Last Updated on July 5, 2022 by Thalia
Do you ever get confused with what the difference between wellness and well-being is?
Trust me, you’re not alone. I’m a blogger who primarily writes about these topics and I still get them mixed up.
So to make things easier for you (and me!), I’ve put together this glossary of trending wellness terms and their definitions.
You’re welcome xx
Every so often I like to reflect on the direction of my content. I’m forever growing as a person and so what I like to write about expands quite often.
While updating my content categories this time around I got myself into a bit of a fluster with whether I use the correct word to describe the topic I write about.
Is it a wellness journey or a well-being journey?
Do I say self-discovery or personal growth?
What is the difference between self-care and self-love?
I know, I’m a self-care blogger but I still get so confused with the meaning of some of these words and probably make a lot of mistakes.
But it happens.
And I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
But after doing some extensive research I came up with the idea of putting together a blog post with some of the biggest wellness terms and their definitions.
So hopefully that makes things a little bit easier for you in case you also get confused.
So here is my glossary of health and wellness terms and their definitions. Feel free to bookmark this page so you can keep referring back to it when you need to.
Table of Contents
- Trending “Wellness” Terms and Their Definitions
- Final thoughts
Trending “Wellness” Terms and Their Definitions
The word “wellness” seems to be everywhere lately. And it’s a trend that I hope sticks around.
But what does wellness actually mean?
In the most basic sense, wellness means being free of illness.
But it’s seen as so much more than that.
Wellness is about moving towards a healthy lifestyle that has a positive impact on your physical health; both inside and out.
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Building healthy habits and avoiding unhealthy ones
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Indulging in self-care
… all work together to help improve the overall quality of your life to help you feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.”Buddha
Simply speaking, holistic means as a whole.
And it seems to be a beautiful sounding buzzword lately.
You might have started to see this word used a lot with wellness (holistic wellness), self-care (holistic self-care), design (holistic design), medicine (holistic medicine) and nutrition (holistic nutrition) .
I’m pretty sure I even use the term in my notes.
So holistic wellness basically means you are looking at it as a whole.
Everything is intimately linked. So holistic wellness is the practice of treating the whole mind, body, and spirit as one.
And just like with self-care, there are different pillars to wellness.
Six dimensions, in fact, which are all defined by the National Wellness Institute.
- Physical wellness
- Mental wellness (sounds like well-being if you ask me)
- Emotional wellness
- Spiritual wellness
- Social wellness
- Financial wellness
“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”B.K.S. Iyengar
Well-being isn’t just about your physical health, but how you feel mentally, physically, emotionally and socially.
It’s the combination of your mind and body as a whole, and how you feel about yourself.
- Positive self-talk
- Taking time for yourself
- Personal growth
- Forming healthy relationships with friends, family and social media
- Learning to manage and overcome negative thoughts
- Protecting your energy
- Setting boundaries
- Wellness exercises
… all work together to help boost both your gut health and your mental health.
To me, my well-being determines my overall happiness and I am on a constant journey to improve how I feel about myself and my life.
It’s important to note that everyone’s wellness or well-being journey will look different, but the most common areas to work on are emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual and environmental.
“Mental and physical health are inextricably linked — you can’t take the mind out of the body.”Shondaland
Self-care is any activity you do to help take better care of your well-being. It can be anything from journaling, practising gratitude or meditating, to pampering, socialising or watching Netflix.
It’s a simple concept but one that often gets ignored.
Self-care is essential. Not only for your well-being but for your productivity as well.
The more you rest and take care of yourself, the more nourished you feel, so you can keep showing up as the healthiest version of yourself.
Self-care also allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, and take care of your mental health and well-being.
Depending on your needs, self-care can be split up into different areas:
It’s also important to remember that self-care looks different to everyone. It’s about what works for you and what makes you feel good.
For me, self-care is indulging in physical activities that make me happy. Like having a slow morning, travelling, scrapbooking, reading or doing a puzzle.
These activities allow me to switch off and feel completely at ease.
Self-care doesn’t have to feel like a chore or be overly expensive.
Have fun with your routine by trying out fresh and exciting self-care ideas throughout the year.
“It’s not being selfish to take care of your own needs; it’s being self-caring.”Jerry Manney | Why We Argue
Self-love is the love you have for yourself no matter what.
It’s learning to not judge yourself and to love yourself unconditionally despite your flaws, imperfections or failures.
In a world where productivity, appearance and money dictate how successful you are, it’s easy to feel a little bit inadequate sometimes.
That’s why it’s also important to have your own version of success and to avoid using your perceptions of other people’s lives as comparisons with your own journey in life.
So, it’s important to practice self-love and to value your own well-being and happiness above everything else.
“Loving and accepting ourselves are the ultimate acts of courage. In a society that says, “put yourself last,” self-love and self-acceptance are almost revolutionary.”Brené Brown | The Gifts of Imperfection
Another trending wellness term I use a lot and see used a lot.
But what does it actually mean?
The focus of a healing journey is to recover from previous trauma. A trauma that is deeply rooted in your being and has had a lasting impact on mental health and well-being.
E.g. I am still recovering from the trauma of working in a toxic work environment.
The trauma that you are trying to heal from, might have also started from your childhood.
So no matter how deep or severe your trauma is, there are mindful practices you can put in place to start healing.
I’m not an expert on this topic or medically trained on trauma so I won’t go into much further detail but if you do feel like you are struggling from past trauma, I encourage you to seek help.
“Every one of us is on a healing journey, and what this looks like is unique for every single person.”Hilary Pearlson | The Dreamerie
I’ve been hearing “give yourself grace” a lot lately on social media within the health and wellness community.
The word ‘grace’ has many different definitions, from the way one holds themselves, to being a religious or spiritual term.
But digging deeper I’ve learnt that ‘grace’ simply means kindness.
By giving yourself grace you are showing yourself the kindness and gentleness you need to move through life.
“By treating yourself with more compassion and understanding, you will realise that your happiness is entirely dependent on yourself.”Derick Howell | Eliminate Negative Thinking
Mindfulness is paying attention to everything you do.
It’s being aware and present in the moment.
Mindfulness can look like meditating, doing breathwork, getting outside, practising gratitude or living a slow-paced life.
Mindfulness can also be focusing on just one thing at a time, eating slowly, touching the ground with bare feet or noticing things that you don’t usually have time for.
Practising mindfulness can help relax the mind, improve focus, reduce stress and increase happiness.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”Ferris Bueller
Manifestation is another popular wellness term that is currently trending.
And thanks to Roxie Nafousi’s book, Manifest, the practice has quite literally gone viral.
And although I don’t quite believe in manifestation, let’s skip past my own thoughts for another time and look at its definition.
Manifestation simply means using your inner energy and belief system to make something come true through affirmations.
I mean it all sounds too spiritual for me but like I said, I’m keeping my opinions to myself.
Ah, screw it…
Like with everything that becomes a “hot” trend on social media, I think the meaning of manifestation has become rather blurry. People quite literally believe that if you just spend your days manifesting then it will come true.
And others are getting the wrong end of the stick entirely. I once saw an influencer on social media complain that her phone got stolen while she was in Mexico so she went out and bought a new one. She then logged on to her stories to let her followers know that she manifested a new phone.
I mean, is that really manifestation? Or is that just having the money to buy a new phone?
(Please someone tell me in the comments if I’ve got it completely wrong.)
But this is how manifestation can become so damaging.
Because manifestation is bullshit unless “you pair desire with action.” (Erin Lowry)
I mean I’ve been manifesting that Kevin Costner will fall romantically in love with me for a while now, and guess what? It hasn’t happened yet. And neither has Pierce Brosnan fallen in love with me either.
I know two very unrealistic examples here, but what I’m trying to say is for manifestation to actually truly work, you need to still put in the work.
It’s not enough to lie in your bed manifesting your dreams, in the hope that they will one day come true.
In the words of Mel Robbins, “no one is coming” and you need to remember that.
You need to take action.
“Always pair desire with action.”Erin Lowry | The Broke Millenial
When you live an intentional life you are making decisions based on your core values, beliefs and goals.
You take action knowing it feels right to you and not because someone else has told you to do it or for the sake of it.
All your actions and choices have a purpose.
Living intentionally doesn’t mean that you need to have your life figured out but more about knowing and remembering your why.
“Live a life you want to live, not how others want you to live.”Notes by Thalia
Self-discovery is another new term I’ve come across recently but have absolutely fallen in love with.
The path of self-discovery can be ongoing. It’s figuring out who you really are, what you want to achieve and what you truly want from life.
Self-discovery might sound like an overwhelming concept but it’s essentially about “examining your life, figuring out what’s missing and taking steps toward fulfilment.”
“Learning to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes can help ease the pressure of performing and allow us to become more positive about our lives. It is vital to remember that life is essentially an adventure and that all of us are on a path of self-discovery.”Derick Howell | Eliminate Negative Thinking
Whereas self-discovery is about finding and embracing your true, authentic self, personal growth is the process you go through to develop and improve your skills, knowledge, goals and outlook on life.
Whenever you look to better yourself or certain areas of your life, you are supporting your personal growth.
It’s so important to continue to grow as a person so you can open your eyes up to more and gain different perspectives on life.
Personal growth can look different to everyone. For me, it’s reading self-help books, travelling and learning more about my needs.
“Let’s normalise the messy reality of personal growth and the fact that the moments that truly make us aren’t always going to be “insta-worthy.”Notes by Thalia
I like to think I coined this term but I’m sure it’s been around a lot longer than before I started to use it.
Also known as gentle productivity, mindful productivity is a more sustainable way of working that allows you to hustle less but still get shit done.
This essentially means being realistic with your own capabilities and only taking on what you can.
So rather than filling your to-do list to the brim and rushing from one task to the next, this type of productivity requires you to be more intentional with your tasks.
By focusing only on what is important and will help you reach your goals.
Mindful productivity also allows you to dedicate space in your schedule to pause and breathe. To be present in the moment and reflect on what you’ve just accomplished.
It’s also important to note, that mindful productivity is all about doing what works for you. Dismissing what everyone else is doing in favour of a calmer, less overwhelming day.
And this leads nicely into anti-hustle. Something I pride myself on.
“Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.”Alan Watts
Having an anti-hustle approach to life basically means you aren’t aligned with, do not agree or follow the hustle culture.
The hustle culture is a lifestyle where your career, business, or study take priority in your life. There’s the narrative, “if you want it badly enough, you won’t stop until you get there.” And many people take this literally.
They sacrifice their well-being so they can work towards their success and start to neglect other areas of their life, like spending time with family and friends, resting, taking part in hobbies and having fun.
It’s taking on a set of unrealistic ideals in the hopes you will get rich or successful quicker.
And even when you have reached your goals, you then look to the next set of goals.
It’s all about hustling and there’s time spent to actually reflect and celebrate how far you’ve come.
Even though productivity is essential to our growth and gives us purpose, if taken to the extreme, it pushes you towards overworking and burning out.
Something that the hustle culture seems to promote.
But if you follow a more sustainable approach to productivity, like being mindful of your capabilities, then you are able to develop a healthy work-life balance; one where self-care and productivity can work side by side and you don’t need to sacrifice one over the other.
Which is literally my motto.
“If we want to live a wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating sleep and play, and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.”Brené Brown | The Gifts of Imperfection
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I hope this blog post has cleared a few things up for you and you feel a bit clearer now with these wellness terms and their definitions.
If there are any other health and wellness terms you are confused about and aren’t mentioned in this post please write them below so I can clarify them for you.
I will also continue to update this page with more words I come across throughout my well-being journey.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx