What Is the Wheel of Wellness & How Does It Work?

Updated on April 24, 2022

The health and wellness industry has boomed immensely over the last several years. People in general are thinking more critically about how to take care of themselves at home, both mentally and physically. If health and wellness are new habits, it can get overwhelming to know where to start or how to even conceptualize our own wellbeing. That’s where the Wheel of Wellness comes in! The Wheel of Wellness is a concept that has floated around the wellness industry in various forms, and essentially speaks to the equation of our health as a whole. This concept is similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but focuses a bit more on the physical care side of wellness. The Wheel of Wellness can help people getting into wellness with determining what their specific needs are and how to meet those needs for a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. Keep reading to learn what exactly the Wheel of Wellness is, how it works and how to apply it to your life! 

What is it? 

The Wheel of Wellness is essentially a circular map of a person’s basic needs. Again, these ‘wheels’ can come in many iterations, but essentially it covers your emotional, intellectual, financial, physical, social, environmental and spiritual health. All of these important aspects of our lives require different levels and kinds of care, so this is something that a wellness wheel can help us organize in our lives. It essentially works like a map of our essential needs and gives us a few things to check in on with each of those. Keep reading to learn more about how the wheel works! 

How Does it Work? 

A typical wheel of wellness will outline each of these needs, and what you can do to meet those needs. For example, for emotional health, it’s important to check in with your feelings on a daily basis. This can be done through journaling or seeking therapy when needed. Our physical health needs to be maintained by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet. Nurturing intellectual health might look like setting time aside to read a book or do something engaging to flex your powerful brain muscles. Each element of the wellness wheel will have its own basic list of checkpoints to check in on and look out for if you’re feeling like one of these aspects is lacking. 

How Do Each of These Elements Intersect? 

Intuitively, we can probably all understand that our physical and emotional health can affect many different aspects of our lives, so it’s not hard to imagine how these different aspects of our lives can affect each other. If we aren’t taking care of our body, our emotions can suffer, and vice versa. The same is true for financial wellness. If we aren’t doing well financially, that can affect our emotional and physical state. The opposite is also true, if we’re feeling bad mentally, our work life can suffer. You’re probably familiar with these concepts if you’ve read anything around wellness or work life balance, it’s a very similar concept just laid out cleanly so that people can access these ideas more easily. 

So How Can I Use It? 

Applying the wheel of wellness to your life is easy, it just takes little self-reflection and a desire to feel better and healthier in your life! Start by taking stock of all of these aspects of your life and making a list of what’s working, and what isn’t. Seeing all of your needs in front of you with actionable things you want to change can make all the difference, especially for those that have found it difficult to adopt a wellness lifestyle. It’s overwhelming to think about all of these different aspects at the same time and using a wellness wheel to organize your goals can help you take smaller steps towards meeting your goals and feeling better overall. Sometimes, we need to see all of the different layers to see how they interact, and how each element of our lives affects the other directly. 

In short, the wheel of wellness is a way to both track and organize your wellness as a whole by taking all of the elements of our personhood into account. This goes for physical, social, emotional, and even financial well-being. All of these aspects affect each other, whether we know it or not, and taking small steps to take care of each of these factors will do a great deal to help you feel better overall. Use the wheel of wellness to start taking account of what in your life is working, and what may need to be massaged just a little bit to lift up all of the other aspects of your life. 

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