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Understanding the 4 Types of Wellness


Fitness equipment that can be used to focus on physical wellness.

When you hear “wellness”, do you think of four different aspects of your health?

Physical health is the first thing that typically comes to mind, and brings images of nutrition, exercise, and sleep with it. However, there are so many more aspects of your health to juggle for optimal quality of life.

Many of these four areas of health intertwine and affect one another, so it’s important to take care of them all. For example, according to the Mental Health Foundation, physical and mental health are dependent on one another, and both are equally important to your overall wellness.

Read on to learn more about the four main different types of wellness. They can be broken down further into subtypes, but learning about these is a great start to understanding holistic wellness.


Woman laying on a bed working on her emotional/mental wellness and physical wellness.

The 4 Different Types of Wellness

Emotional/Mental Wellness

This is the health state of your emotions, mind, and outlook on life. Generally speaking, if one is able to express their feelings, understand that complex emotions exist, and feel safe and respected by others to be themselves, have self-esteem and a sense of identity and purpose, their emotional wellness might be described as good! Of course, we are not discounting mental illness as a huge factor in emotional health, nor will these suggestions cure any type of disease or disorder. But generally, in order to maximize your daily emotional wellness, there are things you can try:

  • Keep a journal
  • Cultivate a positive mindset and remember things you are grateful for
  • Practice stress management skills
  • Cultivate self-esteem and self-acceptance
  • Talk to loved ones
  • Take time every week for yourself and the things you love to do


Woman hugging her dog.

Social Wellness

Almost everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging and interact with others to feel fulfilled in the area of social wellness--yes, even introverts! Social wellness has a lot to do with emotional wellness above. There are things you can do, even during the pandemic, to ensure you still get ample social time: 

  • Reflect on current relationships--maintaining appropriate boundaries, respect for each other, etc.
  • Call a loved one or set up a virtual chat to meet with friends weekly or monthly
  • Spend time cuddling or playing with a pet
  • Share your skills with others or volunteer in your community
  • Go on a walk in a public space where there are other people (who are taking proper safety precautions)
  • Join a club that interests you to find like-minded people


A person meditating by the ocean and working on their spiritual wellness.

Spiritual Wellness

This area of wellness doesn’t mean specific beliefs. It applies to everyone, from all different backgrounds and walks of life. Spirituality can be your connection to Earth and your individual sense of purpose in life. Reflect using some suggestions below:

  • Meditate, spend time practicing mindfulness and sitting in the present moment
  • Keep a journal of your beliefs and ideas about life
  • Live by your principles and standards
  • Look for opportunities for growth and challenge yourself as a person
  • Learn about a new topic or idea, reflect on what it means to you
  • Gather with others to meditate on beliefs and self-awareness


A group of people focusing on their physical wellness at the gym.

Physical Wellness

Last, we come to the area most associate with their health--the physical aspect of wellness. This includes sleep, nutrition, exercise, the immune system, reproductive health, and much more! Here are some great practices to try implementing in your daily life:

Join a fitness program you’ve always wanted to try (even from home online!)

  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Take your pet for 30 min walks every day
  • Drink at least 8 cups of water a day, more if physically active
  • Make a habit of moving your body every day for at least 45 minutes
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, pay attention to your dietary needs and sensitivities
  • Get adequate rest
  • Take vitamins to support your nutrition and wellness
  • Schedule routine check-ups with your dentist and medical provider

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Written by Annie-Eliza Stevens