Model helps promote wellness Published March 4, 2008 By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Bruce Brewer Utah Air National Guard SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- One way to look at staying healthy and keeping our teammates healthy is a model called, "Four Dimensions of Wellness." The "Four Dimensions of Wellness" is an evidence-based model that incorporates four aspects or dimensions: physical, emotional, social and spiritual. A positive "wellness" focus in each of these domains empowers us to face the inevitable challenges that we will encounter in life and deters harmful behaviors. Just as the tie-downs firmly anchor an aircraft to the ramp to keep it stable through a storm, we need tie-downs in each of the four dimensions to anchor our lives and families so that we're stable in spite of life's storms. Are you missing any of these tie-downs? Physical wellness involves managing our weight, diet, exercise and appearance. Physicians, medical staff, personal trainers and wing staff can help us here. Emotional wellness can include cognitive or thinking patterns as well as our feelings. It involves having an accurate view of ourselves and our contributions, leading to a positive self-image and good self-esteem. Being emotionally well also empowers us to express our feelings in appropriate ways. If you need feedback, chaplains or even a wise, trusted friend can assist. Spiritual wellness involves actively practicing a spiritual life that provides meaning and purpose for both the good and bad in life- the joys and the sorrows that we experience as human beings. Faith in a high order or a personal relationship with the God who is in control provides spiritual strength for facing life's challenges and to quote the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, can give us a sense of "hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11). Hundreds of research studies have demonstrated the positive effects of an active spiritual life on longevity, physical health, better relationships and emotional health. Chaplains are especially focused on this "fourth dimension." In fact, it's the primary reason we're here- to "support the free exercise of religion for all members of the military services, their dependents, and other authorized persons (AFI 52-101). This month we welcome a new chaplain to our wing, Maj. Greg Clark, an Air Force Academy graduate and commercial pilot. As a chaplain team, perhaps we can help strengthen your spiritual tie-down so that this important dimension can bring stability and strength to your life. Go where you may never have gone before - explore the "Fourth Dimension."