Man and woman enjoying exercise

Understanding wellness

For many people, the idea of wellness may a new age, unattainable concept. However, wellness goes beyond the trends of the times and plays a major role in your health. It’s important to understand that health and wellness aren’t the same thing. By understanding health and wellness concepts, you’ll be able to see how they work together and how they can work for you. Begin by discovering what is wellness and why it isn’t the same as health. Then, get a sense of the different dimensions of wellness and how they contribute to the overall health and wellness discussion. Questions abound about wellness, but understanding what is wellness and what it can do for you can help put your health goals well within reach.

Get a healthy sense of wellness

What is wellness? Well, it depends on who you ask. According to the National Wellness Institute, wellness is defined as, “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” And the World Health Organization (WHO) perceives what is wellness to be, “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.” That’s all well and good, but what does wellness mean for you? To help you understand, think of wellness as the act of making choices and adopting habits on a regular basis toward a healthy and fulfilling life.

How wellness differs from health

To most people, wellness and health may as well be the same thing. When it comes to the health and wellness discussion, questions about the difference rarely come up. After all, they’re often used interchangeably and they’re certainly intertwined. However, understanding health and wellness concepts will quickly change your mind because wellness and health have very different meanings. The main difference between the two is that health is the goal and wellness is the way to achieve it. Health refers to complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just an absence of disease. While wellness is the process of practicing healthy habits and making smarter lifestyle choices to reach your full health potential. By understanding health and wellness concepts, you can see how health and wellness differ, and apply them accordingly.

The dimensions of wellness

Wellness for women is a common topic of conversation since women have typically been in charge of their family’s health for generations. Wellness for men is just as important, despite the fact that men may rarely discuss it. Wellness for women tends to focus more on emotional factors, while wellness for men is about improving physical attributes. But, wellness goes well beyond just how you feel or how you look, and should be viewed from a holistic standpoint for all people. There are six dimensions of wellness that affect your overall health and quality of life.

  1. Emotional – Women know far too well the importance of emotional wellness, which is why it’s always been a hallmark of wellness for women. But emotional wellness for women is just as important in wellness for men because it involves expressing feelings, learning to manage emotions, and being able to handle stressful situations. Necessary skills for any human.
  2. Physical – Physical wellness is about optimizing how your body functions physically. It means exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of sleep. In recent years, wellness for men has mostly been based on physical fitness, but this is only one aspect of wellness.
  3. Intellectual – Achieving intellectual wellness comes from mastering new skills, problem-solving, learning, and being creative. It’s about opening your mind to new ideas and inspiration.
  4. Social – Social wellness is about having a sense of connection, belonging, and support. This comes from building and maintaining relationships with family and friends. It comes from contributing to your community. And, it comes from developing the skills to communicate and interact with the people in your life.
  5. Spiritual – This dimension recognizes the search for meaning and purpose in existence rather than religion or faith. It helps you develop compassion, forgiveness, appreciation, and inner peace to not only survive, but thrive.
  6. Environmental – What is environmental wellness? Basically, it’s about saving the world by respecting nature, conserving our natural resources, and maintaining a healthy environment free from hazards for people and places throughout the world.

In many instances, your SignatureMD-affiliated doctor will recognize that a focus on wellness is the path to your best health. By understanding and integrating these six dimensions of wellness, you’ll be able to improve your quality of life and be well on your way to achieving your health goals.


About SignatureMD

SignatureMD is one of the nation’s largest firms providing initial conversion and ongoing support services to concierge medicine physicians. SignatureMD currently partners with over 200 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists across 35 states, and its network is rapidly expanding.