So, What Does Health & Wellness Really Mean?
“I’m doing well.” It’s a standard, and grammatically proper, answer that we often use when someone asks us how we are doing. But, are you actually doing “well” or just proving that you understand the correct usage of an adverb?
The first step to wellness is understanding.
Photo credit Getty
What is Wellness?
When you tell someone that you are “doing well,” you are stating that your physical and mental health are in good condition. The World Health Organization (the public health arm of the United Nations) describes wellness as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or (illness).” Sounds pretty perfect, huh? Body, mind and spirit acting as one, well-oiled machine!
Wellness is a term that has become a lot trendier the last few years. Much of the common usage can be slightly misleading or exaggerated. You often cross paths with this word when you are dealing with programs that your health insurance provider imposes or associated with alternative approaches to medicine. While both the healthcare and alternative medicine usages of the word “wellness” do apply, they do not do justice to what it truly means.
So what is wellness really? It is lifestyle. It’s a commitment. Wellness is a way of living to proactively create good health in all phases of your life as opposed to just reactively treating issues when they arise. It is not the goal. It is a way to reach the goal. Wellness incorporates physical health, fitness, nutrition, mental health and spirituality into one big concept. Let’s face it, they all affect one and other. It’s pretty hard to be happy and mentally healthy if you are consistently sick, out of shape or have no social balance. Likewise, it would be a struggle for most to stay physically healthy and/or fit if you are not in a good place mentally or emotionally. Physical and mental well-being can have a significant impact on careers and finances. And, our jobs or bank accounts can seriously affect us mentally and physically.
Complete Health & Wellness Should Be a Priority for All Ages.
There are several key elements that added together create wellness. They are:
- Physical (health, fitness, nutrition)
- Emotional (mental, stress, attitude)
- Occupational (career fulfillment, work/life balance)
- Social (relationships, activities, enjoyment)
- Spiritual (purpose, values, beliefs)
- Intellectual (new ideas, experiences, challenges)
- Financial (stability, growth, safety)
All are equally important because you cannot achieve wellness if one is omitted. You need balance. Soon, we will begin taking a closer look at the various aspects and elements involved in total wellness. But, for this edition we are focusing on wellness in general.
Now, don’t be confused by what we are saying. You will still go to the doctor and take medications for any health issues that you may have. You do not have to change your general beliefs or views. You don’t need to homeschool your kids. And, there is no need to become a card carrying fanatic for the word wellness. It’s not like that at all! Simply put, living the “well life” is committing to some additions and some subtractions to each area of your life so that you promote good health across the board.
So, where do you start in living this awesome new way of life? Well, the first step is making the decision. As we have said, it is a commitment. If you are going to do it, make it a priority. Next, take a look at the different aspects of wellness and decide what area needs the greatest improvement. Start there. If you make significant improvements to one, the others will benefit, too. And soon you will be ready to take the plunge and really live the well life!
Hopefully you are starting to understand what wellness truly is and why it matters so much. It’s another one of those things that is oh-so simple, yet not really all that easy. You can do it. You should do it! We will continue to discuss Wellness in greater detail in the days ahead. In the meantime, if you are ready to begin living well then we encourage you to contact ICC to set your first appointment and we will be happy to help you in your quest for Wellness!
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