What is Wellness?
The term wellness has numerous definitions. The Encarta Dictionary defines wellness as “mental and physical soundness” while Merriam-Webster states that wellness is “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.” The concept of wellness is not new; in fact Hippocrates, in 370 B.C., alludes to wellness in the following statement:
All parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become healthy and well developed and age slowly. But if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly.
Western modern day wellness has deep roots in the Eastern teachings of body, mind, and spirit that suggest these three elements must coexist in harmony and balance. Wellness is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity; it is a process to which one commits in order to consistently improve one’s quality of existence. Wellness is a way of life, a design for living to the fullest, and most importantly a choice. We make choices every day, some of which are in accordance with the maximizing of our potential and others that may inhibit or interfere with that goal.
Wellness is perhaps better described than defined.
- Wellness is a process of achieving one’s full potential; this process requires participant involvement, a conscious effort, and it is continually evolving.
- Wellness is a choice that we all have the opportunity to make.
- Wellness is positive, affirming, and empowering.
- Wellness is independent of religious affiliation or beliefs.
- Wellness is multidimensional, and each of the six dimensions interrelates and overlaps.
The six interrelated dimensions of the TCU HR WellnessGold program follow: