BEING WELL vs WELLBEING … is there a difference?

I don’t know if it is a trait typical only of the English, but it always makes me smile when someone asks the question “How are you?”   The standard response is usually along the lines of “Very well, thank you”, or “I’m well, thanks – how are you?”  I think it’s a conditioning – a ‘polite’ response – heaven forbid we start the conversation by telling the truth – certainly, coming from England, there’s an inbuilt protection mechanism that we say something ‘safe’ for fear of embarrassing the other person!

But when someone says they are “well”, what do they really mean?  What do YOU understand when someone tells you they are “well’?  Do you interpret it to mean that they are feeling good?  or that they are physically healthy? or that they are not sick?  What if they tell you that they are feeling fine, but they hate their job?  Does that make them well?  On some level, maybe.  The trouble, as I see it anyway, is that “wellness” and “wellness programs” are amongst the latest buzz words. It’s great that people are truly focusing on their state of wellness, but usually they are referring to diet and exercise, and in my mind, that’s only a part of the complete picture.  For me, whole person wellness – what I believe we are all striving for – is captured in two words: ‘Optimal Wellbeing’.

When I think of ‘optimal wellbeing’, it conjures up an image of health, happiness and prosperity in all areas of life – not just my personal life, but at work and within the community, too.  Further, I think of my state of health physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.  I think of how happy I am, how balanced my life is, how many friends I have … need I go on?!!

The really amazing thing is that achieving optimal wellbeing really does not take as much time and effort as you may think.  Once you take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing, and start making small changes in one or two areas of your life, those changes compound and in a relatively short space of time have impacted all areas of your life – not just the areas you were working on!

Some (but by no means all) of the proven benefits of optimal wellbeing include:

  • improved physical health
  • increased energy throughout the day
  • fewer colds and flu-like symptoms
  • a reduction in stress levels
  • improved relationships – at home and at work
  • increased feeling of happiness

Would you like to know more about optimal wellbeing, what it means to me (and could mean for you) and hints and tips on how you go about achieving it?  Stay tuned!!

Jan Osmond was born in England and moved to Sydney in 1998 on a temporary work assignment.  After a short return to London and, having missed the Sydney lifestyle, Jan returned to Sydney in 2001 with her husband, Steve.  In 2005 they became Australian citizens and are proud to now call Mosman their home.   She is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Certified Professional Coach, a Certified Wellness Inventory Coach, a Licensed NLP Practitioner and is successfully helping others discover their own secrets to a balanced life.


Contact Jan: Email:

                        Telephone (02) 8006 9224

                        Mobile: 0423 989 651


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