When you boil it down to the essence of the words, health and wellness, they mean two different things. Health is the absence of disease. Health encompasses the physical and mental states of a person. Most people cannot tell the difference between health and wellness.
Wellness embraces the state of optimal health. It is making lifestyle choices daily. Wellness implies an awareness, an understanding of what is required to optimize growth – from the physical, the mental, the social, the intellectual, the emotional, and the spiritual. Some define occupational as a dimension of wellness when integrating wellness into the workplace.
Being able to live life to the fullest is the crux of wellness. Health can be a goal. Wellness is a lifetime dynamic concept. They both draw on achieving a baseline level of physical and mental health to begin expanding wellness.
Mental health is the absence of mental disease. Mental diseases include depression, anxiety, dementia, and more. Emotional wellness is what you do daily to improve your mental health. It includes relationships, knowing when to say, ‘no’, avoiding negativity, awareness of your feelings, and more.
Mental wellness and emotional wellness are used interchangeably. Emotional wellness is our ability to understand and accept ourselves. The ‘set-up’ mantra for Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) begins with, “Even though I have…(this problem)…, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
We face stress daily. Emotional wellness allows us to understand those stressors. It gives us the ability to counter anger, fear, frustration, and more. Managing stress is a key marker for wellness. Confidence in one’s worth and abilities is another. Some may define it as self-respect or self-esteem.
Social wellness comes easier for a few people. Being an extrovert opens the door for social wellness.
For others, it must be incrementally opened daily. I am an introvert. Based on years of personal experience, I know when to put on my ‘extrovert’ hat and be the social butterfly I need to be to function in my entrepreneurial world.
Many of us cannot find or do not want to put on any type of extrovert hat. The comfort level is not there. Wellness requires growth. We cannot live in our old comfort zones. We must connect and relate with people to help them, but also to help ourselves grow.
When we align our values with our actions our spiritual health grows. How much harmony do we have in our lives? How fulfilled are we with what we have achieved and where we are going? The crux of spiritual wellness is the guiding beliefs and principles that provide meaning and purpose to life. Spiritual wellness helps us avoid negativity and a sense of hopelessness.
I believe that our society has been on a slippery slope of moral relativism. When there is a thick black line separating right from wrong, good from evil, we have no problem knowing what is right or wrong, or good or evil. When that line fades and becomes murky, the tendency is for paralysis and indifference. This does not help us as individuals or as a country.
How creative are you? How easy is it to learn new concepts? Intellectual wellness is about how you use your brain. It helps us to create new things. It helps to keep us stimulated and inspired. The curiosity of what you do not know becomes a desire to learn more. Learning can be from academia, mentors, cultural discoveries, hobbies, and more.
Our comfort zones are not always aligned with our needs to grow as a person. A skill set is required to perform work. It might be the ability to drive a car, fly an airplane, repair a clock, debug a computer, cook, speak, write, and more. Achieving more skills improves our intellectual wellness.
Learning to read music, play an instrument, and speak foreign languages are skills we can learn to improve our intellectual wellness.
We may look good to others. Our bodies might be lean or svelte. What we see on the outside is not always the same inside. Daily action – physical activity – is required to achieve and maintain our proper body weight. Nutrition is critical to avoid disease. Stress is countered by exercise. There are many ways to improve our bodies.
The other half of physical wellness are the choices not to smoke, do drugs, or live a sedentary lifestyle. It is a conscious decision to eat properly and drink.
Each aspect of wellness leads to a wellness lifestyle that puts you in control of more than just your health to achieve your full potential.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com