“Health” and “wellness” are terms that get thrown around in conversations about wellbeing. And while they’re often used synonymously, the truth is each word has a unique definition and use. Read on to learn the key health and wellness definition and importance, including how it relates to your life.
A Brief History Lesson
The concept of “health” is rooted in religion. In ancient times, it was believed that to be healthy, you had to pray and offer sacrifices to deities. Whether that involved the purging of demons, burning of herbs, or offerings at temples, the consensus was that supernatural causes were behind ill health.
The difference between health and wellness in ancient times is in the absence of religion from “wellness.” The concept of wellness originates in Ayurveda, a concept attempting to achieve a balance between mind, body, and spirit. The goal of this practice, according to the original Hindu texts, is to achieve balance and prevent illness.
“Health” became more refined when Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, separated the concept from the supernatural. He was the first to hypothesize that staying healthy was a function of your environment, personal cleanliness, and balancing your bodily fluids.
“Wellness” has remained fairly constant throughout its development. The difference between health and wellness is wellness usually refers to a balance and harmony of your life that helps prevent illness and disease.
Today, health and wellness definition and importance are widely debated among the medical and fitness communities.
Health and Wellness Today
Modern-day health is defined by the World Health Organization as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” At the time (the 1950s) this was rather revolutionary, as it shifted the focus from simply avoiding disease to looking at the social factors in people’s lives.
However, there are a few issues with this definition, including its lack of explaining the difference between health and wellness. It ignores the disparity of access to health care between richer and poorer countries and also doesn’t address the difficulties of dealing with chronic conditions.
Wellness today maintains a focus on balance and harmony but has expanded to include so much more than that. It now addresses living a dynamic and fulfilling life. This includes categories like your career, your family and friend relationships, your mental health, and so much more.
Health and Wellness Definition and Importance in Your Life
How you define your personal “health” and “wellness” can be a very individual decision, which can also be very freeing! You get to decide the difference between health and wellness and how it shows up in your life.
Here are a few areas to consider as you ponder your definitions:
Physical Health and Wellness
It’s no secret that being physically healthy contributes greatly to both your health and wellness, however you define the terms.
Engaging in a regular exercise routine has dozens of benefits. Just a few include:
- Boosting your mood/making you feel happier
- Building lean muscle and strong, dense bones
- Boosting your energy levels throughout the day
- Reducing your risk for chronic health concerns
- Boosting your brain health and memory
It’s clear that no matter the difference between health and wellness, these are excellent reasons to start exercising.
The other side of physical health and wellness to pay attention to is your nutrition. A diet full of nutritious, whole foods does wonders for your body and mind. Foods like:
- Fermented ones rich in pre-and probiotics
- Lean proteins (plant or animal-based but limited red meat)
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains and other complex carbohydrates
- Healthful fats like omega-3s
Prioritizing these foods in your diet is an excellent way to tend to both your health and wellness. Enjoy increased feelings of satisfaction and fullness and a better mood when you focus on your physical health and wellness.
Mental Health and Wellness
The difference between health and wellness in the mental field is a bit more specific. For example, your mental health refers to your mental state, including any diagnosed conditions you may have.
Mental health and wellness definitions and importance refer to the “wellness” side as things less diagnosable, like your tension levels, your mood, your outlook on life, etc. It’s more about being able to think, feel, and act according to your values and in ways that are positive in your life and the lives of those around you.
Taking care of both your mental health and wellness is key to a fulfilling, healthful life.
Other Areas Included in the Difference Between Health and Wellness
Physical and mental health usually take center stage, but there are other essential areas to consider. Things like spiritual wellness, career health, and environmental health all play roles in your day-to-day life.
Spiritual wellness can be anything from organized religion to anything that helps you feel connected to the wider world. Whether that’s yoga, meditation, walking in nature… anything that broadens your perspective on life can be spiritual.
Now, think about your career health. Are you happy with your job? Do you enjoy your work or is it a struggle to complete? Do you hate going to work or does it enliven you? The difference between health and wellness working in a job you enjoy vs. one you hate will definitely impact your daily life.
Finally, your environment has a strong impact on your health and wellness definition and its importance. For example, how much natural light do you get during the day? Do you live with someone you care about or someone who’s difficult? Is the air you breathe clean? All these things affect both your health and wellness.
The Bottom Line
In the end, the difference between health and wellness isn’t simple. “Health” is usually more physical and mental. “Wellness” is usually more about living a vibrant and fulfilling life.
However you define these concepts, Green Gorilla™ CBD products can help enhance your health and wellness journey. From relaxation to sleep health, we have oils, skincare, and more, all designed to boost your quality of life or your furry friends.
Not sure which products are right for you? Get in touch with us!