Well, well, well... what are wellness and wellbeing, anyway?
Aug 17, 2022
These days, you hear about 'wellness' pretty much everywhere. Physical wellness, emotional wellness, social wellness, spiritual wellness, cultural wellness, financial wellness... the list goes on. But what is wellness, and why is it important? And what's the difference between wellness and wellbeing?
Both wellness and wellbeing are crucial parts of overall mental and physical health, and you'll often hear the terms combined with other healthy living advice. At JUVIA™, we're all about making a positive impact and keeping a focus on healthy choices and daily habits. So, we thought it might be useful to define both wellness and wellbeing, and explain how the two concepts can affect and impact your overall health.
What does wellness mean?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness is an individual pursuit defined by our own choices, but is also impacted by the physical and cultural environment we live in.1 Wellness is an active pursuit - in other words, it's something we have to work towards. It's linked to our actions, choices and bodily state - everything from mental health and self-care to physical activity, nutrition and the absence of disease.
Defining wellness can sometimes get a bit confusing. It's sometimes mixed up with things like general happiness and overall wellbeing. While being happy and feeling positive are key elements of wellness, the Global Wellness Institute notes that it is actually "associated with an active process of being aware and making choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing."2
Indeed, it's important to remember that wellness also goes beyond just our physical health. It's a part of a holistic approach for overall health and general wellbeing. The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine has defined wellness as being "achieved by a combination of emotional, environmental, mental, physical, social, and spiritual health."3
What is a holistic approach?
Holistic health is usually defined as being an approach to the overall wellness of the entire person - including physical, social, spiritual and mental needs. A holistic method involves looking after the whole of something (or somebody), rather than just a specific part. So, it's not focussing on just physical health - it's also thinking about how your mental and emotional health impact your body. An example of this sort of approach might involve understanding the relationship between stress and digestive issues, for example.
What does wellbeing mean?
So, from the above definition, we can understand that wellness is part of the process of obtaining a sense of overall wellbeing.
Things like being physically active, maintaining healthy habits, having a supportive network of people around us, looking after the body, and living a fulfilling life can all contribute to our sense of wellbeing.4
Some of the many overall aspects of wellbeing include 5 6:
This covers eating habits, illness and physical wellness, being active and other lifestyle choices.
Feelings of belonging and inclusivity. This might include things like communication, values, relationships and other elements of general lifestyle.
This involves physical environment - liking where you live, and your surroundings.
Being happy and satisfied with your job, and not suffering from workplace stress or burnout.
How we cope with day to day life, mental health conditions, how we think about ourselves and focussing on positive emotions.
Financial or economic wellness
Our sense of overall security and financial and social wellbeing. The ability to pay for basic needs and living conditions.
This can include religious faith and spiritual beliefs, but can also just relate to the connection to our own inner self.
What is the difference between wellness and wellbeing?
At first glance, the two terms might seem pretty much the same, and many articles and guides may use wellness and wellbeing interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference. The Oxford Dictionary defines wellbeing as "the state of being or doing well in life; happy, healthy or prosperous condition; moral or physical welfare".7
Wellness is just one aspect of a healthy and truly thriving life - it's only one element of feeling good. For example, someone who practices physical wellness (exercising regularly and consistently eating healthily), may be neglecting social or emotional wellness, and could still potentially suffer from feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety.
Overall wellbeing is the combination of multiple areas of wellness, which encompass physical health, social wellbeing, positive mental states, general good health and more.
Why are wellness and wellbeing important?
Being busy and overwhelmed is, sadly, an all too common part of life. It means that we sometimes forget to pay attention to making sure we're leading a healthy lifestyle. But both wellness and wellbeing are crucial to overall health - which is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as "a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".8
Our body is a delicate combination of systems and parts, all of it interlinked. Being stressed can have an impact on our gut health, which can in turn impact our overall wellbeing and happiness. Physical activity, mindfulness and socialising can all boost wellness and wellbeing.9
What this means in practice is that by making healthy choices on a daily basis and focussing on wellness and overall wellbeing, you can help reduce stress, live healthier and start living more positively.
JUVIA is a groundbreaking food supplement that works with your gut flora to help you start your journey to freedom from within. Learn more about the science behind JUVIA here, and learn how you can make a simple change to your daily routine to help with digestion and more.