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What is health? What about wellness?

Jul 15, 2018 As defined by World Health Organization (WHO), health is a "State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Health is a dynamic condition resulting from a body's constant adjustment and adaptation in response to stresses and changes in the environment for maintaining an inner equilibrium called homeostasis.

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth, "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential"- The National Wellness Institute Wellness and living a healthy life have evolved to represent more than being physically fit. No longer is it enough to make it to the gym and sweat. Today, being healthy and alive involves a more complex and systematic approach that integrates states of physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Many health experts believe in a theory of wellness that evolved from several crucial areas of healthiness that compliment one another to provide a well balanced, vital and prosperous life. Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, developed in 1977 a wellness paradigm that integrates six dimensions of wellness that could be used as a guideline for attaining a whole and complete life: Physical, Social, Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional and Occupational. Dr. Hettler states in his hypothesis that in order to lead a vital, fulfilling, well rounded and balanced life, certain lifestyle dimensions need to be met. When one or more dimensions is missing or falls short, the imbalance sets off an effect that throws off the entire equilibrium and poise to one’s life.

Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, believes that being healthy is not just about the food on your plate; it’s about the water you drink, the air you breathe, the love in your life, the amount you exercise, whether you have a fulfilling career and spiritual practice, and so on. Primary food and the food you eat (secondary) should be looked at together rather than separately. He talks about 4 types of primary primary food: Relationships, Physical Activity, Career and Spirituality.

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.

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