The Wellness Wheel Theory is a holistic approach to wellness that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The theory emphasizes the importance of addressing all aspects of your life, including physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, occupational, financial and environmental factors, to achieve optimal health and well-being. I came across The Wellness Wheel a few years ago and as someone with an all-or-nothing mentality resulting in a constant sense that I’m veering off balance, I’ve found it to be a great starting point for self-reflection when writing in my journal as well as it being a great tool for personal goal setting. In this blog, I’m going to outline just what the Wellness Wheel is and explain how you can use each of the 8 Wellness Factors as positive journal prompts.
What is The Wellness Wheel?
The Wellness Wheel is often represented as a circle, with each of the eight dimensions of wellness forming a slice of the metaphorical pie. The goal of this model is to help you identify areas of your life that may need attention and develop a plan to improve overall health and wellness. See the diagram below for further details.
Imagine your riding a bicycle and each of the dimensions below carry equal weight to each other. Take one weight off and the bike will start to feel wobbly and go off course, the same happens when you pay less attention to your finances and put more focus on your social life. Having an even balance of each of these factors is likely to help you stay on course and keep you on track to living the life you want to live.
Positive Journal Prompt #1: Physical Wellness
This might sound obvious, but physical wellness refers to the state of being in good physical health. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, drinking enough clean water and engaging in regular physical activity. Exercise is an essential component of physical wellness and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Exercise also wards off mental health issues or at least helps to manage them, as endorphins released during physical activity reduce cortisol and other nasty hormones.
Reflection Prompts: How physically active am I day-to-day? What small thing can I start doing to improve my overall physical wellness? What am I already doing that benefits my physical wellness?
Goal Prompts: Where do I want to be in my physical health in a year’s time? What goals do I want to achieve that a healthy body will help me to reach?
Positive Journal Prompt #2: Emotional Wellness
Emotional wellness refers to the ability to manage emotions in a healthy way. It includes the ability to identify and express emotions, regulate emotional responses, and cope with stress. Emotional wellness can be improved by practising mindfulness, seeking support from friends and family where possible, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and pleasure.
If you’re someone who’s recovering from childhood trauma then this might be a strong reflection point for you. Many of us who have grown up in turbulent and toxic households may never have had real-world examples of emotional wellness, which makes it all the more important to put our focus on it.
Reflection Prompts: What daily habits do I already have that support my emotional well-being? What are my emotional triggers and how do I handle them? How do I manage stress in my life?
Goal Prompts: In one year’s time, how do I want to be able to handle [certain trigger]? What am I going to start doing every week to ensure I gain more emotional balance?
Positive Journal Prompt #3: Spiritual or Purpose Wellness
Spiritual wellness refers to the sense of higher meaning in life that goes beyond our occupation, our intelligence and our social circles. It includes the search for greater meaning and purpose, the development of a personal philosophy, and in some way or another, the practice of meditation or prayer. Spiritual wellness can be enhanced by developing a connection with nature, participating in religious or spiritual practices that make sense to you, and engaging in activities that promote a sense of purpose. It can also simply be about how you live your life by your own vision e.g. being a kind and compassionate human being.
Reflection Prompts: What spiritual practice makes sense to me? What is the meaning of living a life of purpose? Am I living into my purpose every day?
Goal Prompts: I am going to start doing [activity] every [day/week/month] to connect to my own sense of purpose more.
Positive Journal Prompt #4: Social Wellness
Social wellness refers to the ability to build and maintain healthy relationships. It’s about developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with people such as friends, family, and community members. Social wellness can be improved by practising active listening, expressing empathy, and engaging in activities that promote social connection and communication. Contrary to popular belief, having a ‘social life’ doesn’t always equate to social wellness, it’s about forming real connections where you feel seen and see others, a space where it’s okay to be vulnerable, where you’re accepted for who you are in your entirety.
Reflection Prompts: Does my current social life bring me a sense of belongingness? Do I feel connected to others? Where might I find my people?
Goal Prompts: I am going to start [going to this group/attending this class] in order to expand my social circle and build my social wellness. In a year’s time, I want to have friends who are […]
Positive Journal Prompt #5: Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual wellness refers to the ability to think critically and creatively and expand on existing knowledge. It includes the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, the ability to solve problems and make decisions, and the willingness to learn and grow. Intellectual wellness can be enhanced by reading, furthering your education, engaging in creative pursuits, and seeking out new experiences.
Reflection Prompts: What do I want to learn this year? What skills and knowledge can I grow to better my career/financial prospects? What do I love learning about?
Goal Prompts: In five years’ time I want to be able to… / I am going to spend more time learning about…
Positive Journal Prompt #6: Occupational Wellness
Occupational wellness refers to the sense of satisfaction and fulfilment in one’s work. This includes finding meaning and purpose in one’s job, developing skills and expertise, and achieving a work-life balance. Occupational wellness can be improved by seeking out career development opportunities, setting achievable goals, and finding ways to integrate work and personal life. It may also be your own business goals and how you aim to achieve them.
Reflection Prompts: What do I want to achieve in my occupation that will contribute to my overall sense of wellbeing? In five years time, where do I see myself in my work? What line of work matters to me?
Goal Prompts: In [1/3]5/10/50] years time, I want to be a [profession / title name] in/at … these steps will help me to get there…
Positive Journal Prompt #7: Environmental Wellness
Environmental wellness refers to the impact of the environment on physical and mental health. It refers to spending time in environments that make sense to us and contribute to a greater sense of balance. For some, this may be spending more time in nature or even living in the countryside instead of the city. For others, it may be building a life where travel is an integral part of their day-to-day lives and for others, it might mean creating a haven in their own home.
Reflection Prompts: What do I need in my immediate environment to feel balanced? What does my ideal home look like? What small things can I do to feel a sense of comfort in my immediate environment?
Goal Prompts: In 2/5/10 years’ time I want to live in a [type of home] in [city/country]. This will make me feel…
Positive Journal Prompt #8: Financial Wellness
Financial wellness refers to the impact of your income on other aspects of your life. It includes a look at your income and financial goals, savings and expenses, and future financial ambitions.
Reflection Prompts: How am I practising financial wellness daily? What can I do better to reach my financial goals?
Goal Prompts: In 5 years time I want to achieve [goal related to financial wellness].
By focusing on the eight dimensions of wellness, individuals can identify areas that may need attention and develop a plan to improve overall health and well-being. This approach emphasizes the interconnectedness of these dimensions and recognizes that improving one area can have a positive impact on others. By embracing this model, individuals can take control of their health and well-being and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.