Blog entry

We Are Alive!

Just saying … At some point, I began to realize, our bodies are living organisms that require a certain amount of care and healing. When our brains are no longer healthy, we may forget to care for the other parts of our bodies. We isolate our brains and say this is what matters.

For years, I have focused on how my brain functions. It is only recently, with the field of Behavioral Health focusing more on Integrated and Whole Person Care, did I realize the brain is dependent on the proper functioning of all organs in my body.

Medications can heal our bodies, but so can vitamins and exercise, and they are less intrusive in many instances.

Social and family relationships are good, but if they are toxic (meaning if they do not comfort us or allow our bodies including our brains to heal), we may never recover, often re-experiencing trauma, thus, we lose hope.

Through all of this, I developed a wellness story. A story of hope. I have moved beyond recovery to being well. A few months ago, I was asked to update a toolkit and I noticed that the recovery component was not quite up-to-date. I looked to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for resources. Guess what? I found my wellness story! I felt validated because SAMHSA had my wellness story! I thought, “Wow, somebody is finally understanding this is a type of ‘cure’ I am experiencing from quality behavioral health services.” So, here is wisdom from SAMHSA I am sharing today.

“What is Wellness? (excerpts from SAMHSA’s website)

SAMHSA defines wellness, not as the absence of disease, illness, or stress but the presence of purpose in life, active involvement in satisfying work and play, joyful relationships, a healthy body and living environment, and happiness.

Wellness is being in good physical and mental health. Because mental health and physical health are linked, problems in one area can impact the other. At the same time, improving your physical health can also benefit your mental health and vice versa. It is important to make healthy choices for both your physical and mental well-being.

Remember that wellness is not the absence of illness or stress. You can still strive for wellness even if you are experiencing these challenges in your life.

Making the Eight Dimensions of Wellness part of daily life can improve mental and physical health for people with mental and/or substance use disorders.

What Are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness?

Learning about the Eight Dimensions of Wellness can help you choose how to make wellness a part of your everyday life. Wellness strategies are practical ways to start developing healthy habits that can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health.

Eight Dimensions of Wellness

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are:

  1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.”

(SAMHSA, 2017)

After understanding the body is living and whole, wellness has been my focus over the years. The concept of Wellness has given me a mighty “cure”, and now I understand, it’s all about that hope.


National Wellness Week

Celebrating National Wellness Week: September 10th through 17th

SAMHSA’s Toolkit for the Week



SAMHSA. (2017). Wellness. Web.

SAMHSA. (2017). The Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Web.


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