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Are Health and Wellness Considered the Same Thing?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 7, 2022

Health and wellness are two different things. Health is how you feel physically. Do you have any discomfort, sicknesses, or disabilities? If not, then you’re healthy. It’s only one aspect of your well-being.

On the other hand, wellness is more of a holistic approach. It deals with your overall happiness, including your physical health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines wellness as being physically, mentally, and socially well, rather than not suffering from any type of sickness.

What this means is that every aspect of your health and wellness is affected by the environment, the food you eat, living in a comfortable home, having clean air to breathe and water to drink, and your relationships with other people.

Basically, wellness is much broader than health. Your wellness incorporates all parts of your mind, body, spirit, and quality of life that gives you the most enjoyment.

In this article, you’ll learn more about health and wellness, and how they create a harmonious balance in your life.

What Is the Difference Between Health and Wellness?

The basic difference between health and wellness is that health relates to your physical condition and treating symptoms. Wellness emphasizes self-healing and promoting your health by preventing rather than treating symptoms.

For example, think about when you get a headache from the emotional stress that makes the muscles tight in your head and neck, increasing the blood pressure in your head. If you treat your headache with aspirin or Tylenol, you’re taking a medical approach that deals with health.

In contrast, if you try to figure out and eliminate the source of your anxiety and tension, you prevent the headache from ever happening. This is taking a wellness approach.

What Are the Six Types of Wellness?

When talking about wellness, there are six dimensions of wellness to understand.

1. Emotional Wellness

Learning to control your emotions and coping with everyday problems is emotional wellness. If you can do this, you can express your feelings, have a sense of humor, try to meet your emotional needs, and take responsibility for the things you do.

2. Intellectual Wellness

Being open-minded to new ideas means you have intellectual wellness. You strive to experience new challenges and ideas. Also, if you have intellectual awareness, you can speak and communicate effectively, and you’re also a good listener.

3. Spiritual Wellness

This is an important part of wellness. It means that you’re in harmony with yourself and the people around you. You’re able to find a balance between the things you need and the world you live in.

If you have spiritual wellness, you search for meaning and purpose in your life, examining your values and beliefs.  You also understand right from wrong and appreciate nature.

Spiritual wellness helps you find meaning, hope, and comfort through your connection with nature and your inner self. You might find that you experience inner peace through activities that help relieve anxiety and stress, such as yoga, meditation using essential oils, prayer, music, and art.

No matter what spiritual philosophy you follow, becoming spiritually aware leads to a healthier life.

4. Occupational Wellness

If you enjoy what you do for a living and believe you’re contributing to society, whether it’s going to school or working at your job, you have occupational wellness.

It means you communicate with your coworkers or classmates and have critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Occupational wellness also means having a work/life balance and you have a sense of accomplishment when you meet work challenges.

5. Social Wellness

Social wellness means being able to develop positive, healthy relationships with your family and friends. You enjoy being with others, even if they hold different opinions than you.

6. Physical Wellness

When you maintain a healthy body by eating right, exercising, and avoiding bad habits that can harm your health, you have physical wellness.
It also means you make informed decisions about your health and go see your doctor if necessary. But, it also means that you perform activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.


How do you maintain your health and wellness every day?

If you live a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising, it can help you stay physically healthy. You also want to make sure you are mindful of the things that cause anxiety and stress in your life. Try to participate in activities that help you find inner peace, and strengthen positive relationships with your friends and family.

Why is wellness so important?

Having wellness in your life is important to your physical and emotional well-being. Both of these balance each other to improve your quality of life. Wellness is all about making healthy choices, taking precautions to prevent sickness, and understanding your emotional needs.

Look for ways to engage in physical activities, and enjoy a nature walk or meditate in a quiet space to find inner peace.

What’s the difference between wellness and mindfulness?

Mindfulness is when you’re aware of what you’re doing in the moment. It’s knowing who you are, and what you’re doing. When you’re in a state of mindfulness, you are completely aware of your spiritual and psychological consciousness throughout your day.

Wellness is a broader knowledge of your emotional and physical well-being. It encompasses your health, emotions, lifestyle, and spiritual well-being.



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