According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the definition of “Health” is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Wellness, on the other hand, is the active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. It is a dynamic process of change and growth in life.

In order to achieve health, we need to practice wellness consistently by incorporating healthy behaviours such as having a balanced diet, sufficient sleep and physical activity in our daily lives. Therefore, health is the ultimate goal whereas wellness is the process of doing it.

Most people did their annual medical check-up as the only way to practice wellness. However, they may not realise that medical check up is just a diagnostic tool, not a preventive measure. By the time we have diagnosed with a certain disease, there is nothing much we can do but to accept the fact and receive the treatment.

Let me ask you a question. When do you usually call a plumber to your house? I believe the answer would be when your pipe is leaking, bursting or has some blockage. On the other hand, when do you usually send your car for service? Is it on the day when your car broke down in the middle of the road or you do it regularly?

As you see, people seek plumber when there is a damage and that requires fixing. The plumber’s job is just like the surgeon performing surgery on a patient with burst artery. Both do their best to treat the damage that has already occured. However, a mechanic works in the opposite way. His job is to maintain cars at optimum condition, for the purpose of making sure that they are in perfect condition at all times. It applies the same with our health.

Wouldn’t it be great if we maintained our health the same way we maintained our cars? If we send ourselves in for checks and tuning even there are no breakdown, we can benefit from a body, mind and soul that has no boundaries and limitations to what we would like to do and accomplish every single day.

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely important to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affect our actions and emotions. It is an ongoing cycle.

There are a total of eight elements in true wellness: Physical, Emotional, Social, Intellectual, Spiritual, Financial, Occupational and Environmental well being. Each dimension of wellness is inter-related with one another and is equally vital in the pursuit of optimum health. Now, let’s look at the definition of each element; physical wellness is the element of wellness that involves our physical state of being and all that affects it.

Emotional wellness refers to a person’s awareness to their thoughts, feelings and behaviours: both positive and negative ones. Social wellness refers to relationship we have and how we interact with others. Intellectual wellness focuses on learning, and being engaged in stimulating the mind to expand knowledge.

Spiritual wellness explores the meaning of life for ourselves, while being tolerant towards the belief of others. Financial wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses. Occupational wellness inspires us to prepare for work in which we will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in life. Last but not least, environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings.

After all, to proactively maintain overall wellness, we should adapt a lifestyle with right nutrition, physical activity, managing our stress, reducing toxins and doing our regular health screening. However, do not get too obsessed by trying to change too much at one time. It is often easier to break bigger goals down into smaller and more achievable tasks.

These smaller goals are able to assist you to be on track and keep up your motivation. With the advanced of health care services and technologies, we are moving towards a personalised health care management where medications, supplements, nutrition and lifestyle can be tailored to our inherited genes.

For example, nutrigenomics is a field in which we are able to select the right foods and exercise according to our gene. The new DNA profiling can help us to pinpoint the types of food that may have better or poorer chemistry with our genes. Genes cannot be changed, but we can choose to be informed and empowered in order to make effective and targeted lifestyle changes.

Nowadays, we are overwhelmed with excessive health information but chances are much of the information and advice that we received might be biased, inaccurate and in some cases, downright dangerous. As a smart health care consumer, we should be equipped with intellectual wellness to ask questions and evaluate all the information reveived before making any health-related decisions.

Health Vs Wealth
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