Food for Thought

The 8 Dimensions of Health

Recently, I was hunting for a quick guide to a healthier lifestyle. I landed on this one, The Wellness Wheel, as described by Yale School of Medicine. The Wheel divides human health/wellness into eight dimensions. Each one of the dimensions is worthy of a lifetime of study. Notably, these facets of wellness mirror those promoted by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

In no particular order, The Wellness Wheel describes these eight dimensions: Intellectual, Emotional, Occupational, Environmental, Financial, Spiritual, Physical, and Social. These dimensions or aspects of wellness are intertwined and are all equally important. They rise and fall on our list of priorities many times per year—one area can be vitally important and demanding our attention one week, but not the next.

The edges of the eight facets of health are “fuzzy.” They tend to overlap and blur into each other. Michelle Thall Ph.D., says that our wellness is less like a wheel and more like a kaleidoscope, with all the colors, or facets, touching all the other colors to greater and lesser degrees. The interaction of the eight areas is dynamic, changing from day to day, week to week, and year to year. I agree completely.

For example, nutrition, part of the physical aspect, is crucial to health. This cannot be denied. However, it touches the other seven aspects of wellness, too. I suggest learning about how nutrition affects all aspects of your life. It is fascinating to see it for yourself.

Then move on from there. You could choose any one of the facets, really. Look to see where you could improve your health in that area. The truth is you can do something to improve all of the facets, right now, without extra equipment. Begin to adopt a healthy approach to one area of wellness and expand from there. Gradually work with as many of the aspects as you can to keep yourself strong and healthy, especially in times of high stress like we are experiencing now.

Which facet of health would you like to focus on?  Let us know! We would love to hear.

Stay safe, stay strong!  Meryl

Contributing Writer: Meryl Fury

Meryl Fury is President and CEO of  She is a Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree in Nursing.  Professionally, she has specialized in public health and underserved populations. Personally, she is mad about healthy eating. She enjoys everything about whole-life health, especially working with older people who can greatly benefit from the healing power of whole food plant-based eating. Meryl is the founder, and CEO of Balance Forward Health and Wellness, LLC, which focuses on playfully supporting people who want to attain vibrant health over the entire lifespan. You can read more about her on her website at