The wellness concept has been present in the public consciousness for over 50 years. With the evolution of society, the development of technology, social relations, and the increase in life expectancy, the idea that a person should cultivate their physical form seems logical. Wellness means not just taking care of your own health but improving it for the sake of even better well-being. The idea of wellness is deeply integrated into Western society because it is influenced by economic and political history.
One of the sections deserving special attention in the wellness concept is the health of consciousness. The concern of modern people with their mental health is a consequence of major changes taking place in the life of contemporary society (Richardson, 2017). Mental well-being and the pursuit of it can be perceived as the result of industrial development and a revolution in the dissemination of information, first in print and then digital. Thus, mental improvement and the search for mental health can be perceived as a social phenomenon that is historically conditioned.
If we take to consider mental wellness from the point of view of the humanities, it becomes possible to make an interesting comment on the state of modern knowledge. The situation is such that due to the increasing need to acquire new skills and knowledge, the dissemination of information by professionals has turned into a serious and extensive market. This is a natural result of the current economic situation in the world, where the demand for knowledge creates a supply that becomes more and more focused on specific audiences.
As for the lens of natural and applied sciences, in the case of this disciplinary branch, it should be noted its inseparable connection with the very concept of health, physical or mental. Without scientific advances and developments in the psychology and neurochemistry of the brain and nervous system, the very idea of human mental well-being would risk being much more generalized and less adequate (Song et al., 2018). The same should be said about the practice of improving the functioning of the brain and in general thinking since pharmaceutical advances in this area in recent decades are quite high. Thus, mental well-being and its provision are associated with the natural branch of science, both on a practical and theoretical level.
Social scientists could also find interesting research material by carefully examining the concept of mental wellness through their scientific lens. This concept is potentially associated with a general underestimation of the level of violence in the world, the emergence of New Age practices, yoga, and the use of Eastern practices for relaxation. Thus, the pursuit of mental well-being is a direct request of our changing society. The search for not just new knowledge or skills but a new understanding of the spiritual search and search for oneself is at the heart of the concept of mental wellness. It is no coincidence that these mental practices lie on the path to physical well-being. It turns out that the physical and mental aspects are in harmonious interaction with each other. These changes in public consciousness should be viewed by sociologists as significant changes in the understanding of life and individual well-being.
Everyone has the basic human right to improve oneself, to live and eat as cleanly as possible, to ensure the comfort and of their physical body and mental state. However, it is important that often the ability to maintain such concern for their physical well-being can cost a person an impressive amount of money. A person must belong to a certain financial and sometimes even social class in order to be a potential recipient of this concept. To comprehend the concept of mental wellness that has existed in the West since the second half of the 20th century, a historical and sociological perspective is required.
The wellness of the mind and the ability to improve it in the name of the general well-being of the human unit can be viewed as a phenomenon from a historical perspective. The consequences of the sharp economic take-off of the United States at the end of World War II led to an increase in the general quality of life of the population (Docquier et al., 2019). It can be speculated the emergence of the concept of wellness in 1959 is only one of the manifestations of the well-being of the American population in the second half of the 20th century. Intellectual improvement in this aspect is also a consequence of economic well-being, which from time immemorial has been a condition for the adequate mental development of the population. The historical upheavals of the war and the optimism that followed them encompass the desire for both mental comfort and new knowledge.
During the last years, the entire perception of culture and the humanities is changing since the intellectual heritage at the moment must be adapted for the audience that requires this knowledge. The consequence of such a request is the popularization of the humanities and numerous projects to simplify and concisely present a huge layer of cultural heritage in modern language. The concept of mental wellness has radically changed the concept and presentation of a whole category of the humanities by emphasizing empathy and communication (Campion, 2017). Without a word, the academic community and its attitudes have changed on their own. However, an additional popularization section of the humanities appeared, created for those who want to gain knowledge in a comfortable and convenient way, which is also perceived as the most useful.
The message of such changes, in my opinion, is the democratization of science, which risks oversimplifying science and making its existence meaningless. This is especially true for the humanities, such as philosophy or history. In the case of history, for example, the simplification of information or the absence of a thoughtful discussion of the material can lead to distorted ideas not only about history but also about good and evil.
It is impossible to imagine the harmonious development of society and individual mental well-being if the humanities are popularized to such an extent that they lose their dialogical. Polemics and lively dialogue with the text and the era, the presence of lively interest, are the things that should determine why people are interested in the humanities. There is the same risk of distorting the idea of philosophy, for example, by simplifying it to basic concepts that will be useful for the earliest sense of mental calm, which is the opposite of the very idea of philosophy. Therefore, one can say that the humanities and their future are in conjunction with the discussed concept, and their future is as promising as it is full of obstacles.
Campion, C. (2017). Whither the humanities?— Reinterpreting the relevance of an essential and embattled field. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 17(4), 433–448. Web.
Docquier, F., Turati, R., Valette, J., & Vasilakis, C. (2019). Birthplace diversity and economic growth: Evidence from the US states in the Post-World war II period. Journal of Economic Geography. Web.
Richardson, K. M. (2017). Managing employee stress and wellness in the new millennium. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3), 423–428. Web.
Song, M., Zhang, Y., Cui, Y., Yang, Y., & Jiang, T. (2018). Brain network studies in chronic disorders of consciousness: Advances and perspectives. Neuroscience Bulletin, 34(4), 592–604. Web.