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Updated: Feb 1, 2022

wellness (noun)

the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.

There is a major aspect to this definition. Wellness is not a passive or static state but rather an "active pursuit" that is associated with intentions, choices and actions as we work toward an optimal state of health and well-being.

Wellness is linked to holistic health--that is, it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many dimensions that should work in harmony. It is an individual pursuit (self-responsibility for our choices, behaviors & lifestyles), but it is also significantly influenced by the physical, social and cultural environments we live in.

Wellness is multidimensional.

physical: nourishing a healthy body through exercise, nutrition, sleep, etc.

mental: engaging the world through learning, problem-solving, creativity, etc.

emotional: being aware of, accepting and expressing our feelings, and understanding the feelings of others.

spiritual: searching for meaning and higher purpose in human existence.

social: connecting and engaging with others and our communities in meaningful ways.

environmental: fostering positive interrelationships between planetary health and human actions, choices and well-being.

occupational: making use of your gifts, skills and talents in order to gain purpose and enrichment.

Wellness is different from healthcare. Our healthcare systems use a pathogenic and reactive approach, focused on causes, consequences, diagnosis and treatment of diseases & injuries. In contrast, wellness is a salutogenic and proactive approach, focused on prevention and healthy lifestyles. A solid foundation for wellness helps us prevent and overcome disease, both present and in the future.

So, what are you doing to take care of your well-being?

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