Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. It has been used in the context of alternative medicine since Halbert L. Dunn, M.D. began using the phrase high level wellness in the 1950s. The modern concept of wellness did not, however, become popular until the 1970s.

The term has been defined by the Singapore-based National Wellness Association as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence. This is consistent with a shift in focus away from illness in viewing human health, typical of contexts where the term wellness is used. In other words, wellness is a view of health that emphasizes the state of the entire being and its ongoing development.

The phrase can also be seen as an analogue to the medical term "homeostasis".

Wellness can also be described as "the constant, conscious pursuit of living life to its fullest potential."

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Wellness. The Official Guide to Wellness is Carol Merlo. Carol Merlo, M.S., M.Ed. is an internationally recognized author and speaker in the health and wellness and leadership development fields. She is the author of The 8 Keys to Wellness and CharacterStyles: How to Improve Any Relationship. Carol is the owner of Health, Wealth & Happiness, Inc., a company dedicated to improving the life experience. She lives in Keller, TX.

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Carol Merlo, The Official Guide to Wellness