Wellness refers to good health and the active progression in connection with the enjoyment and appreciation of living a fulfilling life. Wellness is a decision made deliberately to accomplish optimal health. Many times people think wellness means a lack of disease or sickness. However, wellness is more than a lack of disease or sickness. There are six elements to wellness: physical health, psychological health, spiritual health, social health, intellectual health, and environmental health (Hales, 2014).
Physical health involves a nutritious diet, a consistent exercise regimen, refraining from risky behaviors and substance abuse, paying attention to the body for early detection of illnesses, and following safety precautions to avoid accidents. Psychological health refers to the mental state of our mind and to the emotional balance of our feelings. It also includes the ability to manage stressful situations as they arise. Spiritual health involves the identification of a value system that allows an individual to define their reason for existence. Social health refers to relationships and how we interact with the people in our lives or whom we encounter on a regular basis in a positive and mutually beneficial manner. Intellectual health refers to a person’s ability to apply life experiences as an approach for thought, reasoning, and goal setting. Environmental health refers to the environments around you and how those environments affect your physical condition.
The difference between wellness and absence of disease is that absence of disease refers to being free from a mental or physical defect or infirmity. Wellness is more than a lack of disease; it is a state of mental and physical balance and fitness.
Wellness does not refer to just physical health. In addition to physical health, wellness refers to a person’s overall state of mind to include their psychological health, spiritual health, social health, intellectual health, and environmental health. A person’s wellness can be measured by taking a look at their life as a whole. I would say wellness could be measured by a person’s appearance; such as if someone is skinny or overweight. While being overweight can sometimes be due to medical problems, it can also be a sign of a lack of self-worth, or a deeper emotional or mental health issue. You could also take a look at a person’s social life to see how they interact with others. Wellness could be measured by a person’s appearance, behaviors, their happiness, and how they feel on a normal basis.
Hales, D. (2014). An invitation to health: Building your future, brief edition. (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.