What is Wellness?

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
~ The World Health Organization, 1948


Around the world, there is growing interest in changing the way we take care of ourselves – not just our bodies, but also our minds, spirit, society and planet. There is a growing impetus for a paradigm shift, a switch from mere reactivity – trying to treat or fix our problems – to a proactive and holistic approach to addressing and prevent the root causes of our personal and societal ills. This is what the wellness movement is all about.

So, how do we define wellness? According to wellness pioneer John Travis, MD, MPH:

  • Wellness is a process. It changes over time and along a continuum.
  • Wellness is multi-dimensional.
  • Wellness is holistic.
  • Wellness is individual, but also influenced by the environment.
  • Wellness is a self-responsibility. It is a decision you make to move toward optimal health.
  • Wellness is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit. It is the appreciation that everything you do, and think, and feel, and believe has an impact on your state of health.
  • Wellness is a way of life. It is a lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well-being

Ultimately, by taking responsibility for your personal wellness, you have the ability to improve things in your life like physical fitness, happiness, balance, relaxation, emotional balance, stress reduction and your overall quality of life.

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