‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Wellness’ are terms that we hear a lot in our daily lives, and they have become interchangeable to many people. Think about it – do you know the difference between ‘Wellbeing’ and ‘Wellness’? Unless you’re an expert or have done extensive research in the field, the answer is probably ‘no’.
To understand the difference between the two, it’s important to look at the history of them both – which is a very interesting and valuable exercise in itself!
What comes to mind when you think of ‘Wellness’ or ‘Wellbeing’? For a lot of people, they picture a nice healthy salad, a pilates class, meditation, or a nice relaxing massage. Whilst these are all great for your Wellness and Wellbeing, they’re not the be all and end all.
Wellness and Wellbeing aren’t new or modern concepts. In fact, they can be traced back to the Bronze Age! It all started with philosophy back in the sixth century – philosophy was used as a means to make sense of the world and focused on topics such as maths, biology, astronomy, metaphysics and logic ethics.
From these philosophies, the practices of Ayurveda were developed in India, over 5000 years ago. Ayurveda roughly translates to ‘Knowledge of Life’ or ‘Science of Life’ and was the foundation of the four sacred texts of Hindu. Ayurveda is based on the concept that illness develops when the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) are out of balance. These three doshas define a person’s makeup. The healing process for Ayurveda is to rebalance the doshas via tolls and practices like medicinal herbs, massage oils, sweat baths and meditation.
In addition to those in India, Greek philosophers also believed that illness was a result of poor lifestyle choices. This belief was then adopted by the Romans, who passed it onto Europeans, who passed it onto Americans… and you can see where this is going.
To understand the difference between ‘Wellness’ and ‘Wellbeing’ it’s important to look at ancient Chinese cultures. ‘Wellness’ translates as healthy, which refers mainly to our physical state, which in turn can be affected by our mental, emotional and physical state. The focus of Wellness is primarily to protect long-term mental and physical health.
‘Wellbeing’ translates to ‘happiness’ which refers to our mental, emotional and spiritual state, which of course are also affected by our physical health. It’s all about being happy and incorporating harmony, calm, contentment and balance into our lives. As you can tell, the two are very much connected.
So, the idea of there being a connection between health and happiness was first discovered thousands of years ago, and this concept has been developed further and further in recent years. Pretty much all cultures and countries in the world are aware that Wellness and Wellbeing are vital parts of life. As an individual, it’s vital that you can identify when there isn’t a positive balance between your health and happiness, and that you know how to restore that balance.
We delve a lot deeper into Wellness and Wellbeing in our new book ‘8 Wise Ways To A Healthier Happier Mind’ which is out now. Click HERE to order.