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Definitions of Wellness

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A lot of people think that wellness and well-being only mean not getting sick or doing things such as getting exercise and eating healthy, but wellness is a lot more than that.

Wellness has many definitions. Wellness is a dynamic process that takes into account all the factors that contribute to well-being. It is the process that helps us achieve a state of well-being.

Wellness is most often is associated with health. It also is mentioned along with well-being.

Well-being is the state in which we enjoy positive emotions and moods, feel satisfied with life, and live a fulfilling, meaningful life enjoying positive relationships with those around us.

Let’s examine how these terms have evolved and how they’re used today.

Since its inception, the UN has been actively promoting and protecting health worldwide.

Leading that effort within the UN system is the World Health Organization.


As long ago as 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

That definition has been reviewed by the WHO a few times since then, but never revised it because it has proven valuable over all these years up to the present time.

The WHO now defines wellness as, “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups. There are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically, ant the fulfillment of one’s role expectations in the family, community, place of worship, workplace and other settings.”

There is no consensus around a single definition of well-being from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, experts generally agree that well-being is the presence of positive emotions and moods (eg, contentment, happiness), the absence of negative emotions (eg, depression, anxiety), and satisfaction with life, fulfillment and positive functioning.

Well-being is associated with good health and healthy behaviors, social connectedness, and productivity. When people perceive that their life is going well from their own perspective is also key.

So, wellness includes aspects of both health and well-being. Taken together, these terms denote a person’s overall sense of that life is good and feeling of hopefulness about the future.

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