Health and Wellness have long been used interchangeably by people to understand various aspects of a healthy being. This is perhaps as these two words have become synonymous with many marketing companies using the terms to capitalize on similar products. Though the current market structure uses Health and Wellness to sell products, we must know the underlying differences between them. While Health can be understood as a state of being, wellness can be defined as a state of living a healthy lifestyle. It is a process by which a person makes a healthy and fulfilling choice to lead their lives.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), Health has been defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This means that the maintenance of Health and its improvement over time depends both on external factors (environment and system of care) and the lifestyle choices made by the person (wellness). Therefore, health and wellness are seemingly interdependent but not the same.
Difference between Health and Wellness
- Health can be understood as the overall condition of the body and whether or not it has any symptoms of a diseased person or injury while wellness gives us the ability to have optimal health through some healthy choices that we make over time.
- While health is an active state of being, Wellness is a practical way of achieving health over time through choices. We don’t have any control over our health but achieving wellness is a choice. Wellness leads us to a better health opportunity.
- The major aspects of health are mental, physical and social well-being while wellness emphasizes ways to enhance the mental, physical, social, occupational, intellectual and emotional aspects of our life to make it healthy.
- Talking medicinally, Health can be more associated with western medicine while wellness is related to complementary and alternative medicine such as physiotherapy, yoga, organic food, maintaining lower carb intake, etc., to name a few.
- The ultimate goal here of both health and wellness is to make the person live longer and healthier.
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness can be understood as a holistic approach. It consists of ways and means to make a life worth living. It not only includes some physical and mental wellbeing but a whole pack of eight dimensions that make for a healthy person. A better example would be quitting cigarettes. Quitting smoking might make you healthier but not better as wellness is more about a dynamic and active process of growth to balance various aspects of our life. So while smoking was one part of life, the other parts must also be balanced to make life well and healthy. The eight dimensions of Wellness are as follows:
- Emotional Wellness – this sort of wellness includes maintaining emotions and its overflows such as fear, anger, happiness and maintaining them to induce a healthy life. Best ways to induce emotional wellness are the following methods:
- Believing in one’s self – it helps people get motivated and inspired at the same not let control of their selves.
- Having the ability to control emotions – they can easily get one into a bad health
- Having a concern towards someone else’s feelings
- Expressing own feelings in complete clarity
- Physical Wellness – This is the most important form of wellness which includes keeping the body fit by getting into various activities such as exercising on regular basis, keeping a tap on the diet, balancing intakes of supplements. This is the type of wellness that is hard to achieve but once achieved can make for a healthier future. One can attain physical wellness by getting to the following functions:
- Exercising such as running, cardio or yoga
- Eating a healthy meal
- Avoiding harmful habits such as smoking, drinking, eating junk foods or depending on carbohydrates
- Understanding about diseases while avoiding injuries
- Having regular check-ups done
- Environmental Wellness – A lot of environmental factors go towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle for us. Industrialization and excessive use of vehicles have led to pollution, noises and other sorts of environmental possibilities that threaten our healthy lives. A healthy environment would provide fresh air, no harsh noise to make up for good health. Environmental wellness can be achieved through the following methods:
- Making sure that natural resources are available while managing them efficiently
- Cleaner environment
- Less pollution and more waste management
- Recycling must be encouraged
- Intellectual wellness – expanding horizons of knowledge and knowing about newer possibilities lead to intellectual wellness, something which makes for our increased human subsistence. We must always encourage new ideas and accept them if they make our lives better. Intellectual wellness can be achieved through the following:
- Thinking capacity
- Ability to Interrogate
- Accepting new skills and employing them in life
- Have innovative thoughts
- Interest to learn a new thing every day
- Social Wellness – A good society reflects on one’s health as well and hence social wellness becomes highly important for us to reflect on in these times when nuclear is the way to go forward. Here are some norms to increase social wellness –
- One should have the ability for interaction to new social communities
- Maintaining relationships
- Spiritual Wellness – Avoiding stress is the key to maintaining all sorts of healthy lives. In a time when we have pressures mounting from all sides, maintaining a stress-free environment is tough. But to attain a stress-free environment, one must have the following characters:
- One must have the ability to forgive others for petty mistakes
- Knowing the art of making others happy helps a lot
- Self-satisfaction is the key
- Show mercy and affection
- Spreading love
- Occupational wellness – everyone is occupied in one or the other profession but people have the tendency to not be satisfied with what they are doing and that adds to the burden on our heads. Therefore, getting rid of all these burdens should be one’s focus if they want to attain operational wellness.
- Financial Wellness – Finance is the key to attaining all of the above-mentioned wellnesses. It’s very obvious these days to get into stress due to financial crisis and one must be ready with balanced and satisfactory finance to mitigate any such crisis.
Health Vs Wellness at work
Running a company or a corporate structure required people with a healthy body and stress less mind. Therefore, understanding the concept of health and wellness becomes highly important for them. A lot of improvement has come over the year with the companies providing their employees with a better environment at work. Introduction of indoor games such as carom, table tennis, chess, shuttle, etc., in free time, making sure to conduct yoga classes and some expeditions make up for a stress-less mind.
Why it matters?
Understanding health and wellness matters a lot because maintaining a healthy life is not easy at all. It is important because balanced dynamics are something hard to maintain and all of them impact health simultaneously. While some diseases can be genetic and eliminating them is nearly impossible, wellness can be achieved and managed always.