The word ‘wellness’ was coined by an American physician, Halbert Dunn, in 1950, by integrating the words ‘wellbeing’ and ‘fitness’. By the late 1980s, implementing workplace wellness became popular among the larger corporations, though they mainly focussed on onsite fitness centers. Since then, as consumer interest and spending keeps growing, our interest in wellness is rising. But what exactly is wellness, and more importantly, how can we implement it in our own lives?
Wellness is being in a state of good health, achieved via regularly practicing healthy habits for the sake of obtaining physically and mentally healthier outcomes. It is about learning and engaging in behaviors that are more likely to result in optimal health. Developing healthy sleeping habits and choosing to practice physical activities that you enjoy, can have a great positive impact on your wellbeing. Eating correctly and exercising every day is a good example of wellness, as these behaviors improve the quality of life and maintain a state of being in good health. Adapting eating habits to be based around healthier food choices, drinking plenty of water, and walking more are all examples that positively contribute to maintaining wellness. Reducing alcohol intake and tobacco use will also greatly impact your wellness.
Nutrition and exercise are only two of the dimensions of overall wellness. Social connectedness and mindfulness also impact your physical and mental health. Connecting with loved ones even for just 10 minutes a day can help improve your mental health. Every emotion we feel and action we take relates to our well-being. This then feeds back into a loop as our wellbeing also impacts our actions and emotions. Achieving optimal wellness is therefore important to lower stress and anxiety, and reduce the risk of illness, whilst also ensuring a more positive vibe in our daily lives and interactions with others. In contrast to wellbeing alone, wellness also has a prominent physical dimension and relates to activities as well as state of being. Rather than feelings of satisfaction, wellness is more associated with healthy lifestyle choices. In general, the aim of practicing good wellness and integrating it into life is to thrive in an optimal state of being in a preventative nature, thus reducing the risk of health problems.