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MUSC Wellness Works

Why Wellness Works

Wellness Habits of Health Care Professionals Influence Their Counseling Practices

There is a considerable amount of research that suggests there is compelling evidence that the health of healthcare professionals matters and that their own practices influence their clinical attitudes towards the promotion of well-being in their patients. By providing opportunities for our students to develop and increase their awareness of every aspect of wellness, students will become more likely to relay their habits to their patients and therefore support our university’s mission of preserving and optimizing human life in South Carolina and beyond as well as further educating students to become caring, compassionate, ethical, and proficient health care professionals and creative biomedical scientists.

Wellness Wheel

The co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, Dr. Bill Hettler’s Wellness Wheel is a multi-dimensional, holistic approach to wellness and well-being. The theory suggests that there are 6 dimensions to complete wellness: physical, intellectual, spiritual, financial, social, and emotional. More current models, like the one above, have added a 7th dimension: environmental. Each of these dimensions are interconnected and each play a vital role in an individual’s total wellness. It is important to have each dimension at a balanced level to promote total wellness. Wellness is when there is a degree of balance among the areas. MUSC’s “Wellness Works” is centered on providing students with opportunities to create balance between each of the 7 health/wellness dimensions.


The physical component recognizes the need for regular physical activity. Individuals who practice physical well-being apply knowledge about exercise, nutrition, fitness, healthy eating habits, and personal hygiene into their daily routines.

Characteristics of Physical:

  • Exercises safely and regularly
  • Knowledge of nutritional information
  • Balanced diet
  • Maintaining regular sleeping patterns
  • Managing stress through using healthy strategies
  • Practicing healthy hygiene habits
  • Regular visits to the doctor or Student Health
  • Staying aware of personal health
  • Avoids drugs, such as tobacco, that hinder physical health and limiting alcohol consumption
  • Actively using the Wellness Center and/or joining intramurals


The intellectual component measures the degree to which an individual engages in creative mental activities. An intellectual healthy person uses the resources available to increase their knowledge and skills while sharing them with others.

Characteristics of Intellectual:

  • Attending classes
  • Completing assignments
  • Maintaining an adequate amount of sleep
  • Communicating with professors and university staff
  • Attending presentations, lectures, programs offered through the university
  • Exposing yourself to new experiences
  • Maintaining organization skills


The emotional component recognizes awareness and acceptance of one's feelings. Emotional wellness includes the level in which one feels positive and energetic about the life that they live. Positive emotional wellness also allows one to be sensitive and have empathy towards others.

Characteristics of Emotional:

  • Being sensitive towards self and others
  • Identifying ways to cope with stress
  • Being independent, but seeking help when needed
  • Taking responsibility for your own actions
  • Attending programs dealing with stress management
  • Attending programs that focus on relationship issues


The social component encourages participation in ones community, campus, and environment.

Characteristics of Social:

  • Participate in university activities, sporting events, students organizations, and university offered programs
  • Become familiarized with all departments on campus
  • Volunteer
  • Join intramurals
  • Actively participate in study groups and with colleagues
  • Incorporate social, or fun, activities along with upholding obligations


The spiritual component encourages individuals to increase their understanding of the beliefs, values, and ethics, which can help guide a clear path in their lives.

Characteristics of Spiritual:

  • Take time to reflect each day
  • Relaxation
  • Yoga/Meditation Activities
  • Religious traditions

Financial (Professional)

The financial (professional) component measures the satisfaction gained from working and the level one is interested in the work.

Characteristics of Financial (Professional):

  • Pursuing a career
  • Having a dream and purpose and goal setting
  • Financial planning


The environmental component encourages developing an awareness of the environment that surrounds an individual and enhancing the relationship that one has with it.

Characteristics of Environmental:

  • Finding satisfaction and worth in your academic, working and living environments
  • Honoring your individual living preferences while respecting the preferences of others
  • Being aware of your place in the natural environment
  • Working to ensure the stability and longevity of our natural resources

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