Health is Not the Same as Wellness
Photo © Alex Loup
Health and wellness have become more trendy in recent years. People didn't always care about how plastic containers affect the chemical content of food or the importance of taking mental health days off work. As scientific research regarding health issues has become readily available to the public through the internet, society is aware more than ever about the need to be informed and make healthy decisions.
But what is the difference between health and wellness and why is wellness not the same as being healthy? Wellness is about your attitude and actions. It is making the decision to be deliberate in your choices as they pertain to your health. Wellness is working toward becoming your healthiest self. Health, on the other hand, is the state of being entirely well, physically, mentally and socially.
The bottom line: Wellness is how we acquire health.
There are seven dimensions to wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational. Ask yourself every day: am I feeding my well-being in all seven target areas? If faced with any decision, you can evaluate how, if at all, each decision may benefit these core aspects of wellness.
How can we make sure our minds are peaceful, our organs are functioning well, to create healthy social bonds?
Make the decision to take time for yourself, do something creative now and then, and set aside time to be in nature. Eat your greens and whole grains, stay away from sugar and get the right amount of sleep. Extend your smile to others and create functioning relationships. And most of all, decide to strive for excellence.
Achieving health isn't always easy. Information can be conflicting, however, always get your information from varied valid sources and consult with your physician and/or psychiatrist. It's crucial to focus your research and decision-making on all areas of health and wellness. Balance is key. If your physical health is great, but you don't take care of your emotional well-being, you're not healthy.
While modern technology has provided us with the information, it is also very disruptive to our health and wellness.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, cell phones alone are responsible for risk factors such as sleep disorders, inactivity and obesity, mental health issues, loneliness, and a decrease in productivity. There are also concerns about distraction and safety. If you want to commit to a healthier self, put the phone down. Don't keep it near your bed at night. Turn it off during work hours. Go outside - and leave your phone at home! Whatever you do, never rely on social media to build your self-esteem or to be your primary source of human connection.
Live your life intentionally, with the desire and will to live life to the fullest - no matter what conditions life throws at you. Whether you need to improve or maintain your health, an attitude of wellness goes a long way. In essence, every moment of your day is an opportunity to make the right decisions and cultivate a healthy lifestyle.