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The 6 dimensions of well-being

By Aetna

Living well means so much more than having low blood pressure, a strict workout regimen or a low-carb diet. Well-being is made up of all the factors that allow you to be your best — and they’re all connected. For example, think about the last time you felt stressed. How did it affect you physically or impact your relationships? It takes a total approach to health to achieve well-being.

The six dimensions1 to well-being

Try focusing on these areas to find your healthy place.

  1. Physical health — Taking care of your body and being able to carry out the important tasks in life, now and into the future.
  2. Emotional health — Being satisfied with life, having good mental health and being able to deal with difficult emotions.
  3. Financial security — Feeling good about your current and future finances without worrying too much about making ends meet.
  4. Social connectedness — Having close, meaningful and supportive relationships, and feeling like you’re part of a community.
  5. Character strengths — Feeling consistent thoughts and taking actions that contribute to the good of yourself and others.
  6. Purpose — Having a sense of meaning in life and pursuing what’s most important to you.

Well-being in action

Whether you are healthy or have existing conditions, focusing on all areas of well-being can help you on your path to better health. Here are some actions you can take to get started. 

Physical health

  • Be active every day. Walk, bike, swim, dance or do what makes you happy — it all counts
  • Choose healthier food options like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products

Emotional health

  • Practice deep breathing to help manage stress
  • Try to focus on the positives in life

Financial security

  • Plan for your future — consider hiring a certified professional planner to help
  • Reduce debt and keep a monthly budget

Social connectedness

  • Surround yourself with good friends
  • Join a club to meet other people who share your interests

Character strengths

  • Find ways to continue to grow your skills and knowledge
  • Volunteer, mentor or get involved in your community


  • Practice being thankful every day
  • Determine what’s important to you and pursue it — whether in your personal life or your career

Get started on your health and well-being today. To learn more, register or log in at and look under “Stay Healthy.”

Download a PDF of this article here.

1 Determinants of well-being are proprietary to Aetna and developed as part of a multi-year research collaboration with faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of subsidiary companies, including Aetna Life Insurance Company and its affiliates (Aetna). This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. If you have specific health care needs or would like more complete health information, please see your doctor or other health care provider. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to 

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