College of Veterinary Medicine

Counseling & Wellness Services

Self-Help Information: The Dimensions of Wellness 

 Wellness is a philosophy of life. It is recognizing that your health means more than just lack of illness or having a healthy body. In fact, there are seven dimensions of wellness.

The word BELIEFS will help you remember them. Each letter stands for one of the dimensions-Body, Emotions, Livelihood, Intellect, Earth, Family/Friends, and Spirit/Soul. Here are some ideas about what a wellness lifestyle consists of for each dimension. This list is not exhaustive-add your own ideas and behaviors to achieve your optimal level of wellness. Take some time to note those behaviors and attitudes that you currently practice.


  • I get enough sleep
  • I minimize and/or avoid the use of all types of drugs (nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, illegal drugs, over-the-counter)
  • I eat a balanced diet consisting of food high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat
  • When I am ill, I seek medical care
  • If I am heterosexual, I use an effective birth-control method consistently when I am intimate
  • If I am sexually active, I minimize my risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • I take daily relaxation breaks
  • I do not restrict calories, fad diet, or purge to get rid of excess calories
  • I exercise aerobically three to five times a week (walking, jogging, biking, stairmaster, rowing, swimming, etc.)
  • I exercise because it is enjoyable and beneficial to my heart and health, not only because it burns calories or fat
  • I do not over-exercise (for non-competitive athletes, 3-5 times a week is plenty)

  • I am emotionally comfortable with my sexuality and current sexual practices
  • I take responsibility for creating my feelings
  • I express my feelings directly and often
  • I have a high self-esteem
  • I am free of self-destructive behaviors
  • I take time out for introspection
  • I am satisfied with the size and shape of my body
  • I don't feel guilty when I fail to exercise
  • I don't feel guilty when I eat high calorie foods
  • I do not rely on drugs and alcohol as a way to manage stress
  • I do not blame others for what I am feeling
  • I treat myself as well as I would treat my best friend

  • I enjoy my schooling
  • I enjoy my job
  • I work in a healthy place
  • I stay current in my profession
  • I earn a fair salary
  • I am compatible with my co-workers
  • I chose a job/major with the opportunity for growth
  • My job is not in conflict with my personal values

    • I stay current with local, national and world events
    • I read materials which make me think
    • I listen to and consider ideas different from my own
    • I re-evaluate my judgment and opinions
    • I appreciate the arts
    • I am politically active


  • I recognize my impact on the environment and its impact on me
  • I minimize the use of disposable products
  • I recycle (newspaper, glass, aluminum, plastic)
  • I walk or bike to work or class
  • I realize that my consumption today affects future generations
  • I don't litter
  • I enhance or clean up the environment
  • I buy products and/or support companies which support the environment
  • I support political leaders who are environmentally aware

  • I care about others
  • I recognize and appreciate interdependence
  • I have several healthy, intimate relationships
  • I'm involved in at least one university or community group
  • I refrain from abusive relationships with members of same gender as well as opposite gender
  • I contribute to the well-being of my family
  • I have a positive effect on others
  • I do not exploit, verbally abuse, physically abuse, or deceive others
  • I value sharing time with others
  • I appreciate cultural diversity and have friends from all walks of life
  • I am satisfied with social life

  • I have a sense of meaning and purpose in my life
  • I meditate or pray regularly
  • My actions reflect my spiritual beliefs
  • I have thought about, and accepted, my death
  • I have a feeling of peace
  • I am comfortable with my spirituality at this time in my life
  • I go to church, synagogue, spiritual meetings, or inspirational gatherings
  • I take time out for introspection and reflection of a "bigger" picture

  • Need Additional Help?

    Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Counseling and Wellness Services offer free individual counseling for these and related issues for veterinary students (WSU Veterinary Students ONLY). For more information or to schedule an appointment call or e-mail:

    Donna J. Scott, PhD 
    ADBF 1035

    NOTE:  The information contained in these self help documents is not to be used as a substitute for professional care.  Neither the authors, Washington State University nor the College of Veterinary Medicine assume liability for injury incurred by following the information presented in these self-help documents
    Last Edited: Nov 06, 2013 3:45 PM   

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