I’m sure you’ve heard the term wellness before, but do you know what it is? Everyday day I hear someone refer to the term wellness, it’s in the news, on tv, plastered on billboards, on the internet and just about everywhere you look. You can find wellness centers, apps, activities, magazines, coaches and 100 other items related to wellness, so what is it?
Quite often I hear individuals describe wellness as the absence of illness and disease or being fit and healthy. However, wellness isn’t just one particular item; instead it’s a state or process of making choices to bring about physical, social and mental well being and living a healthy and fulfilling life. In fact the subject of wellness involves several areas including:
- Physical Health - Involves maintaining healthy habits such as proper diet, proper rest, exercise and steering clear of harmful habits like drugs and tobacco.
- Spiritual Health – Will help to establish peace in our lives and involves developing positive morals, good values and being ethical.
- Social Health – Involves being able to connect with others in the world. It will help us to establish positive relationships with our peers, family and friends.
- Emotional Health – Good emotional health will allow us to keep our problems in perspective and control our behavior, feelings and thoughts.
- Environmental Health – Involves recognizing that we must be responsible for the land, air, and water around us. This includes maintaining the quality of the environment in our homes, community and planet.
- Financial Health – Deals with a person’s financial situation. Financial health can cover several areas including your savings, funding your retirement and your current spending for essential and non essential expenses.
- Mental Health – Involves recognizing our abilities so we can cope with life’s normal stresses and be productive and contribute to our community.
- Occupational Health – Involves the ability to receive fulfillment from our job or career and maintain balance between our jobs and our leisure time. Since so much of our day is spent at work it’s critical that we find a job that we enjoy. Occupational health focuses on exploring our career options until we discover an option that fits.
As you can see there is quite a bit more to achieving wellness than maintaining a fitness routine and eating a healthy diet. Wellness can involve achieving and maintaining a balance and blend of healthy thinking, healthy eating, financial responsibility, physical fitness, a productive and fulfilling job and spiritual well being.
As I mentioned earlier, wellness isn’t just one specific item but rather it’s the desire to live a healthier life and is an ongoing life-long commitment that starts with our decision to obtain health on multiple levels, it affects what we do, how we feel, and what we think and believe.
Each one of us is different and what defines wellness for one person will be different for the next, one person may require more spiritual health while the next needs more financial health to feel fulfilled and achieve a state of well being. However, the one factor that’s constant is that each of us must be healthy to some degree on all eight levels to truly achieve a state of wellness.