The Four Dimensions of Human Health and Growth

Humans are Four-DimensionalInvest in Yourself

An investment in personal health and growth is an investment in our greatest asset.

The effective care and feeding of a human is focused around 4 areas:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Relational / Emotional
  • Spiritual

Nurture All Four Dimensions

We need to regularly feed, exercise and rest each of these four areas. If we neglect an area, our lives get out of balance. Our performance suffers, our relationships suffer, our motivation dips and our health will deteriorate. In order to restore balance, we need to nurture all aspects of our nature.

Care for Your Body

To develop a healthy body we need to:

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
  • Get enough sleep and learn to manage stress.
  • Take regular exercise.

Care for Your Mind

To maintain a healthy mind, we need to:

  • Feed our minds on new and stimulating ideas. Reading is one of the best ways to achieve this.
  • Balance time spent learning, analysing, and being creative.
  • Learn to think both logically and creatively.

Care for Your Relationships

Our emotional lives are based on our relationships. To be effective in this area, we need to habitually:

  • Spend time with others.
  • Be alone.
  • Work with others, communicate effectively, enjoy people.

Care for Yourself Spiritually

The spiritual dimension of our lives is based on our values, our purpose and our legacy. To flourish in this area we need to:

  • Feed our spirits.
  • Have heroes. Read the spiritual classics. Nurture your values.
  • Take time out to pray, to meditate or to find solace in nature.
  • Live purposefully and with spirit.

And Jesus grew in wisdom (mental) and stature (physical), and in favour with God (spiritual) and man (relational). Like 2:53 (NIV)

Take Responsibility

We don’t wait for someone else to take responsibility for our lives. Instead, we take the initiative; we promote our own growth and well-being.

Everyone is a house with four rooms: Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. Rumer Godden

Share with Others

Although each of us is responsible for our own development, our journey will be easier if we walk with others.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Talk to family and friends about our efforts, uncertainties, struggles and successes
  • Join (or form) a group – an exercise class, a church, a social club…
  • Take it on-line – find a forum, use social networking sites (Facebook), read / contribute to blogs (especially mine!)

Appendix

The table bellow explores these dimensions a little more.

I’ve added the environmental dimension, because it provides a context in which to explore the other dimensions.

(Environmental) Physical Mental Relational Spiritual
Seat Environment Body Mind Heart Spirit
Question Where? / When? What? How? Who? Why?
Expression Occasion Action Cognition Emotion Decision
Care Stewardship Scholarship Relationship Worship
Outcome Wealth Health Understanding Friendship Peace / Joy
Reward Land / Loot Livelihood Learning Loving Legacy
Exercise Invest Implement Inform Invite Inspire
Acquisition Earning Living Learning Playing Praying
Church Role Evangelist (Administrator) Teacher Pastor Prophet
Investment Opportunities Places / Possessions Practices / Processes Patterns / Principles People / Passions Purposes
Responsibility Care Conduct Cognition Community Cause
Action Go Do / Say Think Feel Decide
Rhetoric Kairos (Demonstration) Logos Pathos Ethos
Pavlina‘sPrinciples Power Truth Love
Adjective Environmental Physical / Occupational Intellectual / Rational Social  / Emotional Spiritual / Volitional
Department R&D / Marketing Facilities / Finance IT HR Management
Production Market Land /Capital Information Labour Enterprise
Place Society Work School Home Church / Holiday

Acknowledgements

  • Stephen R. Covey discusses these dimensions of growth in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. The relevant chapter is entitled, “Sharpen the Saw”.
  • Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
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