The Difference Between Health And Wellness, And 5 Ways To Improve Each
Health and wellness make up the fundamental essence of holistic living. Though they're often used interchangeably, some distinct differences set each concept apart from the other.
At a glance
- Health refers to the overall state of a person's well-being.
- Wellness is the complete balance between each dimension of personal well-being.
- The primary difference between health and wellness is that wellness is the active process of achieving better health, while health on its own is just the given state of a person's well-being at a point in time.
- Health can be broken down into three primary dimensions; physical health, mental health, and emotional health.
- Wellness comes from a balance of someone's physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual, social, occupational, financial, and environmental wellness.
- Practices like healthy eating, daily exercise, focused rest, mindfulness, and learning new things can help you improve your own health and wellness.
If you're looking to forge a path to a better way of life, it's important to understand how your health and wellness coexist with each other. That way, you can be mindful and intentional about your approach to improving both.
Keep reading, and we'll share with you the difference between these two concepts and five ways you can improve each.
What is health and wellness?
If you truly want to understand the difference between health and wellness, you need to understand each on its own.
Understanding the essence of health and wellness should be the start of any wellness journey. Your path towards healthier living should be marked with an understanding of these concepts.
Understanding the definitions of health and wellness
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put out definitions for the terms "health" and "wellness."
Health is defined as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being." Things like social and physical environments can end up playing a role in the overall health of a person. The WHO defines health as the complete well-being of a person, not merely the absence of chronic diseases or illnesses. That's because someone's health is the collection of their specific health characteristics.
Wellness is defined as "the optimal state of health." Wellness is a lifelong journey, and it's important to always look towards good health and wellness as a perpetual goal. Wellness is more of a dynamic process, rather than a static characteristic, and is all about the healthy lifestyle that you seek.
What is the difference between health and wellness?
The primary difference between health and wellness is something that can be hard to understand at first glance. Though they are somewhat different, they do work hand-in-hand in many aspects of life.
Wellness encompasses how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally, as it is the accumulation of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Wellness is seen as the process of achieving better health and is all about the journey towards holistic health.
Wellness is all about the choices that you consciously make to live healthier, and it has a huge bearing on your health. Though you cannot always choose the overall state of your health, you can choose the wellness path you embark on.
Filling your daily routine with positive and healthy habits like eating whole foods, mindful self-care, and adequate sleep all make up the active pursuit of a well lifestyle.
On the other hand, health is the collection of certain characteristics that a person might have. For example, a predisposition to heart disease or diabetes is seen as part of a person's overall health. Health is the overall state of someone's body and their well-being.
What are the three dimensions of health?
Health as a whole can be further split into different dimensions. Most often, the different facets of health can be broken down into one of three categories; physical health, mental health, and emotional health.
Physical well-being is the most heavily considered aspect of overall health. It's important to pay attention to your physical body, especially if you're looking to take a holistic approach to your overall health.
Be sure to start with the basics, like eating a well-rounded diet and engaging in regular exercise. However, you need to take it further than that. Break out of a sedentary lifestyle in favor of something more dynamic and physically rewarding. Try drinking natural jamu tonics to better promote healthy living.
Though taking concrete steps towards better physical wellness can be easy, it can be a bit more complex when it comes to your mental health. Even if your physical fitness is at its peak, it often won't contribute much to optimal health if you have unresolved mental wellness concerns.
Take time to nourish a better mind. Practices like journaling, community engagement, and self-care rituals can do a lot in helping you improve your overall well-being.
Though your emotions are heavily intertwined with your mental health, they do stand as an individual aspect of your overall health. Finding ways to improve your emotional intelligence is a great way to promote better emotional well-being.
The dimensions of personal wellness
Wellness as a whole can be a bit more abstract. In total, there are seven dimensions of personal wellness.
These seven components can be broken down as such;
- Physical health
- Mental wellness
- Intellectual wellness
- Spiritual wellness
- Social well-being
- Occupational wellness
- Financial wellness
- Environmental wellness
It's important to understand the impact of each of these components on your journey towards healthier living. That's one of the many reasons why a holistic approach to health and wellness is so critical.
Take, for example, the ancient Indonesian herbal lifestyle known as jamu. The jamu lifestyle was and is all about the power of holistic healing and natural remedies. In the book "Jamu Lifestyle: The Indonesian Herbal Wellness Tradition," JUARA skincare co-founder Metta Murdaya explores the fundamental ways in which jamu can help people find peace, balance, and health, even if they find themselves in the center of a fast-paced, superficial Western world.
5 ways to improve your health and wellness
A significant part of the discussion of the differences between health and wellness is how you can improve each one. Better health and wellness should be a goal in everyone's life, and it's important to find the best ways to improve your own.
The journey of holistic health should involve plenty of reflection on where you can improve your health and wellness. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all guide for healthy living, but there are a few surefire practices you can prioritize.
#1. Eat a balanced diet that nourishes your body
Whole foods allow you to naturally take in a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients that your body craves in order to thrive.
#2. Make regular exercise an integral part of your daily routine
This one is a given. In addition to eating healthy, you should be sure to also commit to a movement practice. Whether you enjoy the balance of yoga or the intensity of mountain biking, there are many ways to use your body.
#3. Take time to rest and relax
Though being active and dynamic is a great way to promote better wellness, it's not all that's needed to live a healthy life. Taking time to slow down, relax, and reflect is what sets your mind, body, and soul up for something more.
Don't forget to get plenty of quality sleep at night, as well!
#4. Practice mindfulness
If you find your mind racing at all hours of the day, it's time to indulge in a mindful practice that helps your body, mind, and soul unwind. Things like meditation, yoga, and journaling are great for this.
#5. Learn something new
If you work out your body, you need to be sure to do the same for your mind. Break out of your comfort zone by learning something new or taking up an extra hobby.
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