Loyola University Chicago

Wellness Center

What is Wellness

Wellness is the dynamic process of becoming aware of, taking responsibility for, and making choices that directly contribute to one's well being and that of the common good. It is the integration of body, mind and spirit and the ongoing development of one's own meaning in life.

Cultural Wellness is being aware and respectful of your own faith traditions and cultural background as well as learning about, accepting, and contributing to the diversity and richness present in other faiths and cultural backgrounds. It is acting towards oneself and all others with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and civility

Emotional Wellness is striving to meet emotional needs constructively. It is the ability to respond resiliently to emotional states and the flow of life events. It is realistically dealing with a variety of situations and learning how your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings affect one another and your decisions. It is taking responsibility for your own behavior and responding to challenges as opportunities. An emotionally well person is self-aware and self-accepting while continuing to develop as a person. Emotional wellness is the ability to form interdependent relationships based on mutual commitment, trust, honesty, and respect.

Environmental Wellness is an awareness of the precarious state of the earth and the effects of your daily habits on the physical environment. It is respect for God's creation and the beauty and balance of nature. Environmental wellness involves maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. It includes being involved in socially responsible activities to protect the environment.

Intellectual Wellness is having a curiosity and strong desire to learn, rooted in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition. It is a lifelong process of creating and reflecting upon experience, staying stimulated with new ideas, and sharing. It is discovering challenges, overcoming barriers, and integrating opportunities to grow, make plans, develop strategies, and solve problems in an academic community dedicated to leadership in service to others. It is the ability to engage in clear thinking and recall, and to think independently, creatively, and critically.

Physical Wellness means respecting and taking care of your body. It is applying your knowledge, motivation, and skills toward enhancing personal fitness and health. It is making healthy and positive choices regarding a variety of issues including nutrition, physical activity, sexuality, sleep, the use of alcohol and other drugs, self-care, and the appropriate use of health care systems.

Social Wellness means contributing to one's human and physical environment for the common welfare of, and social justice within, one's community. It includes promoting a healthy living environment, encouraging effective communication and mutual respect among community members, and seeking positive interdependent relationships with others. It is being a person for others and allowing others to care for you. It is also recognizing the need for leisure and recreation and budgeting time for those activities.

Spiritual Wellness is the quest for meaning, value, and purpose resulting in hope, joy, courage and gratitude. It encourages one to develop a personal faith and to seek God in all things. It is the discovery and incorporation of a personal set of values and beliefs that defines the person, places the individual in relation to the larger community, and engages a faith that promotes justice.

Vocational Wellness
 is a fit between who you are called to be and what you are called to do. It is finding the place where your deep desires and gifts meet a need in the community. A "vocationally well" person expresses his or her values through paid and volunteer activities that are personally rewarding and that make a contribution to the well being of the community. Vocational wellness involves continually learning new skills and seeking challenges that lead to personal growth and a better world. Listening for and following your vocational calling is a lifelong process.


* These definitions were adapted from their original sources to more closely reflect the beliefs and traditions of Loyola's Catholic Jesuit academic community. Sources include California State University, Chico, Psychological Counseling & Wellness Center and William Hettler of the National Wellness Institute.