Healthy Life – What is It?
According to the World Health Organization, “health is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not simply the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have been used over the years for varying purposes. Some go as far as to define health as a state of well being and others have narrowed down the definition even more, to the point that it includes mental and emotional health.
In recent years, the concept of health has been expanded to include the well being of those with varying degrees of illness or disability. This expanding focus has led to the addition of dimensions to the HEALTH equation, including: physical health, psychosocial health, wellness, cognitive health, family health, work performance, and academic health. With the addition of these new dimensions came a great deal of research into the determinants of these various facets. There are also many theories that continue to grow on the subject of what makes us healthy and who defines what is unhealthy.
One theory that has been gaining a lot of attention is the social wellness dimension. The social aspect refers to the extent to which a person is integrated in the community through various aspects of his or her life. Some people feel very strongly connected to their schools and this may influence their health. Other people, however, may be very sociable and participate in a variety of community activities. The degree to which a person is integrated into his or her community determines his or her overall health.
The other two dimensions that have become popular over the past few years are wellness and mental health. The focus on wellness has led some health professionals to start considering psychological health to be an important determinant of health. Strictly speaking, wellness can be defined as having good health. Mental wellness is based on the willingness and ability to identify and deal with emotional illness. Illness in one’s mind can cause serious illness in the body. This definition may eventually become more inclusive and may encompass all illness.
The third definition is mostly preferred by researchers and practitioners of medicine. This third dimension has to do with the prospect of treatment and cure. The disease is considered incurable in this definition because there is no way of preventing the occurrence of a disease or curing it after it has already occurred. There is no such thing as preventing health problems; instead, a person is cured once he or she is diagnosed with a particular disease. The focus in this definition is on recovery.
The third definition emphasizes the idea that wellness is important because we are able to survive without it, but once we get it, we will have lots of problems. It is also important to note that this definition does not include any type of superstition or wishful thinking when applying the concept of disease-wellbeing. Rather, this is a realistic approach to define the concept of healthy life. A definition like this is very practical since it is based on a person’s ability to be able to relate his or her current health status to what he or she would deem to be normal. Health is something that cannot be taken for granted and should not be underestimated.