This is a great question. In fact, in 2014, the Stanford Prevention Research Center launched the WELL program—a program with the ultimate goal of striving to improve health and wellness outcomes across whole populations—to help answer this exact question.
This study followed more than 30,000 participants in different parts of the world. And you can read some of the interesting findings that they’ve published in this article.
What did they find?
Well, not surprisingly, they found 10 consistent domains of wellness.
And while these domains shouldn’t necessarily be seen as being ‘surprising,’ they do seem to be quite accurate—and show us some interesting information about what most humans (and probably ourselves as well) consider to be the predominant categories of wellness that we should all be striving to pay attention to.
The 10 Domains Of Wellness
Here is a list of the 10 different domains, as listed in the study:
- Social connectedness
- Lifestyle behaviors
- Stress and resilience
- Emotional health
- Physical health
- Meaning and purpose
- Sense of self
- Spirituality or religiosity
- Exploration and creativity
What Can We Learn About These Domains?
First of all, if you examine these domains and really dive into them—you’ll probably come to realize that none of this is ‘new’ news to you. You’ve probably thought about all of these things on your own at some point in time.
And therein lies the truth of the matter.
Humans are complex—but they’re not altogether super complicated either.
Humans need a range of pretty basic and understandable things to ‘go well’ in life in order to feel like they’ve got some measure of safety and security to enjoy.
And these domains really point it all out.
For example—we saw during the pandemic just how much social connectedness is required for our overall mental and emotional (and even physical) health and wellness.
We also know that things like physical health in general are important—as are things like having a sense of meaning and purpose—and also having your finances sorted out and under control.
And hey—we all want to experience a sense of exploration and creativity, right?
How Can You Use This List To Better Your Own Wellness Outcomes?
The best way to use this list to help you create better wellness outcomes is to simply make sure that you’re staying aware of the different wellness domain levels in your own life.
Not all of this is intuitive for all of us. So one great thing about having a ‘list’ available is that you can just work your way down through it, see how you feel about each list item in your life, and then use that to take stock of not only how you feel right now, but also to make a plan for how to make those areas better in the future.
All things considered—this is a super useful method for determining not only where you are currently in your overall life journey—but to also determine where you’re going and how ‘intentional’ you want to be about helping yourself to be in better health (in all respects) as you move forward.