Ten Tenets of Wellness

What is wellness? Many have tried to define it and several models have been developed to explain the components. Michael Arloski, PhD, PCC, a licensed psychologist and professional certified coach created the Ten Tenets of Wellness. Not a model but foundational principles for changing lifestyle behavior.

  • Tenet 1. Wellness is a holistic concept. 
    Successful change is possible only when the whole person is considered and the mind, body, spirit, and environment are looked at and maximized.
  • Tenet 2. Self-esteem is a critical factor in change.
    We have to believe in and respect ourselves enough to engage in the behavior change process. Change is not easy and we will need support, continued motivation, and strength to face and conquer the fears that may be keeping us from moving forward to lasting wellness.
  • Tenet 3. Positive peer health norms encourage wellness lifestyle changes. 
    Peer pressure is real. Who we spend our time with, our relationships, and our surroundings at home and work influence our choices and wellness. Strive for mutually beneficial associations that provide support for personal growth. “Friends keep friends well.”
  • Tenet 4. Conscious living means becoming aware of all the choices we have and acting on them. 
    Be Present! A slogan for T-shirts and an approach to life. Bring attention to daily choices and don’t just go through the motions.
  • Tenet 5. A sense of connectedness grounds us in our lives. 
    We are not alone but connected to everything around us – other people, other species, the earth and to “something greater.” “There is a huge difference between I-llness and We-llness.”
  • Tenet 6. We are primarily responsible for our health. 
    The sad truth is that most of the health conditions we as a society are currently dying from are preventable. “Our emotional and lifestyle choices determine our health and well being more than anything else.”
  • Tenet 7. Increased self-sufficiency gives the confidence and power that overshadows fear. 
    There is fear associated with losing our independence and not being able to care for ourselves. “Skills, information and tools that enable us to choose our food wisely (or even grow it ourselves); become more competent at our career; adjust the shifter on our bicycle; take a hike into the wilderness; or bake bread from scratch all increase our self-respect and self-confidence.”
  • Tenet 8. Time spent alone helps us to get to know ourselves better. 
    “Solo time, especially in the natural world, helps us relax, de-contract, and get beyond the distractions of modern life that prevent us from really knowing ourselves.”
  • Tenet 9. You don’t have to be perfect to be well. 
    We don’t have to be good all the time, just the majority of the time! Who wants to be perfect anyway – perfectionism can lead to negative outcomes such as obsessive, addictive behaviors that are acting as distractions from other issues that need to be addressed.
  • Tenet 10. Play!
    “Let the child within out to play. Give yourself permission.”

Reference: Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change

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About the Author


Jessica uses an integrative approach to help you overcome chronic pain. She believes in treating the whole person utilizing the biopsychosocial approach to healing. Her offerings include posture therapy, online exercise classes, pain science education, and individual or group wellness coaching. She is certified by the Postural Restoration Institute® (PRI), Egoscue University®, National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Wellcoaches.