Health is a condition where physical, mental and emotional well being is absence. A number of definitions have been employed for such purposes over the years. Some refer to the total absence of disease, some others to its prevention, and a few more to the maintenance of it. Health includes many aspects like life expectancy, immunity, longevity, and a whole lot more. It also encompasses the ability to survive and cope with the diseases, conditions and injuries brought by living.
The goal of good health is to enable an individual to enjoy a long and productive life. This can be achieved by preventing, treating and curing any disease or condition. Prevention is the application of knowledge about the known causes and cures of disease. This preventive approach can be applied individually or in groups. Prevention of disease is achieved by practicing a healthy lifestyle and avoiding exposure to disease causing agents. A few of the important risk factors that contribute to poor health include smoking, underweight or obese, consumption of alcohol or drug abuse, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
As physical wellness improves so does mental wellness. Mental health is inclusive of all the three components of the universal concept of health ‘i.e. physical, emotional and social wellness. Health can be achieved through education, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing stress-busting activities, and taking reasonable precautionary measures. Mental disorders can include autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
Mental wellness focuses on reducing stress, achieving and sustaining good health, enhancing self-esteem and enhancing the quality of life. Healthy diet and exercise, maintain a positive mental outlook, maintain a positive social outlook, and decreasing the use of tobacco and alcohol are some of the effective measures of mental health. These measures of mental health can reduce the risks of various types of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers and other chronic conditions. In addition, they can also slow down the aging process, delay physical aging, decrease disability and lengthen lifespan. All these can ultimately lead to physical well being.
Although science has yet to discover all the intricacies of the human mind, the field of psychology has made breakthroughs in understanding certain mental illnesses like schizophrenia, delusional disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and depression. According to the Journal of Consulting Psychology, there are more than 1 million deaths due to diseases like diabetes each year in the United States alone. The increasing complexity of modern life complicates the issue of good health for the vast majority of people, rendering mental health maintenance particularly important.
The goal of every person, culture and society is physical well-being. Healthy diets, regular exercise and weight maintenance to help ensure that a person is physically fit and has the capacity to perform day-to-day tasks. Mental wellness, on the other hand, encompasses a person’s capacity to live an active and successful life. Mental wellness involves the ability to learn, understand and manage one’s thoughts and emotions so as to cope with the normal stresses of life. Both physical and mental wellness are interrelated and depend on each other for optimum performance and health.