For most of us, health means being clean and being well. Healthy, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have also been employed over the years for various purposes. However, when it comes to an individual’s sense of self-image, health may be something that society defines as clean and well cared for, while others define it as having a good diet, exercise, being happy with one’s looks, and so on. This article will explore the definitions of health and self-image and how they relate to men and women, how they affect men, and how these definitions may vary by race and ethnicity.
The first definition, and probably the most general one, is that of cleanliness. It connotes cleanliness in general, but it also emphasizes the absence of physical illnesses or disease. One example is the definition of healthy as normal. Being normal is to be mentally and physically healthy, but being healthy also entails absence of sickness or disease. In this definition, absence of sickness or disease is a mental or emotional state that includes absence from pain, injury, disease, and so on.
The second definition of health is well-being. It has both psychological and physiological meaning. Well-being implies a person’s ability to cope with life, but it also implies physical health, and a reasonable degree of expectancy of better days. A reasonable degree of expectancy is determined by comparing one’s level of health today to what would be expected in the future based on current conditions and activities.
The third definition is physical health. This is closely related to the second definition of health as cleanness and well-being, except that the focus is less on current well-being than on health expectancy. This definition emphasizes prevention of diseases rather than treatment of diseases once they have already developed. This definition is also less inclusive than the other two because it does not rely entirely on prevention, although good health is often considered to be a component of prevention.
The fourth definition is mental health. Mental well-being is related to the quality of life, but it is not equivalent to well-being. People who are healthy, happy, and at peace are those who have fewer mental health problems than those who are not mentally healthy. Mental health is related to environmental factors such as coping with stress and finding ways to relax. Emotional well-being is related to self-esteem and motivation, and is unrelated to environmental factors. People with high levels of self-esteem, motivation, and who feel that they can handle any circumstance are likely to enjoy good health and be free from most health problems.
The fourth definition of HEALTH is associated with physiological health. This dimension assesses the body’s ability to recover from disease, organ functions, and bodily damage after an illness or injury. It can also measure the ability of the body to protect itself from infections. Although it is directly linked to the dimension of disease prevention, healthy indexing is a better indicator of the health of a person than is his total index score, as it captures aspects such as his ability to recover from disease and his resistance to disease-causing agents.