So, I’ve been working on a post about my personal definition of wellness. It was prompted by my friend Jen asking what wellness means to me, and I’ve been working on it off and on for awhile. Her question inspired me to talk to others about their definitions of wellness, so has actually grown into what will be a blog series. Clearly, I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

Anyway, I’ve been working on the post, and I think it’s finally just about finished. And, it’s good. Or, at least it’s decent. It talks about my values and priorities in life and how that translates into my personal wellness journey. And, it’s kinda, sorta my personal definition of wellness.

But as I read through it this morning, I realized it sounded far too complicated and not very fun. And that’s not at all how I feel about wellness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

To me, wellness equals happiness. Yep, it’s really that simple.

Being well makes me happy.  As I’ve said before, during the happiest times of my life, I’ve also been the most fit. Physical fitness is a big part of wellness, but I’m also talking emotional, attitudinal, spiritual, relationship, financial and occupational health and wellness.

Being active with my daughter and my friends, feeling good about myself, and knowing that I’m doing what I can to prevent illness makes me happy. I love having energy and a positive attitude, feeling healthy, and being good to myself and those I love.

Grace and me after running Grandma's Half Marathon 2009

Note that I said wellness equals happiness. I did not say wellness equals pleasure. Happiness versus pleasure. HUGE distinction. Huge.

During my 41 years, I’ve learned that the choices I make today directly influence my happiness in the future. (Believe me, I didn’t learn this easily or with only one lesson. Seems I needed numerous lessons to get it and I still sometimes forget.) When I make choices based on what will bring happiness tomorrow instead of what will only provide pleasure today, I am well. When I choose pleasure first, not so much.

Also note what isn’t part of my definition: Deprivation. Depriving myself doesn’t make me happy. Instead, healthy, wise, moderate choices make me happy. Healthy doesn’t totally exclude unhealthy choices; instead it requires consciously deciding when and which unhealthy choices are worthwhile.

So, that’s it. My definition of wellness is happiness. Yep, it’s really that simple.


What’s your definition of wellness? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what wellness means to you.

Be well!