Wellness or well-being? They sound the same and are easily interchangeable, but the truth is that they are two very different concepts.
While “Wellness” typically focuses on habits and behaviours that generally bring about physical health, “Well-Being” as a concept is much more multi-dimensional. Read on to understand the nuances in the two concepts and 4 simple ways that you can invite more balance & well-being into your 2021!
As we stated above, wellness is related to a state of “good health” and is typically related to an actively pursued goal or set of behaviours.
Well-being on the other hand has a broader definition. It’s much more holistic as it goes beyond physical health to include the very important (and not talked about enough) aspects that are related to the mental, emotional, spiritual and social parts of our human experience.
Conceptually, wellness and well-being go hand in hand, yet well-being is related to the journey beyond the physical towards a positive state of being. Well-being is about feeling good, purposeful, satisfied, hopeful, connected and engaged.
At it's core, Kite is meant to stand for so much more than a healthy, organic, adaptogenic beverage. When we began, we viewed the brand as a means to share what we as founders have learned on our journey of holistic living. Our goal was to bring more health, balance & well-being into our customers lives.
While wellness products are of the moment right now, “being well” means so much more than healthy eating alone. In our opinion it requires a nuanced approach to whatever feels good and authentic to YOU!
With that in mind, here are a few thought-starters for things that have worked to expand our own mental, physical, emotional and social holistic health & well-being!
We already know plants are good for our overall physical health. They contain antioxidants, fibre and many phytonutrients. But some plants, like the special class of herbs known as Adaptogens (including the herbs brewed into Kite Sparkling Teas), have the super cool ability to support the body’s natural response to stress - helping you to feel more balanced and well.
Beyond this, plants affect us in many other ways too...
With so many of us tied to our devices and cooped up indoors as of late, nature can play a huge role in our mental and emotional health (after reading this post, close your computer, unplug and go for an energizing walk outside!).
Connecting with nature helps us reach the “innermost feelings of happiness and peace,” (Bell, Greene, Fisher, & Baum, 1996). Think about when you book a vacation, would you rather a street view of the cars or the beautiful beach and ocean view? We can all agree that there is something so calming about waking up to the sounds of the water hitting the sand, or the trees blowing in the wind. Nature brings us back to our roots, literally.
Being in close proximity to nature improves our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. When physical exercise is experienced in the outdoors, research has shown that individuals are less tired and have a lesser chance of suffering from obesity and other related conditions. Mentally, “nature helps in emotional regulation and improves memory functions.” In a study on the cognitive benefits of nature, it was found that participants that took a nature walk performed better on a memory test than those who walked down city streets” (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008). Additionally, individuals with mental illness, such as depression, experienced positive mood changes when exposed to nature (Berman et al., 2012). In regard to spirituality, environmental psychologists (Proshansky, 1976) have stated that when we are closer to nature, we are more grateful for it and all that it has to offer.
Despite its impact on our well-being, sometimes we don’t even realize the importance of our choice in language in our lives. If you are constantly finding yourself saying “I should” or I “have to”, perhaps it’s time to take inventory of the things in your life that aren’t truly aligned to your desires. Of course we all need to do things we don’t want to in life - but, asking yourself if you have healthy boundaries or a firm ability to say “NO” is a good window into areas where mental and emotional health and happiness may be improved.
Another part of this conversation is being able to name your emotions with a higher degree of granularity. Of course we all know the basic emotions, yet when we get very specific with how we are feeling we have a chance to take the necessary steps to feel more in control of our well-being. For example, there is a very big difference between saying “I’m stressed” and “I am feeling depleted”. The latter offers you an opportunity to ask yourself what actions you will need to stop or start doing in order to feel better.
Related to the last point, choosing to engage with yourself using loving language is a process that can be extremely difficult and in some cases, feel impossible. Of course if low self-esteem is a problem, talking with a therapist or finding other ways to get in touch with your inner self is most important. Beyond that though, the key here is understanding that there is only one of you, that you are unique and magnificent. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to health, wellness and well-being.Tune into what makes you authentically feel good and the rest will fall into place along your own personal journey. Instead of focusing on what you view as a flaw, try to focus on gratitude and the qualities you like about yourself. Are you loyal? Are you a good friend? Look beyond the exterior.
Now more than ever, a feeling of connectedness is so important! We’re social animals and we need to be able to feel like we belong to a community. Prioritizing social well-being will look different for everyone, but one way to think about it is to lean into the relationships that make you feel your best. This not only applies to real life relationships but also digital relationships. Reflect on who you are following on social media. Ask yourself - what content lifts my spirits? What drains me?
This line of thinking also applies to your relationship with yourself. Your work. Your food. Your existing habits. Really, the question “What serves YOU?” is the name of the well-being game!
We’ve spoken a lot about how well-being is focused on the mental, emotional and social, but of course we still do need to incorporate the physical aspects too. Things like movement, breathwork and meditation can have a huge influence on feelings of positivity and well-being. The other huge physical component of feeling good is healthy eating. Once again, this looks different to each individual but a few key principles like ditching diet culture, shifting to a focus on nutrients and quality ingredients (instead of calories) as well as choosing food and beverages with low sugar can go a long way in helping to increase those feel good vibes!
Cheers,It’s Time To Unwind!
Bell, P. A., Greene, T. C., Fisher, J. D., & Baum, A. (1996). Environmental psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: Harcourt.
Berman MG, Jonides J, Kaplan S. The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Psychol Sci. 2008 Dec;19(12):1207-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x. PMID: 19121124.