a lady sat cross legged on a beach looking out to sea, holding her arms up in the air in thanks.

I don't know about you, but I spent a long time not understanding the difference between health, wellness and well-being, which I feel a little silly for saying out loud! But to be fair, I don't think I'm alone. 

These three words are commonly used interchangeably, so it's understandable why their meanings merge. However, as a founder of an impact-based business, it was vital for me to get clarity as it would define the purpose of Potent Sapiens by Design.

But why should it matter to you? 

Words and their use are essential, especially when working toward health, wellness & well-being goals. Clarity is everything!

In researching these words, I found multiple definitions of varying degrees. For the sake of this post, I have picked the following from reputable sources:

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"

(World Health Organisation (WHO))

"Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential"

(National Wellness Institute)

"Wellbeing is about feeling good and functioning well and comprises an individuals experience of life"

(UK department of health)

Now, in my opinion, these definitions don't provide clarity, and I know you are not reading this post for a text box definition! 

So let's have another go! 

Health comprises physical, mental and social well-being and relates to the optimal functioning of the body and mind. It is influenced by genetics, behaviour and our environment.

Wellness is an active process shaped by behaviour and choices. It is influenced by environmental factors such as sleep and light, but they do not define wellness. Wellness has an apparent physical dimension in that it is a practical way of achieving health and is firmly associated with prevention.

Well-being is the perception of a state of being. It is multi-dimensional and characterised by: 

  1. Environmental factors such as living conditions, relationships and a sense of purpose (to name but a few)
  2. How these things are perceived. For example, fulfilment, happiness and satisfaction. 

Well-being has an apparent mental dimension that shapes our mentality, influencing our health.

If I were to summarise:

The difference between health, wellness and well-being is:

  • Health is the end game!
  • Both well-being and wellness influences health
  • Well-being is about mindset and perception, which varies depending on each individual and culture.
  • Wellness is empowering. It enables everyone to take their health and well-being into their own hands through individual behaviour and choice.

Hopefully, with this post, I've clarified the meaning behind each word and shown that it can improve your well-being and, in turn, your health through potent wellness interventions.

If you would like to know more about potent wellness interventions in the home, read more here

Do you have another take on the meaning of these words? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

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