Health and wellness one would think are one in the same, however, even though they are closely related are still very different.
Health is defined as a dynamic ever changing process of trying to
achieve your individual potential in a variety of dimensions i.e.
intellectual, emotional through feelings and self esteem, physical by
way of bodily functions, socially by interactions with others,
spiritually in connection with a religious or secular entity and
finally environmentally. I would like to mention that when one of these
is out of balance it can throw the whole person off. E.g. when you are
not feeling your best physically you don't want to get out thus that
cuts down your ability to get out and be around peers, this soon
impacts your emotional well being because then you get depressed due to
lack of the usual social structure you have come to enjoy and count on.
See how that works. We struggle every day to maintain that balance.
Conversely wellness is a lifestyle that you create to achieve
you highest potential wellbeing through the integration of all of these
health dimensions. Now this can also apply to weight loss, quitting
smoking, getting sober from a history of alcoholism, cancer prevention
you name it you can apply these concepts to every facet of your life.
After all it is through prevention, education, and health promotion
that we can achieve our maximum level of wellness. Education is a
combination of learning experiences that assist a person in voluntarily
changing their behavior, which is something that we do or don't do that
affects our health either negatively or positively. Like the smoking
example I gave earlier if you smoke three packs a day for twenty years
of your life then you are likely to take on all sorts of unpleasant
health conditions later on such as COPD, emphysema, lung cancer, not
too mention it ages your skin and makes your teeth yellow.
My biology professor showed us two slices of an actual
diseased lung and let me tell you it was nasty. One was from lung
cancer, what happens is the tissue in your lungs hardened so that air
can not flow through your lungs, you can liken it to petrified wood.
The other was emphysema, what that entails is the contraction of the
tissue in your lungs that makes it harder for your lungs to properly
filter air through them. Both forms of lung disease create a nasty dark
black color to lungs that are instead supposed to look like a very pale
mix of red and grey.
This was enough for me to continue my commitment to never pick up
smoking. Now this next bit I tell to a lot of folks, in junior high
science we had this weekly science periodical that one week featured
alcoholism and what it does to the brain. Imagine your brain in a
pickled egg jar that is what alcoholism does to the brain, it pickles
it. It also breaks down the brain cells. When I saw that in junior high
I definitely did not want to be an alcoholic. No I am not a goody two
shoes, I just know that I don't want my body to look like a petrified
pickled mess. So I vowed to not smoke and to drink sparingly. I battle
my weight every day though, that is one demon that seems to have a hold
of me that I am having a hard time shaking off.
So you see the health and wellness continuum is a constant
cycle and we must work at achieving the balance that is meant to exist
in that continuum. It is through seeking out health behavior models and
prevention tools that we can begin to set that balance back on the