Health, Wellness and Lifestyle choices are great friends, that sometimes fall out with each other. We think we understand why they do – but have we gone back to basics, and found out what makes each one tick. What does Health Wellness and Lifestyle choices really mean? Can we impact the relationship? What makes them such good buddies?
Health is a topic of conversation, a state of being, something we strive for, and a balancing act. We think we understand what it means – yet when we look deeper, it is no longer so clear. What does being healthy mean?
Once we get the definition of what ‘health’ stands for – what is then ‘wellness’? And – to confuse us further – the way to get to that elusive state of ‘wellness’ seems to be ‘lifestyle changes’. And to top it all off – you then need to make ‘lifestyle choices’!
A barrage of information is out there – and half of it you cannot even begin to digest. It it just too much… Before you even begin – you revert to that wonderful state of ignorance (ah! bliss!).
The great John Lennon said it so well, didn’t he? “Living is easy with eyes closed” – but then again he also said “When we are afraid, we pull back from life”.
And now with that niggling sensation returning of not feeling as good as you once did – let’s also consider what Victor Cousin said: “If ignorance is bliss, there should be more happy people.”
Let’s leave ignorance aside for a while and begin from the beginning……
Health and Wellness – Definition and Relationship
Definitions of Health
In 1946 The World Health Organisation defined Health as : “as state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This gives us a clue that ‘Health’ is so much more than the absence of illness or disease. In his article in Medicalnewstoday.com “What is Health? What Does Good Health Mean?”, Christian Nordquist gives a great definition of health. He gives us the range of what ‘health’ actually stands for, and in my mind, also makes it easy to see the relationship between health and wellness.
Health and wellness – a relationship
If ‘health’ is more than absence of sickness – what is then ‘wellness’? To understand further how health is connected with wellness we can find information at a ‘clicks’ distance.
There are more or less elaborate definitions of what wellness is. We already see from Wikipedia that ‘Wellness’ as a term is not definitive. And when looking further – ranging from the scholarly to a website promoting healthy living, the following definitions were found:
- “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.“…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.“” – The World Health Organization.via Health Topics: What is Wellness?.
- “What Is Wellness? Wellness is a state of being well, a way of life, a choice, and a lifestyle designed to achieve a persons highest potential for well-being. It is an aspect of health cost management that focuses efforts on maximizing an employees general health and a decision a person makes to move toward optimal health. Furthermore, the concept of wellness uses daily practices that keeps one “well” and involves maintaining good nutrition, exercise, stress control, and good personal and social relationships. In addition, it is a balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being which is a process of becoming aware of and practicing healthy choices to create a more successful and balanced lifestyle.“via What Is Wellness? – Recreation and Wellness Armstrong Atlantic Savannah Georgia.
- “A wellness-oriented lifestyle encourages you to adopt habits and behaviors that promote better health and an improved quality of life. It also involves the recognition that you have physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs, with each dimension being necessary for optimal levels of functioning.” via What is Wellness? – Definitions of Wellness website.
The internet search leads us on the road to understanding how health, wellness and lifestyle choices are connected. Now we can get into the core of the matter: To be ‘healthy’ with ‘wellness’ as a goal – you first need an understanding has to achieved, then choices have to be made, and finally daily steps taken to make lifestyle changes. The active lifestyle choices create changes that become habits – and health and wellness are the result. Yeah!
Health, Wellness and Lifestyle choices – The act of choosing lifestyle
When placing the word ‘lifestyle choice’ into a search engine – you find reference to ‘Lifestyle disease‘ – i.e. the presence of illness and disease as a result of a ‘choice of lifestyle’ and it is directly linked to those living in ‘western’ societies – where an active choice is available on how to eat, exercise, sleep etc.
The fact that many do not choose well – or know how – brings us right back to the beginning and the World Health Organisation definition of health. In other worlds, it is not merely the absence of illness or disease, there is an active act we can do. The act of choosing how we live our lives.
The act of choosing is key here – as well as taking responsibility for these choices. No one but the individual can decide to start (or re-start) something. Even so, with more clarity on how health, wellness and lifestyle is connected, what is actually meant by lifestyle choices? And – do all people have the luxury of choice?
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Recommended and Related:
- What is Health? What Does Good Health Mean? – Medicalnewstoday.com
- What is wellness? – Definitions of wellness website
- Life Altering Lifestyle Change – thegoodista.com
- Wellness and Career Coaching – thegoodista.com