When men and women hear the words health and wellness, most assume that the words are synonyms. While the idea that often comes to mind might seem similar, the truth is that the words are not synonymous. The meaning of health and the definition of wellness are very different. Both words have different connotations and should not be used interchangeably because they have different meanings.
When people use the term health they mean that the body is free of disease. Health is applied to the physical and mental state of the individual and simply states that in the present time the person is free of any ailments.
Health is a term that is used to describe the current condition of the body and mind. It does not imply that the state of the body or mind will continue to remain free of disease in the future or has been free of disease for an extended period in the past.
When using health in a sentence, the meaning is simply that the current state of an individual’s body or mind is free of any problems. A healthy individual is someone who currently does not have problems, but is not necessarily a person who will remain well in the next day or two.
Wellness is more encompassing than health. Wellness refers to an individual’s overall balance in every aspect of life and refers to a longer period of time than health. Those who strive for wellness are looking for balance in their whole life experience. The term means that the individual balanced mental, physical, spiritual, environmental and occupational health.
The term means that the individual is healthy in every area of life and strives to maintain good health for an extended period of time. Wellness is not limited to the current, but is a term used to imply that the individual has been free of disease or ailments for several years and will continue to remain in the best of health.
Best State to Strive For:
Since health is only about the present, it is better to work toward improving overall wellness. Individuals who strive for wellness are seeking a healthy body, mind, work environment, home environment, family life and emotional life. Without working on every area of life, the individual is not working toward wellness.
Health is not a statement of habits, lifestyle or working toward continuing to remain free of illness. It is a display of the current state of the body and mind. It does not factor in the environment, stress from work, current lifestyle trends or habits that might lead to poor health in the future.
Wellness shows a continued state of health in every area of life. It is about balanced, maintenance and improvement that ensures continued health in the future. Wellness works on a lifestyle that promotes improvements to the body and mind while also ensuring that other areas of life are not forgotten. It is about getting life in order and maintaining that level of responsibility for personal health in the future.
Striving for wellness is the best solution because it is not about current figures and facts. Remaining free of illness, disease and chronic problems requires lifestyle changes that encourage wellness for the entire lifetime. That means working toward improvements and constantly making changes that ensure the body, mind, spirit and intellect are in the best possible shape. It also means challenging the mind, body and spirit so that improvements remain steady, strength gradually improves and the ability to remain in a healthy state is at the best possible level.
Health and wellness are different. It is not a synonymous term because the words have different definitions and meanings. Implying that an individual is healthy does not necessarily mean that he or she works on wellness. The best way to ensure a life, healthy life is striving for balance via lifestyle changes.