The World Health Organisation (WHO) asserts that "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
The WHO then goes on to define mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
….but what does the wellbeing bit mean?!
The Oxford dictionary simple gives this definition of wellbeing - the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
A recent 2015 evaluation published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) attempts to give distinction to wellness from health saying "Wellness refers to diverse and interconnected dimensions of physical, mental, and social well-being that extend beyond the traditional definition of health. It includes choices and activities aimed at achieving physical vitality, mental alacrity, social satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and personal fulfillment."
So although health is an integral part of wellbeing, it can also be said that wellbeing can be maintained despite the presence of stressors in the physical, mental, and social aspects of one’s life.
In biology ‘Homeostasis’ refers to an organism’s internal regulation responding to outside conditions to stabilise and maintain equilibrium of health and functioning.
What Is Wellbeing?
Our wellbeing is supported by our health, and is informed by our happiness but to say that wellbeing is simply to be healthy and happy is not enough as these terms are not fixed states in which we can exist all the time.
Wellbeing is a shifting state of balance in which we are able to effectively respond to external challenges in the physical, mental, emotional, and social realms of our lives without losing our core sense of happiness and wellness. Our sense of wellbeing, happiness, and wellness always exists despite the challenges we experience each day!
But then how do we do that?
Wellbeing is a synergistic state; that is, a combined result of many different factors.
Supporting ourselves with clean healthy nutrition, quality sleep, regular exercise, time to play and rest with friends and family helps to sustain us in our daily lives and nurture greater energy.
Practising greater mindfulness, gratitude and compassion we further nourish and give foundation to the balanced interaction of the mind, body, and spirit which helps promote more complete and lasting wellbeing.
Given a little practise each day to support wellbeing in these ways, despite the challenges, we can create a life of greater health, happiness and wellness for ourselves. Even in the presence of illness or stress we can stay grounded in ourselves, more easily and effectively return to our centre, our true selves!
Are You Well In Your Being?
What Do You Need Today…. To Support Your Wellbeing?!