12 Basic Areas of Life and How to Balance Them

There are a dozen basic areas of life, although you usually focus on just a few. However, by doing this, you reduce your existence to a small parcel. So, why not evaluate all the dimensions that inhabit you and experience them fully?
12 Basic Areas of Life and How to Balance Them
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Written by Edith Sánchez

Last update: 16 April, 2023

In order to cultivate a good relationship with yourself, you must bear in mind that, although you’re a unit as a human being, you also project yourself in different directions. Currently, it’s suggested that there are 12 basic areas of life. They correspond to dimensions that are inside you, whether or not you notice them.

Each of these areas corresponds to a particular experience, either with yourself or with your environment. If you add them up, it results in a full life experience.

You can carry out a good self-knowledge exercise by giving each area a rating of one, five, or ten. After doing this review, you should pay particular attention to those areas in which you only scored one. It’ll make you aware that there are aspects of yourself that you’re not working on and will help you explore those dimensions to achieve a better balance. Let’s see what the 12 basic areas of life are.

“There are moments when a kind of clarity comes over you, and suddenly you can see through walls to another dimension that you’d forgotten or chosen to ignore in order to continue living with the various illusions that make life, particularly life with other people, possible .”

-Nicole Krauss-

The emotional world and relationships 

Although there’s no strict order, as a rule, the emotional area is taken as the first of the basic areas of life. It means understanding your own temperament and identifying your most active emotions.

The emotional is associated with the primary response you offer to different stimuli. This specific type of interaction provides signals about the most distinctive features of your way of being. It answers the question: what are you feeling and why?

The couple dimension refers to the quality of your relationship. Is it healthy and satisfying? Does it meet your expectations or leave you feeling empty? Does it change your life positively? On the contrary, does it impoverish it?

Considering the emotional area allows you to analyze how you process an intimate bond with another human being, what it contributes to you, and the difficulties you encounter in this area. Above all, you look at the degree of well-being that this area of your life provides you.

Couple holding hands form a heart
The quality of your relationship with your partner is one of the dimensions of life with a great impact on your well-being.

Economic area and professional field

The economic area is linked to your ability to satisfy your material needs. It’s one of the basic areas that you must carefully evaluate. For instance, you might believe that you need to have a luxury yacht to feel fully satisfied. If so, you should include it in your goals. On the other hand, maybe money isn’t of all-encompassing importance to you, as long as you can cover your basic needs and treat yourself occasionally. This will add to your feelings of well-being.

With regards to the professional area, understand your career and the way you’ve evolved in it. Also, the degree of enjoyment you experience with the trade or profession you’ve chosen. This is linked with the coherence between your abilities, skills, and knowledge and how you employ it in your job.

The professional field is closely linked to satisfaction and self-efficacy. In this area, you should consider if you’re growing in what you’re doing. Or, are you remaining stagnant? Also, examine what you want to achieve in the future.

Family and social area

The family area refers to the quality and depth of the ties you have with your children and your relatives. This dimension invites you to think about the degree of closeness with them, the time you dedicate to them, and the satisfaction that your family relationships provide you.

Analyze how your family relationships influence your life. Are your feelings toward your family basically loving or are they tinged with conflicting emotions, such as anger or sadness? Do you think what you give and receive from them is adequate?

The social area is related, firstly, to your closest social circle. Do you have a group of friends you can count on? If so, this area is active in your life. If not, you may need to review why you’re depriving yourself of friendship. This area also includes the activities and spaces you share with other people, casually or temporarily. Are you able to establish good connections with others?

Health and sexual area

This is another basic area that’s of great importance. It relates to the self-care of your body. It also includes the ability to read the signals that your body sends, your daily habits, and the practices you carry out to stay healthy. For instance, are you giving your body what it requires to stay well?

The bodily sphere leads to reflection on another area of life: sexuality. Unlike other animals, in humans, this is an area that involves emotions and thoughts. In addition, it involves a whole set of cultural patterns.

Sexuality is present in people’s lives from birth to the end of their days. There are many ways to live it and everyone chooses which is the best for them. It’s important that it doesn’t generate conflicts or discomfort, but rather includes experiences that provide you with satisfaction and well-being.

Man exercises by jogging in the park while listening to music
What you do to take care of your physical health is key in balancing the essential areas of your life.

Knowledge and ecological area

Knowledge is one of the basic areas of life. It tends to be at the forefront of most people’s minds. It includes training in certain fields of knowledge, but also the decantation of that knowledge and experience. However, you should be careful not to confuse knowledge with instruction or learning.

Knowing implies understanding and being able to apply knowledge in concrete situations. In fact, it doesn’t matter how many qualifications you have, it’s what you do with what you know that matters. To evaluate this dimension, you must ask yourself questions such as: What are you learning at this moment? How are you expanding your knowledge? How are you applying what you know?

On the other hand, the ecological aspect is one of the basic areas of life that’s often overlooked. You need to understand the relationship you establish with the natural environment that surrounds you. Indeed, we all need to get in touch with nature in a responsible way, taking advantage of the best of what it has to offer. Do you take forest baths? Do you have a pet? And, do you go out and enjoy all the beauty that the natural environment has to offer you?

Area of transcendence and the spiritual area

The transcendence area answers the question about the legacy you want to leave behind. It’s linked to the long-term plans and projections that you’ve formulated. It involves visualizing what’ll ‘survive’ you.

The spiritual area is linked to your beliefs and conviction regarding values and the meaning of life. It corresponds to your religious experiences or to the practices that you carry out to expand your consciousness. For example, yoga or meditation. It’s a dimension that gives great support to others.

After reviewing all these areas of your life and giving them a score, focus on the ones you’ve been neglecting. Then, set yourself a goal to activate the dimensions that you’re not experiencing.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.