The overall aim of wellness is to facilitate fulfillment, in every aspect, to foster a thriving, healthy life. “Not [just] life, but a good life is to be chiefly valued,” Socrates is credited with saying. But what is wellness? Wellness is “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving [one’s] full potential.”[i] Assessing the different aspects of wellness reveals areas where change is desired, allows goals to be set, and control to be gained over one’s own life. This is the path to wellness.
So now that we understand that wellness is the goal, we need to understand what components combine to create wellness within our bodies. Is it merely the absence of disease, or is there more to wellness? The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” in their 1946 Preamble[ii]. In other words, wellness involves more than the body alone. Each of us consists of three main aspects: a body, a mind, and a spirit. And each of these aspects contains three components with many subcomponents: they are multifaceted. We are multifaceted. However, each aspect (body, mind, & spirit) is only as strong as its weakest component. Optimally, our aspects are developed and strong, and ultimately work harmoniously with each other. This ultimate, optimal condition is known as wellness and is necessary for life to flourish.
For this blog, wellness is divided into its three main aspects: the body, the mind, and the spirit. Each aspect will be discussed along with its components. Additionally, the importance of managing each component and integrating the three aspects will be explained. The interconnectedness will be revealed, and greater understanding of how each of these aspects and their components either enhances or degrade each other will be gained.
It’s not enough to just exist. Life is meant to flourish. Each of us must cultivate wellness within our body, our mind, and our spirit. This is the only path to a thriving, flourishing life.
[i] National Wellness Institute. 2012. Defining Wellness. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nationalwellness.org/index.php?id_tier=2&id_c=26