Interrelationship Between Body and Mind – The Health Impact of Total Well-Being
What is health? This subject has been the central concern of all civilized societies for centuries. The definition of “health” is a very relative one. For some people, health is a condition wherein all the systems of the body are functioning well. In others, health is something that entails absence of illness and other bodily discomfort.
According to the World Health Organization, “a level of physical and mental well-being is necessary for effective control of chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.” Various definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. For some, good health means being physically healthy; for some, it signifies the absence of serious illness or disability; and for others, it refers to the ability to lead a happy, fulfilling life despite the challenges that come with old age. No matter what definition people use to describe well-being, its effects on a person’s quality of life are undeniable.
Good physical well-being contributes to good health and to an overall sense of well-being. Physical activities promote a healthy metabolism, proper blood circulation, proper digestive system functioning, and an overall sense of well being. Mental well being, on the other hand, is influenced by such factors as education, occupation, communication, work experience, social support, and neighborhood or community membership. All these contribute to an individual health and to a complete mental health of an individual.
The study of the relationship between the mental health and physical health has become more comprehensive over the past few decades. Many researchers now consider the two aspects of the human health to be intrinsically linked. This is particularly true of how they are defined in relation to each other. In general, all of the dimensions of good health–emotional, physical, and psychological–are included in the definition of mental health.
The study of the relationship between the mental well-being and the physical health has grown into a field known as psychosocial interventions. In this perspective, psychosocial interventions are used to improve the physical well-being of patients with chronic illnesses. Studies have shown that patients’ perceptions of their condition and their capacity to manage it increase when they partake in some form of psychosocial intervention. Moreover, physical health is considered to be improved through participation in activities such as exercise, diet, and physical activity.
This includes the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as conditions such as hypertension, sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety. Mental health on the other hand encompasses aspects such as self-esteem, academic performance, and job performance. These aspects are considered to be important determinants of one’s physical well-being. In other words, the complete physical and mental wellness are interconnected and they go hand in hand to ensure optimal health.