What is “Wellness” anyway?

April 15, 2009

“Wellness” is a word that has been that has been all over the marketplace for years now. Wellness can be associated with anything from vitamins to day spas, from hospitals to yoga studios and from fitness programs to beauty products. But what is Wellness really?

Of all the definitions I’ve seen, I believe the best one comes from the Creating Wellness Alliance: “Wellness is the degree to which you express health and vitality in any dimension of life”. Simple, clear, powerful.

“The degree to which” tells us that Wellness is a state that we experience. Wellness exists on a continuum and we are always either moving towards Wellness or we’re moving towards illness, depending on our choices.

“Express health and vitality” shows us that Wellness isn’t just about the status of our physical body. It’s about the energy and aliveness that we feel and that we radiate outwards to our friends, family and our community.

And the most important part of our definition of Wellness is “in any dimension of life”. The concept of Wellness is far more reaching than just our physical health and fitness. It encompasses all aspects of our lives: our relationships, our finances, our career, our intellectual and personal growth, our spirituality as well as our physical health and wellbeing.

So as you’re thinking about Wellness in your life, ask yourself these questions: How is my health and fitness? What is the overall quality of my relationships – family, friends, work, etc.? How is my career or life path developing? Am I doing things to develop and grow myself – taking seminars, reading books, etc.? What is my connection to God/Spirit like right now?

The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of where you lie on the Wellness Continuum (more on that later). In addition, it will shine a light on the areas of your life that you need to work on to create more Wellness in your life. Do an inventory and make a change.