Attention to all 8 Spokes on the Wheel of Life is Important for Wellbeing

wheel of wellbeing, ayurveda

 

The Wheel of Wellbeing is our internal navigational device. Learning how to steer it confidently to our intended destination ensures security, accomplishment, and happiness for ourselves as well as for those who rely on us. This wheel consists of eight integrated spokes that are interdependently connected to each other. Energy flows from each of the spokes, bearing equal strengths to create and connect at the central hub. An unbalanced wheel is neither useful nor productive; a balanced wheel allows for the flow of life’s fullest potential by linking us to our highest awareness, which optimizes our performance and productivity.

The central hub is the most balanced point. It distributes and integrates all spokes, beginning with our biomechanical capabilities (the first spoke: Physical) under the instructions of our intelligence (the second spoke: Mental). Knowledge, attention, and awareness serve as tools that facilitate the connection between the spokes and the different components of our lives. While the body and mind try to overcome the internal and external challenges of life, emotions arise (the third spoke: Emotional). Emotional reactions like sadness, anger, compassion, anxiety, pleasure, and other feelings are the by-products of our challenges in dealing with circumstances. Feelings are the building blocks of emotions and can be signposts offering us information for making adjustments and moving toward greater balance.

A healthy and harmonious mind-body-emotion connection is at the core of mindfulness, which allows us to experience relationships with others in peace and equanimity (the fourth spoke: Relational). It takes two or more assertive individuals to create a successful relationship. Every successful and caring relationship requires connectedness, playfulness, and active engagement that is recreationally rejuvenating (the fifth spoke: Recreational). As with children, happiness is supported by having fun.

A person who is in a meaningful relationship with the self and others sets the tone to pay full attention to the surrounding environment (the sixth spoke: Environmental). Creating safety, sustenance, sustainability, and organization in our homes, offices, neighborhoods, countries, and on earth is a vital part of our ability to stay connected and fulfilled individually and in communities.

Once our inner circle of wellbeing is anchored in the first six foundations of an earthly being, we can ascend to our spiritual existence that vibrates at a higher frequency, the frequency of oneness and unity (the seventh spoke: Spiritual). This elevated sense of self is aligned with the field of universal creativity; it is connected with our original source of joy, where we come from and return to. This is the window to worthiness, productivity, and continuity, which encapsulates our values and financial wellbeing (the eighth spoke: Financial).

When we embody this fully integrated value system, we inhabit a state of appreciation and awe. It is a meditative state, yet one characterized by subtle forward motion of the internal wheel. We balance like a pendulum swinging between the physical responsibilities of earthly life and the universal or spiritual energies of oneness. Reaching and then maintaining this position requires deliberate action and continuous attention to specific requirements of each spoke.

The Eight Spokes of the Wheel of Wellbeing

 

PHYSICAL

Our vessel is a materialistic body that holds all elements of nature in its DNA. Although we inhabit bodies of different shapes, height, weight, color, and other attributes, each body follows similar paths at its essence, and keeping optimum health is our responsibility. The most basic needs of our physical being include a variety of rituals and techniques including relaxation exercises like belly breathing, fitness practices at least three times a week, seven to eight hours of sleep per night, eating light portions of nutritious food on a schedule that works for us, intimacy and sexual performance on a sustainable schedule for our needs, plus finding balance between rest and work time. Pain and suffering are signs of stress on this spoke and act as an alarm waking us up to pay attention to deterioration and weaknesses.

MENTAL

The intelligent development of the brain and nervous system and attention to integrating all of its components requires education, practical engagement, focus, and concentration. Playing games like chess, solving puzzles, or using brain training programs are some effective ways to increase our ability to protect against unknown, dangerous, degrading, or catastrophic circumstances. Our mental health starts and continues with having good teachers and mentors.

EMOTIONAL

Emotional sensitivities are the reason for reactions as well as the outcome of experiencing life in our own unique conditions. Ruminating over past experiences and worrying about the future affect the psychological and behavioral responses we experience today. Traumas, abuses, hardships, catastrophes, and losses create emotional scars that can be healed through unlearning our childlike defensive positions. Through interventions such as talk therapy, EMDR, CBT, Somatic experiencing, and others, we can develop a greater awareness of feelings and name words to identify our feelings so we experience healthy emotional connections.

RELATIONAL

Adhering to appropriate boundaries, learning effective communication techniques, and working on individuation and differentiation are necessary for experiencing healthy relationships. Our connectedness with others and desire for intimacy must be demonstrated through mature respect for self and others in our pursuit of self-realization and the forming of mutual agreements. Some options for creating more effective dialogue with others include couples counseling, attending workshops, and working through our personal emotions.

RECREATIONAL

Playful learning, joyful action, and leisurely relaxation contribute to our happiness and growth. Finding time to let go of other concerns to be in a safe environment conducive to authentic childlike play is an essential part of our journey to creating a fully balanced life. Some powerful options for recreational activities include dancing, listening to or creating music, spending time in nature and enjoying outdoor games or sports.

ENVIRONMENTAL

We are fully affected by our surroundings. Living and working in different climates, elevations, cultures, conditions, or organizations plays an important role in both our performance and quality of life. A crowded or an isolating environment can create anxiety or depression, so it is best to be mindful of our surroundings at every given time. A chaotic setting creates more chaos; organizing your surrounding environment allows for less challenge in pursuit of a balanced lifestyle.

SPIRITUAL

We live in fields of energies that organize universal conditions. Belief in a unifying system that empowers every aspect of life with intention and governs in a wholesome and balanced manner is only possible when we experience this universal power without fanaticism or rigidity. Although religion can be a spiritual pursuit, when systems are not inclusive or are violent in reaction to nonbelievers they can become a dividing factor blocking the spiritual intentions of the path. Uplifting and empowering spiritual practices include meditation, acts of kindness, prayer, spreading love, empathy, and charitable commitments.

FINANCIAL

Applying the value systems and integrating the lessons of all of the previous seven spokes allows us to achieve productivity and worthiness. Earning, accumulating, saving, and spreading wealth are possible when we express our full creativity as connected to our eternal universal source and live in abundance. Once at this level of wellbeing, we can let go of our fears and insecurities and anchor ourselves in the body allowing the force of our higher power to flow and connect us to the unifying oneness. Financial freedom and prosperity are the results of productivity and performance.
When we are out of balance, we might experience unease, pressure, anxiety, depression, stress, or other feelings that do not allow us to embody peace and joy. Attending to all of the spokes on the Wheel of Wellbeing is a measurable method for making necessary adjustments to live a life of balance. Balance is a daily practice where we inhale strength and exhale performance. The balanced position of the Wheel of Wellbeing is a gateway to joy. As you embark on life’s journey of your own personal wheel of wellbeing, may every breath be one of creativity, perseverance, and abundance.

If you want to learn more about how to implement the Wheel of Wellbeing, take the Wheel Test at: wheelofwellbeing.com/test

 

Dr. Daniel Sadigh PsyD LMFT is a psychotherapist who uses a variety of techniques in his practice. He is the clinical director of the Wheel of Wellbeing, an integrative clinic in Los Angeles, and is also the host of a number of radio broadcasts focused on health and wellbeing.
Dr. Sadigh created the nonprofit All-In Health Foundation (allinhealthfoundation.org) to pioneer preventative holistic care, train counseling interns, and place them with people in need: wheelofwellbeing.com and www.DrSadigh.com