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The factors influencing the health-illness continuum can be internal or external and may or may not be under conscious control. They are related to the following eight human dimensions, and each dimension is interrelated to one other.

  • The Physical Dimension: Age, developmental stage, race, and gender fall within the physical dimension. The individual's health state and lifestyle choices are significantly influenced by these factors and include caring for the body to stay healthy now, and in later life.
  • The Intellectual Dimension: Growing mentally, maintaining eagerness for new learning, valuing lifelong learning, and responding positively to intellectual challenges, which includes expanding knowledge and skills while discovering the potential for sharing gifts with others, are all aspects of the intellectual dimension.
  • The Emotional Dimension: Understanding and respecting one's feelings, values, and attitudes and appreciating the feelings of others are parts of the emotional dimension. It also includes constructively tackling emotions and feeling positive and enthusiastic about one's life.
  • The Social Dimension: The social dimension includes maintaining healthy relationships, enjoying being with others, developing friendships and intimate relations, caring about others, letting others provide care and contributing to the community.
  • The Spiritual Dimension: This includes finding purpose, value, and meaning in an individual's life with or without organized religion and partaking in activities that are in accordance with one's beliefs and values.
  • The Vocational Dimension: Preparing for and participating in work provides personal satisfaction and life enrichment consistent with values, goals, and lifestyle. Contributing one's unique gifts, skills, and talents to find work results in a personally meaningful and rewarding vocation.
  • The Financial Dimension: Managing resources to live within one's means, making informed financial decisions, setting practical goals, and preparing for short-term and long-term situations are descriptions of the financial dimension, but it also includes being familiar with the fact that each individual's financial values, needs, and circumstances are unique.
  • The Environmental Dimension: Knowing how one's social, natural, and physical environments affect health and well-being, becoming aware of the unstable state of the earth and the effects of one's daily habits on the physical environment, and demonstrating a commitment to a healthy planet are all aspects of the environmental dimension.
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