Understanding the Wellness Continuum

Darryl Bachmeier
Aug 17, 2019

When we talk about wellness, people usually relate it to absence or recovery from illness. However, according to researchers, there are varying degrees of wellness just like varying degrees of illness. To further describe the health status of a person, they illustrate an Illness/Wellness Continuum by relating the treatment paradigm with the wellness paradigm.

In this continuum, they demonstrate how the health status of a person progresses while moving from left to right. Starting from left to the center of the continuum indicates the treatment paradigm of an individual. While from the center to the right of the continuum, it indicates the wellness paradigm.

When we need to estimate the degree of wellness of an individual, we consider the left-most part of the treatment paradigm as an indication of disease or premature death. And when we move towards the center, it’s considered as the neutral point or elimination of the disease. And as we move further from the center, it indicates the higher level of wellness that a person can achieve.

How to take benefit of the Wellness Continuum?

The wellness paradigm in the continuum is your indication of how far you can go from the neutral point to the right to be well and healthy. When you’re ill, you get yourself treated using drugs and medicine to reach the neutral point. Once the symptoms of disease alleviate, you need to work on your immunity system to move towards high-level wellness.

This means that you need to take good care of yourself including both your physical state and your mental state. Because even if the person doesn’t show any physical symptoms, he might be going through depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue that’s also considered a disease and needs to be treated.

When you’re not suffering from any disease, able to use your mind constructively, and express your emotions effectively, it means you’re enjoying a high degree of wellness.

How emotions affect our wellness continuum?

As discussed above, wellness is not just related to physical health but emotional health as well. Moreover, it’s not a static state. A person suffering from a disability but having great emotional strength is considered to be living a process of wellness. On the other hand, the health status of a person with no apparent illness but still grieved will be considered in the treatment paradigm.

This shows that emotions play an equal role in the process of wellness. Any negative emotion leads to a lower immunity level in a person making him prone to illness and diseases. That’s why health experts emphasize on building more positive emotions than negative ones.

How to achieve higher levels of Wellness?

No matter what the status of your health is at the moment, you can always begin embracing yourself and working on your personal growth and wellness. High-level wellness can be achieved by leading an uplifting lifestyle that’s designed to avail the highest degree of wellness possible.

For this purpose, you can adopt the following steps for an uplifting lifestyle and achieving your goal of wellness:

Take Charge of Your Health

It’s you who can decide on taking responsibility for your health and pursuing a lifestyle that enhances your health and well-being. Neglecting your well-being or engaging in health-risking activities like smoking, drinking, or taking drugs on your own without consultation can lead to poor health.

To achieve your goal of high-level wellness, take control of your lifestyle and adopt health-enhancing activities.

Improve Nutritional Awareness

One of the main reasons behind poor health or low well-being is ignorance of what we eat and how much we eat. Over-consumption or poor diet even leads to death-causing diseases. Nutritional awareness means identifying healthy food from non-healthy food and following a well-balanced diet plan to ensure a high-level of wellness.

In this regard, prefer natural foods over processed foods and avoid food additives. Limit your intake of salt, sugar, and caffeine as suggested by health experts. Add fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet instead of canned or frozen ones.

Practice Meditation and Stress Management

In today’s world, when everyone needs to follow a fast-paced routine, it’s common to feel stressed and anxious. If this stress is left un-managed for a long-term, it can lead to diseases like migraine, headache, hypertension, and other mental health issues. The best way to cope with chronic stress is to practice and manage stress. Meditation is one of the best techniques to relieve yourself from stress and relax.

You can also adopt healthy activities that can help you to relieve stress and enhance your wellness. These include exercising, painting, gardening, and listening to music.

Add Positivity in Your Surroundings

Your surroundings also play a vital role in your health and well-being. The air you breath-in, the people you meet and greet, and the environment you live in should influence your health in a constructive way. This will help you to achieve higher levels of wellness.

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