What is the difference between Health & Wellness?
We often hear the phrase and take it for granted. But is there a difference between health and wellness?
The two are certainly interlinked, however health is more about being free from disease, and a person’s mental and physical state. It is easily measured against guidelines; healthy weight, healthy diet. To be in good health, means to be well, free from illness, of an acceptable weight with regular exercise.
However, wellness is more about being of optimal physical and mental health. It is deeper than simply being healthy. It is about living with mindfulness, responsibility and awareness. It is about assessing risks in life and living life to the full, without putting your health at risk.
Let Me Explain
Even if you are of optimum health it does not mean you are the best person you can be. You can still develop your communication skills, become more intellectual or more caring. There are so many dimensions to wellness, you can always work to improve yourself. We are all only human, so we will never be perfect. But we can practice wellness and apply it to our lives, allowing us, and people around us to be happier and healthier.
Fitness, intellectual, emotional, interpersonal, spiritual and environmental are all aspects of wellness. The physical side is about exercising to remain healthy and not taking unnecessary physical risks which may lead to injury or illness. Being physically fit means you are stronger, fitter and more able to take care of yourself and others. It also means your immune system will be stronger, preventing illness.
Having an open mind and not being judgemental about others, not only makes them feel better, but will improve your wellness too. Instead of wasting energy negatively by criticising others, learn about other cultures. Learning new skills is also part of intellectual wellness, keeping your mind open and strong. Learning helps to prevent dementia and slows the ageing process so it is worth investing time to learn.
By being aware of your own self and feelings, you can become more confident and more able to deal with stress. This leads to a happier you with stronger self esteem.
Healthy relationships are an important aspect in any human’s life. As a species, we crave interaction and communication. The ability to communicate well and have positive relationships, benefits our emotional well being. It is vital for our happiness and our self worth. Do a good deed for someone and see how it makes you feel, this is a great demonstration of the importance of interaction.
Being caring, forgiving and compassionate are great for the soul. Being spiritual means being aware of what surrounds you and what impact your actions have on other’s. Often spiritual wellness is linked to religion, however it doesn’t need to mean religion.
Methods such as recycling, litter picking and lowering your carbon footprint are all examples of how you can work to improve environmental wellness. Again, this will help to improve others’ lives as well as your own.
In short, wellness goes a lot deeper than health. However, both are important factors to be the best you can be.