What Is The Difference Between Health and Wellness?

Health and wellness are often used together and maybe sometimes interchangeably. However, there are slight differences between health and wellness. In this article, we will discuss some of the differences between health and wellness. So, read on to know what it means to be healthy and what wellness entails.

What is Health and the Wellness Difference?

Health is defined as the state of being free from illness or injury. Also, health is that which describes a person’s mental or physical condition. So, one can be in good health, we say that the person is healthy. Or when someone has a poor or bad health condition, we say they are sick.

Health can be local or global and there might be times when someone may not know that their health is already deteriorating. For instance, someone might say they are healthy but the doctors may discover worrying issues with an internal body organ. In some cases, health can be reported based on a local part of the body.

Sociologists have observed some problems with the definition of health which is why there are slight differences in the definitions. The Constitution of the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” The constitution further restates the notion of the complexity of definition based on the presence and absence of diseases.

The position of the World Health Organization people tends to lean towards the idea of accepting that health definition cannot be complete. Therefore, there should be attention to the promotion of health. In effect, this leads to placing value on total wellbeing rather than the mere absence of disease.

A broad perspective on health often leads to the subject of wellness.

What is Wellness and the Difference from Health Definitions?

The World Health Organization defines wellness as the “optimal state of health of individuals and groups.”  

The definition further explains that “there are two focal concerns: the realization of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, and economically, and the fulfillment of one’s roles and expectations in the family, community, place of worship, and other settings.”

Wellness definitions are not without criticisms as well but have less of it compared to the definition of health.

The key difference between health and wellness is that in defining health the focus is on the state or condition, whereas, wellness entails the processes and ways to enhance good health and maintaining wellbeing.

Wellness tends to move a step higher from the notion of subjective definition of health to a more objective one. While discussing health and ways of maintaining health need to include promoting a healthy lifestyle, wellness already encompasses these steps and the processes as the main content of its definition.


In discussing health, it is best to follow the wellness approach to ensure that you attain the optimal state of health. After all, there is a world view that prevention is better than cure. And the wellness approach to healthy living best addresses ways to enhance wellbeing and or prevent a bad state of health.

What is Social Wellness?

The relationship we have with people and the pattern we interact or converse with people is referred to as social wellness. Social wellness relatively has to do with the nurturing of a healthy and supportive relationship with others. Having genuine connections with others in society through our conscious actions is important in creating a balance in our social lives.

From when we were born, our early relationship foundation aids us to learn and live and relate well with others in our communities.

Some qualities are inherent but we learn how to interact with others as well as how to express ourselves and carry out different healthy habits that qualify us to be important members of society.

Tips on How to Cultivate Behaviors that Promote Social Wellness

Make it a habit to care for you (self-care).

There is a common saying stating that you can’t give what you don’t have. Taking proper care of yourself embraces some basic needs like having enough sleep. Doing things like mouth washing, engaging in exercises regularly to keep fit, bathing as well as avoiding activities like smoking and over-drinking shows a high level of social wellness habits.

Seeking skills to manage stress through enjoyable activities that are self-soothing helps in maintaining an active social living.

Nurture and Rekindle Healthy Relationships

We all get caught up in different challenges of life and as no one is perfect, we sometimes fail to maintain good relationships. The good relationships we keep provide that much-needed support when we are faced with different challenges. In the face of challenges, we know a friend in need is a friend indeed.

Maintaining healthy relationships with friends who love and accept us for who we are is important for our social wellness.

Practice Self-appreciation and Appreciate Others as well

Society needs more positive energy than negative energy as this keeps every individual happy, healthier, and more hopeful.

On a more consistent basis, we should encourage and appreciate the positive attributes we possess and also learn to appreciate and compliment others we care about and feel comfortable with when they are around us. This simple act goes a long way in fostering a healthy social life.

Connect with others

Our social connections might help to protect our health as well as prolong our lifespan on earth. Research has been able to show that the links we create with others be it our family, friends, neighbors, our romantic partners can have effects on our health. Hence, looking for ways to get entangled with others is deemed a necessary tool that enhances social wellness.

The pathway to social wellness

The route to social wellness is one we can discover by ourselves and it gives us the power to promote our relationships with others. By doing this, we are allowed to learn empathy for others and cultivate active listening skills. You can begin your journey by doing the following

  • Joining a club or organization
  • Practicing self-disclosure
  • Keeping touch with supportive friends and family
  • Practice self-reflection of your social needs. What are the things you enjoy doing? What part would you want to improve on?


The kind of relation we promote plays a huge role in the way we experience the world hence the need to foster a healthy relationship for better social living.