Shakespeare famously wrote, “What’s in a name?” The answer is a lot. Words, and how they’re mobilized, matter. The subtle ways that words evolve and the “work” they do have a major impact on how people think. Most of us have probably used the words “wellness” and “well-being” interchangeably. We probably haven’t thought much about whether there is (or should be) a distinction.
Susie Ellis, the GWI’s chairman, predicts that this is about to change. She sees a (necessary) coming evolution where wellness gets firmly associated with health and prevention, and well-being becomes more associated with happiness. The reason? People are beginning to pay more attention to “indexes,” such as the Gallup-Healthways “Well-Being Index” and the UN’s “World Happiness Report,” and are finding that happy countries aren’t necessarily healthy countries. Nor are healthier countries necessarily happy ones.
Ellis recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post, where she delves into this issue while also addressing where spas fit into this conversation.
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