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Health and Wellness - Why It Matters and How To Achieve It?

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Wellness is an active approach to attaining health, whereas health is the ultimate goal. These terms are often used synonymously, but there exists a difference.

Written by

Dr. Shuchi Jain

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Nagaraj

Published At November 29, 2022
Reviewed AtJune 1, 2023

Introduction:

Living life means dealing with happiness and stress, ups and downs, and success and failures. Well, talking about health, yes, stress impacts an individual's physical, mental and social well-being, whereas wellness is affected by one's perspective. It is a matter of choice. A balance among different aspects of health arises from wellness, making the right choices and decisions, and maintaining healthy attitudes. We can not avoid stress, but we can choose the right way to deal with them. Let us look into the ways to achieve it.

What Do You Mean by Health and Wellness?

Health comprises complete physical, social, and mental well-being (defined by the world health organization). Physical, social, and economic environments are also determinants of health. Wellness refers to an active process of enhancing overall well-being.

What Is the Difference Between Health and Wellness?

The difference between health and wellness is that wellness is an active process of achieving health. Health is the ultimate goal for living a healthy and happy life. One can not choose the state of health but can make active choices toward wellness. Health comprises the diagnosis and predisposition of diseases or illnesses. For example, one can suffer from heart disease, diabetes, or injuries - it is all a part of health. Making the right eating choices, exercising, and proper health checkups directs toward wellness. Wellness is overall growth and change to achieve the fullest health. It includes nutrition choices, a balanced diet, spiritual practices, etc.

Thus one can not achieve health without gaining wellness first.

What Does Wellness Mean?

Wellness means taking care of ourselves. Taking care does not restrict to just eating well and exercising. It includes immunizations, treating chronic diseases, mindfulness, meditation, connecting with nature, etc.

Why Does Wellness Matter?

Living well helps an individual achieve a healthy life, high energy levels, improved mood, peace, acceptance, and calmness. In addition, it can help improve mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, etc. Unfortunately, many unhealthy habits prevail in society, such as junk, canned food, increased screen time, lack of physical activity, etc. These habits are comforting and addictive. Changing this routine behavior may take time, but the payoff is rewarding. Adopting healthy habits leads to overall improved well-being.

What Are the Dimensions of Wellness?

Wellness is multidimensional. It comprises - emotional, physical, social, environmental, intellectual, occupational, financial, and spiritual wellness.

  • Emotional Wellness: An emotionally stable person can deal with all stressful situations. A person is said to be emotionally well when aware of his feelings, have good self-esteem, and have empathy towards others.

  • Physical Wellness: By physical wellness, it means being physically fit. Exercise brings a healthy mind and body. A sedentary lifestyle can be changed by following a daily routine such as walking, cycling, etc. In addition, eating a balanced diet, drinking water, and getting adequate sleep to promote physical wellness.

  • Social Wellness: Maintaining good terms and relationships with family, friends, and colleagues makes a person happier and healthier. Social circles are the support system for overall well-being. Interaction and communing establish good relationships and boost our overall health.

  • Environmental Wellness: Natural environment plays a vital role. A healthy environment promotes wellness.

  • Intellectual Wellness: Learning, problem-solving, and creativity promote intellectual wellness. Learning new things and challenging the mind to avoid mental health problems.

  • Spiritual Wellness: Searching for the meaning and purpose of human existence helps in spiritual wellness. This can be achieved through meditation, spending time with nature, volunteer work, etc.

How to Achieve Health and Wellness?

Before setting goals, ask yourself the following questions,

  • What is the main aim of losing weight?

  • What impact does it impart on your life?

  • Are you doing it with your own will or trying to show others?

  • Is it a lifelong goal?

Knowing what you truly want can help you make a robust personal plan that works best for you.

Here are a few tips to achieve health and wellness,

1. A Healthy, Nutritious Diet: Diet impacts physical health. Food is said to have a profound impact on mood and memory. One should consume a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits, green leafy vegetables, pulses, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats. Each meal should have a balanced amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers to maintain a healthy weight. Fresh foods are given priority over canned, processed food as they contain extra salts, sugar syrups, and additives.

2. Regular Exercise: Exercise stimulates the mind and body. It helps lower blood pressure, manages weight, boosts mental health, and lowers cardiovascular disease risk. One can simply follow a walking and biking routine. This helps in physical and mental fitness and promotes environmental wellness. Daily thirty minutes should be invested in your health.

3. Mental Exercise: Mental fitness is also essential to health and wellness. Mental exercises boost brain power and prevent mental illnesses such as stress, anxiety, etc. For example, try solving puzzles, learn new skills, and practice yoga and meditation.

4. Good Sleep: Sleep is essential for the mind and body. It refreshes and energizes the body. It helps strengthen memory and concentration, lowers stress, increases productivity, and regulates hunger. Seven to nine hours of sleep is a must for an adult.

4. A Refreshing Weekend: Take a rest for a day. Break the routine, plan a weekend trip, do something that you usually do not do, and allow yourself rest and recovery. Even if you can not go out, do things that you love.

5. Get Together: Spend time with your friends and family. Join them for dinner or organize a dinner at your place. We humans feel most comfortable when surrounded by social support. In addition, social networks play an essential role in overall well-being and health.

6. Embrace the Journey: Make a target and a health goal. Do not feel overwhelmed. Take baby steps and move ahead. Surround yourself with positive people and enjoy the journey of achieving wellness.

7. Regular Checkups: Include regular checkups that include blood pressure checks, cholesterol levels, immunizations, dental care, and screening of chronic health conditions.

Conclusion:

Health and wellness are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. Health is a goal, whereas wellness is an active, dynamic approach. Wellness can be worked upon by putting your best foot forward. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and good sleep contribute to wellness. People should adopt a lifestyle to improve health, prevent diseases and enhance their quality of life. Wellness is driven by oneself for a healthy life.

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Dr. Nagaraj
Dr. Nagaraj

Diabetology

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