If you are pursuing health, the concept of wellness is vitally important to understand. However, it can be a little bit confusing to pin down what “wellness” means.
The best definition that I have come across was issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) around 1950. It is the definition given for “health” in most of my textbooks. The official WHO definition states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
From that official definition of health, the concept of wellness is born. It is useful to see wellness as multidimensional. Please see my five posts on “A Healthy Balance in All 5 Spheres of Life”. These posts provide a individual focus on each dimension that makes up wellness.
When people in America talk about wanting to get “healthy”, what are they usually talking about? Usually, they’re talking about wanting to be physically healthier. They may want to lose weight, get fit, or lower their blood pressure. Some may think about reducing their overall stress level, but this usually does not take precedence. It is hard for people in America to see health as a multidimensional concept. That is where “wellness” comes in.