Health and wellness are huge buzzwords right now. It’s impossible to go out to eat, walk through the aisles of any store, or listen to the radio without having the terms come up. But what is wellness? Is it as simple as not being sick? What falls into the umbrella of wellness? All this, and more, right here!
Wellness as a concept is quite simple–it’s just being in and working toward good health. Health is a destination, and wellness is the journey. Many experts break down the broad umbrella term of wellness into a few categories–purpose, community, social, financial, emotional, and physical. This broad definition is not always what first comes to mind when you think of wellness, but all these sub-categories contribute to a person’s overall health.
While this one may seem the most subjective out of all the subdomains of wellness, it is still vital. Having a purpose allows you to set goals for yourself, make an impact on your community, and set you on a track. Your purpose can be work-related, faith-related, or family-related, or anything you set your mind to!
Humans are social creatures by nature, so finding a community that you fit in well with is essential for your overall health and wellness. Communities can be small, like a family unit, or large, like a country. Finding a group of people that you mesh with and feel comfortable around can help you feel healthier and more in touch with the people and world around you.
Now that you’ve found your community– make some friendships! Being social is an essential part of being part of a community, and bonds are great ways to make that happen. Having social connections and a support network is a critical part of your overall mental health.
Being financially well means staying out of debt, living within your means, and making sound financial decisions. Not having money to purchase healthy food, buy a house to sleep in, and clothes to wear contributes heavily to your overall health. Some strategies you can use to help to your financial wellness are record-keeping, goal-setting, and planning purchases ahead of time.
Being emotionally well encompasses being able to feel, process, and express your emotions. Allowing yourself to feel emotions like pain, jealousy, and contempt, or “bad” feelings, is an integral part of emotional wellness. Bottling up any emotions you feel isn’t just going to impact your emotional wellness–it’ll change your mental health, too. One way to increase your emotional wellness is to keep an analog or electronic journal. Journaling allows you to express your emotions in a safe place, and slowly figure out how to represent them. One bonus result of taking the time to write in your journal is that you’ll eventually learn the causes and themes that underlay all your emotions.
For many people, images of physical wellness (yoga, cardio, and strength training, for example) are the first things that pop into their heads if you ask them about wellness. Physical wellness, while the stereotypical type of wellness, is still fundamental. Being able to take care of your body makes up one of the cornerstones of wellness.
All six of these different domains of wellness are part of a higher goal: being healthy and well. Each area is a step that you need to take on the road to being healthy. Don’t stress out too much about making sure you’re up to par in every domain– the joy is as much in the journey as it is in the destination.
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