While health and wellness are intrinsically linked, they are not the same thing.  So what exactly is the difference? Well, put simply health is about the absence of disease and being in a state of mental, physical, and social well-being, while wellness is the process of making choices that will result in good health.  Wellness is the action, what you do, while health is the desired outcome of those actions.

I personally have always tried to make the best, most healthy choices for myself.  Everyone is different, and because of that health and wellness is very personal.  What works for one person may not work for another.   Obtaining optimal health through wellness can be an amazing, confusing, empowering, and at time frustrating journey.

Depending on who you ask there are anywhere from 5-9 types or dimensions of wellness.  These dimensions include:

physical - This aspect of wellness encompasses eating healthy foods, getting adequate exercise and sleep, and abstaining from poor habits, such as substance abuse.

emotional - This is a general feeling of happiness or contentment.  Someone who is emotionally well has great self-worth and self-esteem.  Good stress management, communication skills, and ability to seek help are ways to maintain emotional wellness

financial - Satisfaction with one's finances, not stressing out about bills.  Ways to financial wellness include having a household budget and sticking to it, having multiple streams of income (preferably passive), financial planning, etc.

intellectual- The ability to focus, pay attention, and think critically is a sign of intellectual wellness.  Recognizing a personal talent where you are able to express yourself creatively is important to foster wellness.  Learning a new skill or debating an issue can also improve your intellectual wellness.

occupational - A love for and satisfaction with a chosen profession.  Doing something that is meaningful and fulfilling goes a long way toward wellness.  Working at a company that has an atmosphere of support and encouragement is essential.  If satisfaction is lacking within your current occupation its time to look for a new job.

social - A sense of connectedness and belonging is vital to social wellness.  A sign you are socially well is an active social life, going to different event with friends, trying new things, etc.  If you are introverted it may take more effort than someone more gregarious, but having meaningful relationships and an active social life is a benefit to your overall wellness

creative - Participation in some manner in a diverse range of the arts contributes to overall wellness.  Also the process of creating is extremely satisfying.  To tap into your creativity try finding a hobby in which you are physically making something.  Cooking, painting, drawing, crocheting, sculpting, weaving, are some great examples of creative activities.

environmental - The environmentally well individual knows they are connected to nature and seeks to interact with nature.  They try to live in spaces and ways that are not harmful to the environment.

spiritual - Having clear values and beliefs will help you find meaning and purpose in life.  People who are spiritual are self-confident and have a sense of inner peace.  Meditation, mindfulness activities, and self-reflection are ways in which to enhance your spiritual nature.