What is the definition of wellness? More and more, we hear the word in the media, on advertisements, in conversations, even at school and work. But, what exactly does “Wellness” mean? When asked, most people say it means “being healthy”, but that is incredibly vague when attempting to define something as important as Wellness.
“Being healthy” has traditionally been viewed as being free of disease; if you’re not sick, you must be healthy, right? Well, this view point has been rapidly changing over the past decade or so. Everyone agrees that lack of illness is one part of being healthy; however, there are many different facets that contribute to your well-being, happiness, and feeling of fulfillment in your life. Wellness incorporates all of those facets and more.
We believe, first and foremost, that Wellness is a choice – a choice to assume responsibility for the quality and health of your life. It is an active process of change and growth as you become aware and create a mindset, a predisposition to make healthy choices toward optimal health and a fulfilling life – The goal being a state of complete well-being, not just the absence of disease.
Wellness is an optimistic approach to life emphasizing the whole person. It is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit. It is the acceptance that everything you do, think, feel, and believe has an impact on your life, health, and well-being. A wellness-oriented lifestyle encourages you to adopt habits and behaviors promoting better health and an improved quality of life. It also acknowledges that you have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs as well, each of which plays an essential role in creating a life of fulfillment.
There are 7 main areas of focus in life when speaking of optimal Wellness, all of which are equally vital in the pursuit of health, Wellness, and a fulfilling life. They are:
Social Wellness involves developing and nourishing meaningful and fulfilling relationships in all aspects of life – family, friends, work, community, etc. It is the giving without expectation of something in return. It is your support network and the realization that no one can stand completely alone in life.
Occupational Wellness involves choosing a career and job that is rewarding and enjoyable for you to encourage your full potential. Establishing your career goals and attaining them through doing those things that make you happy and feel fulfilled within your work.
Physical Wellness is applying your entire self toward achieving your personal fitness and health through self-care and by applying the knowledge and skills of good nutrition, exercise, and safety to your everyday life.
Intellectual Wellness is being creative, having curiosity and a desire to learn while valuing life experiences, stimulating new ideas, and sharing. It is responding to challenges with growth and knowledge, making goals, developing strategies, and solving problems. It is the ability to quite the mind, focus, and expand your horizons.
Emotional Wellness is striving to meet emotional needs productively. It is maintaining a positive attitude, confident self-image, and high self-esteem. It is the ability to accept, be resilient, and learn about yourself from emotional situations and the flow of life. It is being accountable for your own behavior and seeing challenges as opportunities.
Spiritual Wellness is your unique process of looking within, getting in touch with the spiritual aspects of your life and your personal beliefs. The process can vary greatly from one person to the next through attending church, practicing meditation, or any number of other avenues.
Environmental Wellness is being aware of the earth’s perilous state and the effects of your daily habits on the environment around you and as a whole. It is creating harmony with the earth, your home, your workspace, and surroundings while minimizing harm to those environments. It is holding yourself accountable for the environmental choices you make and being involved in activities to protect your environments.
In order to reach a state of wellness in your life or to guide others to it, one must give each of the above facets proper attention. You may not all be physically fit or free from disease; however, strive for improved wellness by working with what you’ve got. It is important to be educated and to "take charge" of your daily life by setting healthy lifestyle goals. You will be amazed at how taking small steps can turn into amazing results. The choices you make have an incredible impact on your health, wellness, and life.