What is the Difference between Wellness and Well-being?

arabiaMountainWhen we think of wellness, our thoughts often race to fitness, physical health and nutrition. Other wellness practitioners, however, say we need to move from Wellness to an understanding of Well-being.

What is Well-being?

While wellness is often a focus on physical health, well-being is a term that helps us grasp the importance of understanding that total health is more than the physical. Some will refer to this as total wellness, holistic wellness or a whole of life experience.

Well-being includes physical health, but it also includes additional key aspects of our lives such as Emotional, Psychological, Mental and Intellectual health. Social and Community health, where there is a sense of belong, are often included. Spiritual health is also often inserted into the conversation, such as in The Daniel Plan where the Biblical phrase of body, mind and spirit is used to demonstrate the scope of well-being.

Having a sense of Purpose is sometimes incorporated into the discussion on well-being, while Financial health is a common component of even some of the most basic wellness offerings. Even Career and Occupational health is included in well-being. Others will add Environmental health and Economic well-being into the mix.

Life Satisfaction

The end result of well-being is life satisfaction, including positive moods and healthy emotions. Well-being is where there is a sense of contentment. Absent in well-being are depression and anxiety, while positive energy and vitality are present.

A key understanding of well-being is that the total health of an individual greatly impacts physical health. Stress, lack of purpose and social 7252-101413-gs7252aloofness will often translate into poor physical health.

The Why of Well-being?

The CDC provides a well-stated summary of the Why of well-being:

Well-being is associated with numerous health-, job-, family-, and economically-related benefits.For example, higher levels of well-being are associated with decreased risk of disease, illness, and injury; better immune functioning; speedier recovery; and increased longevity.Individuals with high levels of well-being are more productive at work and are more likely to contribute to their communities.

Well-being in the Workplace

Realizing the benefits of well-being on productivity in the workplace, many employer sponsored wellness program now give attention to the holistic needs of employees. Employers often provide training on dealing with stress, in and out of the workplace; lunch and learns on financial wellness; opportunity for community involvement and volunteerism; and robust promotion of Employee Assistance Plans, (EAP).


Photos: Personal photo of Boardwalk on Arabia Mountain Trail in DeKalb County GA; Smiling girl from GraphicStock.com.



About Jack W Bruce
Jack W Bruce Jr. is a novice blogger, husband and father of four, living in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a lover of God, a reader and a wanna-be runner. Jack’s blogs include www.jackwbruce.wordpress.com and www.jackintheteambox.com. Jack can also be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jackwbruce.

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