Why your well-being and wellness matters?
Mental health issues affect both women and men.
In Australia, 4.3 million people have received a mental health-related prescription in the year 2018-2019. In England, 1 adult in 6 had a common mental disorder.
However, females are more likely to experience mental health-related issues as compared to men. According to a 2014 survey in England, 1 of 5 women and 1 of 8 men had a common mental issue.
Understanding well-being and wellness
Well-being is often described by a person’s state of being comfortable, happy, or healthy. According to me, well-being is a more complex combination of several factors. As the word itself suggests, it is being ‘well’ in all aspects of your life.
Your well-being is affected by your physical, mental, emotional, and environmental factors.
Do you have life satisfaction? Are you feeling happy or sad? And do you have a sense of purpose or meaning in life?
The answers to these questions contribute to your well-being level. Therefore, if you wish to have a state of ‘complete’ well-being you need to ensure that you are taking care of yourself in all 4 aspects of your life.
Research has also suggested that psychological well being can act as a protective shield. It can help in reducing the risk of a certain type of chronic physical illness and promote longevity.
Can you have well-being without wellness?
Difference between wellness and well-being
We did understand that well-being is about how we evaluate our life as a whole in both the social and personal level.
Wellness on the other hand is more an active and conscious process of making mindful choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. It is a process of starting to make a better version of yourself (according to me).
There are 8 categories of wellness:
Emotional wellness: It is about understanding your feelings and emotions and learning how to manage them effectively.
Environmental wellness: It involves being respectful to our surroundings including nature and other living species. And also inspire us to practice good habits to promote a healthy environment like recycling and conserve energy.
Financial wellness: It involves managing our expenses and resources effectively. Financial stress can lead to health issues.
Intellectual wellness: It is about growing intellectually and expanding our skills and knowledge. Having a new hobby is an example of how we can increase our skillset.
Occupational wellness: It is about gaining personal satisfaction through our work. It is where we contribute our skills and talents to work that are meaningful and rewarding to us.
Physical wellness: It involves taking care of your body and maintain optimum health. Engaging in a physical activity for 30 minutes is an example.
Social wellness: It comprises of maintaining healthy relationships with others and contributing to your community.
Spiritual wellness: It is about finding purpose and meaning in your life. It enables us to find meaning in life events and appreciate the life experiences as they are. An example would be practicing meditation.
How well-being and wellness is linked to your happiness?
Every day we make a lot of decisions, whether it is about our finance, our food or our work. But we occasionally think about how it is affecting our well-being.
Or I would rather say how it is affecting our happiness.
We tend to prioritize certain aspects of our life and neglect or give less value to the other part of the equation ( The other part is what makes us happy).
However, wellness is equally important in everything we do, and, in every emotion, we feel. And this is related to how “well” we feel socially (environmental) and personally (physical, mental, and emotional).
Our well-being and wellness affect how we feel and how we perceived things in life.
If we are always stressed out about our work and we bring the emotions associated with that stress to our home, or in our relationships; “tiny meaningful moment” goes unnoticed.
For example, we overlooked the effort our loved ones are making to make us feel good.
How well-being and wellness is linked to your general health (mental and physical)
The choices we make daily defines our level of well-being and wellness. If we want to achieve physical wellness and well-being, we need to take actions towards maintaining a healthy body and seek care when we need it.
Similarly, if we make a wise financial decision then we will reduce the “financial stress factor” in our lives, and thus we will be less prone to anxiety.
The four health aspects (physical, mental, emotional, and environmental) of our life are interrelated and overlapped.
How can you assess your well-being and wellness level?
The first step to assess your well-being and wellness level is by Self-Reflection.
I wrote how I feel about the physical, mental, emotional, and environmental aspects of my life. I did not limit myself to label it as good, bad, or okay. Rather, I tried to write more than that and describe it.
If you are willing to optimise your well-being and wellness level, then take the second step.
The second step is to acknowledge that you need to make changes in your life and it requires preparing your mind for the fact that a lot is going to change in your life and you should avoid resisting it.
It can be overwhelming, and It was on certain days for me but the key to it is to keep on trying and working toward it.
The third step is to make “baby” changes. It is about making small changes and adjustments. Decide which and what changes will be easier for you.
Make easy changes first, like take 1 or 2 extra glasses of water every day or reduce your TV time by 15 or 30 mins ( if you tend to stay in front of the TV for long hours).
I would suggest making 2 changes first and then increase the number and level of changes gradually as your body and mind adapt to it.
The fourth step is to record/measure those changes. When we keep track of things we do, we human being takes it more seriously.
The fifth step is to evaluate your progress. The aim of this evaluation is certainly not to make you feel terrible about yourself. It is about how better can be next time!
Do not focus too much on the things you did not accomplished. Take pride of the things you accomplished.
It can be a long process, but it will worth all the efforts. Consistency is key!
Well-being is about how we feel about our social and personal life, and wellness are the choices or actions we make to achieve a high level of satisfaction about our social and personal life.
The value we allocate to our overall life satisfaction is related to our level of happiness. If we want a higher level of happiness, we need to optimize our well-being and wellness level.