distinct, are interconnected.  The illustration is a tool that:  1) makes us aware of the different components of our wellness, and 2) helps us make adjustments as needed.  The goal is for us to create the healthiest (or, most “well”) life possible where all our parts are full and equal.

Completing Your Wellness Wheel

Here’s an overview of what your Wellness Wheel might contain, in alphabetical order:  career; emotional; intellectual; physical; social; and, spiritual.

Career Wellness

Career wellness focuses on finding a satisfying job or career where we contribute in a meaningful way.  It also includes achieving a balance between our work and personal lives.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness focuses on our ability to understand, manage and share our feelings.  It also includes our ability to cope with life’s challenges as well as our outlook and enthusiasm for life.

Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness focuses on our ability to continuously learn.  It includes challenging our minds with new ideas and experiences.  For example, we can expand our existing skill-set or learn something new.

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness focuses on our physical health.  It includes our fitness and exercise, nutrition and daily routines.

Social Wellness

Social wellness focuses on our ability to interact and relate to others.  It includes our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships, as well as our ability to contribute to our community and environment.

Spiritual

Spiritual wellness focuses on our ability to find purpose and meaning in life.  It includes understanding our values and behaving in ways that are consistent with these beliefs.

My Wellness Wheel is Broken! 

It isn’t broken!  There is no perfectly formed Wellness Wheel if we’re being honest.  So, this is good!  If your Wellness Wheel appears out of balance (or flat or broken), it means that you were honest in this exercise.  Now you can see where you can make adjustments to your life by making choices that contribute to maximizing your wellness.

Your Every Day Wellness Wheel

Your Wellness Wheel can be used every day.  We make lifestyle choices every day, although we may only notice results over the longer term.  Referring to our Wellness Wheel every day can help us see results every day, which encourages us as significant changes develop in our desired areas.  It can also be effective when used every year.

It Keeps Changing Shape!

You’ll notice that the shape of your Wellness Wheel changes, and can change every time you use it.  What may appear broken today can appear perfect tomorrow.  You’ll also notice that making changes in one area will expand into other areas.

What Do You Mean, Jellybean?

Let’s say you decide that you want to achieve more physical fitness.  This doesn’t mean that you have to train to run marathons.  You can take a walk in the evenings, gradually increasing your time and perhaps pace.  As you take your walks, you’ll notice an improvement in your physical fitness.  And what else?  Hey, you’re in a better mood and feel less stressed.  That’s the emotional wellness component.  Maybe you meditate or pray while you walk.  That’s the spiritual component.  Maybe you go for walks with your friend or neighbor.  That’s the social wellness component.

Roll It, Beautiful!

It’s your Wellness Wheel — grab hold of it and fill it up.  You can fill it up by increments or by massive life changes.  However you choose, roll it to your more beautiful life!

 

 

______
For more information on the origins and applications of the Medicine Wheel, see:
U.S. National Library of Medicine
University of Ottawa, Aboriginal Health

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “How Does Your Wellness Wheel Roll, Beautiful?

    1. Thanks, Mike! It’s great that you’ve made a wellness wheel before. It can be helpful to re-visit, much like a business plan or 125-point inspection. You might find that you need more music in your life! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Nice way to explain being well, and how one wellness integrates into the whole. I think my emotional section of wheel makes me a bit wobbly, lol! but the rest are pretty good. Long walks and good sleep cure a lot of ills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joey! I used to go for early morning walks and should probably get back to that habit. I agree wholeheartedly that long walks and good sleep cure a lot of ills! Those cures are worthy of their own blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am one of those people that, although striving to get better, is content with where I am. Of course, I would like to make more money, but prefer to do what I enjoy no matter the pay. I am in decent shape, have a roof over my head, have enough to eat, have love ones that care about me, and I am healthy. I consider myself really lucky.
    My wellness wheel would be pretty balanced, although it would often be filled with a little too much hot air.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Congratulations! You’ve already rolled your full and balanced wellness wheel into your beautiful life! Maybe one day you’ll be inspired to write a post letting us know how you did it. A little extra hot air makes the wheel roll that much smoother :).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, G! You’re facing tremendous challenges and you’re meeting them with courage and grace. I have a great deal of admiration for you.

      Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. You may have more in your wellness wheel than you realize. From what I’ve seen, I could list three categories that are looking good and there are probably more.

      When we’re hit by a hard blow, or series of hard blows, it can knock the wind right out of us. We hit the mat and struggle to jump right back up. Sometimes, we may need to adjust our expectations so that they’re more in line with our situation. We need to set goals that reflect our current situation — not the situation we were in before and not the situation we expected to be in now. G, I don’t pretend to know what you’re going through, but I hope some part of this might help a bit.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Bradscribe, thank you very much! That means a lot to me.
      Here is another example of the genius of Brother Brad! I could ponder this wheel for days or even weeks. In one smooth motion you’ve resolved the issues. A cake cut into 4 definitely increases your wellness :).
      Yes, your fiction is always a treat. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Geoff! I’m glad that you like this idea. It’s amazing how something that seems so simple can be so profound. It seems that you’re already familiar with the concepts. It can be helpful to create a snapshot of sorts with the wheel illustration. Or maybe a decision tree :).

      Like

  3. I would color the spiritual slice of my wellness wheel a golden color, social slice a turquoise since it feels bright yet tranquil (no rocky relationships) but my work slice is dark gray. I try to portray my friends as the “lights” in my day while my grandies, children and outside friends are “stars” in my nights and over weekends.
    I know why my wheel is out of kilter but it pays the bills; for now. As you suggested, we all have some control over “how our wheels roll.” 🙂
    Danica, this is a lovely self help project and it spells out your answers in “technicolor!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin, I love your color coding of the different sections! As you describe your lights and stars, I’m picturing a quilt or a painting.
      While we do have some control over how our wheel rolls, I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s challenges or struggles. I know that genuine hardship exists everywhere.
      It is an interesting project to explore, and it can be a useful tool as we create our most beautiful lives possible. Technicolor!
      Thanks very much, Robin! 🙂

      Like

    1. Is that what it is! Thank you! Maybe you’ll be able to tell us more about it sometime 🙂

      I’m so glad to know that, Michelle. You’ve gained a lot of hard-won wisdom. That makes the knowledge that much more profound, doesn it?

      Like

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