Health and wellness are often used as interchangeable phrases, but the distinction between them is actually quite important. While they both relate to physical and mental health, “health” and “wellness” have separate connotations and work differently.
In simple terms:
- Health is your current status. You can have bad health, good health, or anything in-between.
- Wellness is the state of striving for better health. When you engage in wellness, you are working toward good health.
Those are the simple answers. But they carry with them some additional complexities.
Managing Your Health through Wellness
So, wellness is the process by which you improve your health. But what are some elements of wellness?
Wellness generally begins through mindfulness — being more aware of your general health and actively working to improve it. There are twin components to health: mental and physical. Examples of wellness initiatives could include:
- Using a pedometer to walk more every day. Simply being more active can help.
- Writing in a journal to log your emotional state. The more you notice your emotional state, the more you can improve upon it.
- Preparing your food for healthier eating. Putting thought into your food can increase how healthy it is.
Wellness requires both intent (what you want) and action (what you do).
When it comes to wellness, any people take personal initiative to improve themselves. But corporate wellness is also common; companies often create wellness initiatives for their employees. Employees who are healthier are employees who are more likely to succeed.
What Gets in the Way of Wellness?
Everyone wants health. So what makes wellness such a challenge? Even when we understand what makes us healthier, the process of wellness can be a struggle. There are many factors that can contribute to a lack of health. Understanding your challenges makes it easier to progress.
- Environmental issues. Being surrounded by unhealthy things can lead to someone being unhealthy. A sedate office environment, for instance, naturally leads to someone moving around far less. Being around junk foods at home leads to someone eating options that are less healthy. These environmental issues can feel overwhelming, often because it’s difficult to change one’s surrounding environment.
- Bad habits. Once a habit has been made, it’s hard to break it. If a person has developed bad habits, such as snacking while eating movies, it can be difficult to break. These habits require effort to redirect. But many people don’t even know what bad habits they have before they perform serious introspection. These things fall into the background of day-to-day life.
- Lack of time. When people don’t have enough time to dedicate to wellness, they can find it difficult to improve their health. When people are overworked and stressed, this situation can be even worse. Among everything else, a lack of time is often the most difficult issue to crack.
A lot of people simply aren’t prioritizing their wellness and it’s not their fault. There are a lot of other priorities many people are juggling. Between their home life, work, and even school, it can be difficult to find the time to improve health. But though there are a lot of things that can make wellness harder, there are also ways to improve upon it. This includes creating complete strategies for better wellness.
The Best Strategies for Health and Wellness
As we’ve learned, health and wellness are highly linked. With better wellness strategies, health gets better. As health gets better, wellness also becomes easier to maintain. Often, people feel discouraged because they aren’t seeing their wellness strategies pay off, or they simply don’t think they have time for wellness at all. But there are ways that wellness can be a part of everyone’s life.
- Integrate wellness into daily tasks. By modifying the habits you already have, you can improve wellness in a non-disruptive way. As an example, replacing a frappe in the morning with an iced coffee.
- Start sharing your wellness goals. When you share wellness goals with family, friends, and peers, it makes it easier to maintain. They can help support you and you can complete wellness initiatives and activities together.
- Measure your progress. Part of mindfulness requires that you know whether you’re improving or not. Measure your progress by using apps or journals. The more you know about your progress, the better you can adjust.
Health and wellness may be simple topics, but it can take a lot to manage your health effectively. With the right psychological tools, though, it can be easier to work on wellness and work towards a healthier future. To learn more about improving your health and working towards greater levels of fitness, contact the experts at Prime Behavioral Health.