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How to Assess Your Wellness: A Comprehensive Guide

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How to Assess Your Wellness: A Comprehensive Guide

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Woman in black blazer holding a clipboard. Represents wellness assessment.

Healthcare professionals have been gradually shifting their approach to align with patient preferences.  They have done this by consistently promoting healthier lifestyle choices.  This has led to improved wellness over the past decade.  With the shift in healthcare professionals’ approach to health and wellness, it’s no wonder the value of wellness assessments increased.

Besides healthcare professionals’ shift in their approach to health and wellness, wellness assessments have become increasingly popular as people become more health conscious.  These assessments help you take control of your health.  Wellness assessments do this by finding potential risks, then healthcare professionals supply personalized recommendations for improving overall well-being.

In this blog post, we will explore:

  • Wellness assessments and the different types of tools available
  • The benefits they offer,
  • How to prepare for one, and
  • What to do with your assessment results.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction to Wellness Assessments

A magnifying glass with a black handle that zooms in the word "assessment."

Wellness assessments are an essential tool for evaluating your overall health and well-being.  It is a comprehensive evaluation that measures various aspects of your physical and mental health.  A comprehensive wellness assessment should consider various aspects of your life, including but not limited to:

  • physical activity,
  • nutrition,
  • stress levels,
  • mental health, and
  • social connections.

It typically includes:

  • blood tests,
  • medical history reviews,
  • lifestyle questionnaires, and
  • other diagnostic tools.

These assessments aim to find any potential wellness issues early on before they develop into serious problems. Therefore, getting a wellness assessment on a regular basis is a promising idea. Conducting wellness assessments regularly is good for your overall well-being. It gives you the opportunity to find potential health risks early on. Even better, it gives you the opportunity to take proactive steps toward:

  • maintaining your best health,
  • preventing illnesses from occurring in the future, and
  • improving your quality of life.

Types of Wellness Assessments

For the most part, wellness assessments are questionnaires that evaluate wellness across various domains.  The creation of many wellness assessment tools occurred around the 1980’s. 

Assess Wellness: Clinician Assessment Tools

Below are some of the wellness assessment tools used by clinicians to assess wellness.

  1. WEL: Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle
  2. PWS: Perceived Wellness Survey
  3. OLP: Optimal Living Profile
  4. BMS-WBCI: Body-Mind-Spirit Wellness Behavior and Characteristic Inventory
  5. SWLS: The Satisfaction With Life Survey
  6. PWB: Ryff’s psycological Well-being Scales

Assess Wellness: Laymen Assessment Tools

Besides the wellness assessment tools used by clinicians, there are two other wellness assessment tools. 

  1. Wellness checklist
  2. Wheel of wellness.

The purpose of the wellness assessment tools is to help you:

  • get to know yourself better and
  • find where you are on the wellness continuum.

Keep in mind that assessing your wellness is not a one-time occurrence but a regular practice.

Taking control of your health through regular wellness assessments is essential for living a happy and fulfilling life.  By:

  • finding potential health issues early on and
  • making positive lifestyle changes,

individuals can improve their overall well-being and reduce their risk of developing chronic illnesses down the road.  So, make sure to schedule your next wellness assessment today!

Benefits of Wellness Assessments

A chalkboard with the word "benefits" written on it

The benefits of wellness assessments include:

  1. Improved Quality of Life – Taking control of your wellness through wellness assessments can lead to:
    • improved energy levels,
    • better sleep quality,
    • reduced stress, and
    • increased productivity.
  2. Personalized Recommendations – Wellness assessments supply customized recommendations based on your unique needs and goals.
  3. Lower Healthcare Costs – Regular wellness assessments can reduce long-term healthcare costs by:
    • catching potential health issues early on and
    • reducing the need for expensive treatments later on.
  4. Early Disease Detection – By detecting potential health issues early on, you can act and prevent them from developing into serious problems.

How to Prepare for a Wellness Assessment

A notepad with a pen and a note on it that says "honest."

To get the most out of your wellness assessment, there is one key action you must remember:

Be honest when answering questions about your lifestyle habits. 

The information you share, and give is the information used to create a wellness intervention and personalized plan for you.

Wellness interventions alone may seem effective.  However, without the right assessment tools to measure wellness, clinicians and researchers infer the effects of treatment from secondary measurements and subjective evaluations.  The use of a precise wellness tool would likely help clinicians.  Clinicians could better understand which treatment approach would yield the greatest health benefits for you.

Assess Wellness: What to Do with Your Assessment Results

A pen on a book.  Journal.

Once you have completed a wellness assessment and received feedback on your results, it’s time to:

  • capture or record the results of your wellness assessment, then,
  • act based on what you learned.

Assess Wellness: Record Your Assessment Results

First things first, capture or record the results of your wellness assessments.  Capturing results informs you of your current state of being.  One way or tool you can use to capture your results is a journal.  Using a journal and journaling is a simple and effective way to capture and evaluate your wellness. 

Get to Know Yourself Better Through Journaling

Many successful people will tell you that they write in a journal every day.  Journaling is a practice long valued for its ability to clarify and bring order to your life.  Journaling is also an excellent tool for you if you want to get to know and understand yourself better.

Writing is a vital self-awareness habit.  It can bring perspective and insight into your life as no other activity can.  If you want to better understand:

  • your values and beliefs,
  • your goals,
  • your motivations,
  • your fears and concerns, and/or
  • your overall wellness

then writing in a journal is the activity for you.

Once you’ve captured or recorded the results through journaling, you can revisit your journal at any time.

What Can You Learn from Your Assessments through Journaling?

Writing for self-awareness starts with monitoring or writing about various aspects of your life.  The more you write on a specific topic, the deeper your thinking will go.  The deeper your thinking, the more understanding you will uncover about this part of you.  Picking one topic and exploring it for an extended period is better.  It is better than jumping around every day if your goal is higher self-knowledge.  Here are some parts of your life you can write about to help you know yourself better,

  • Your emotions
  • How you spend your time
  • Your beliefs and values
  • Your goals
  • How you spend your money

How Journaling Helps

When you spend time recording your thoughts, habits, and emotions in a journal it first helps by increasing your self-awareness.  The act of having to think back to:

  • what you did,
  • how you felt, or
  • what you spent in a day

is reflective and helps build your awareness and reflection skills.  The more you are aware of:

  • what you are doing and
  • why

the better you will understand yourself.  

Journaling also gives you a record of yourself over time.  This can help you look for patterns and themes that we seldom recognize at the moment.  Your journal becomes your history.  You can use it to look for clues that will help you understand your motives or emotions better.

From Assessment to Action

A close-up of a sign that says "Take Action."

After obtaining information from data captured and recorded in your journal, it’s time to act.  You can use the information you captured or recorded in your journal to create your action plan.  If there are areas where you need improvement, consider setting goals to make positive changes in those areas.  For example,

  • If your blood pressure is elevated, you might aim to reduce sodium intake, exercise more often, and manage stress through meditation or deep breathing exercises.  Similarly,
  • If your cholesterol levels are high, you may want to adopt a low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Remember, small or slight changes made consistently over time can lead to significant improvements in overall health and wellness.

Conclusion

In this post, we explored:

  • Wellness assessments and the different types of tools available,
  • The benefits they offer,
  • How to prepare for one, and
  • What to do with your assessment results.

In the next post, I will give you a detailed overview of the six clinician wellness assessment tools plus the two layman tools. 

Resources

The Assessment and Measurement of Wellness in the Clinical Medical Setting: A Systematic Review

The Importance of Routinely Assessing Well-Being

Journaling for Emotional Wellness

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