Health is a condition of mind and physical well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. The concepts behind health are rooted in ancient philosophies and religious beliefs. Various definitions have been applied to the idea of health, with varying degrees of acceptance across time. However, in modern times what is regarded as health has become a progressive concept encompassing all facets of life from general fitness to mental wellness to cognitive therapy. In addition, the term has also been applied to identify the phenomenon of longevity, thus, “healthy” being a negotiable point rather than a definitive category.
The way we think about health has changed over the years. Today, a person is considered to be healthy if he has a strong immune system, is physically fit, has a low level of stress, is psychologically balanced and has a positive outlook towards life. While these criteria are important, more emphasis should be laid on the fact that a person who possesses all of these facets is said to be free from any kind of health condition or illness. Being healthy does not necessarily mean one cannot acquire diseases or other medical problems. It simply means that you are free from the illnesses that could potentially destroy your health.
The concept of good health is also associated with socioeconomic status. A healthy person tends to be sociable, well organized, skillful, goal oriented and confident. In economically challenging environment, having a good health status is tantamount to survival. For a person to remain physically and mentally fit, one needs to be able to bear the financial, physical and emotional stress. Poor health conditions imply that one cannot meet their basic needs and is susceptible to various illnesses which could cost them their lives and cause a loss in their ability to contribute to society.
Mental health issues include mood disorders, anxiety, panic, depression and other types of mood related disorders. They can either be the result of chemical imbalance in the brain or can be the result of environmental factors such as extreme stress. When mental health issues are present, there are chances that an individual may experience confusion, mood swings, memory loss, distorted perceptions, paranoia, agitation, impulsiveness and other symptoms that affect a person’s capability to function normally. Poor health care usually exacerbates the condition.
Socioeconomic status is important in reducing the odds of developing these physical and mental challenges. This is because people who have good health care experiences tend to have higher social well-being and are less likely to develop the challenges. Health experts agree that socioeconomic status can affect a person’s likelihood to develop a certain disease or to be subjected to particular health risks. This is because there is a link between how much stress and other types of mental health issues an individual experiences and his or her level of exposure to stress and its effect on health. Thus, people who live in comfortable environments where they experience minimal stress are less likely to develop mental health issues.
People who have access to health problems that are effectively managed may be at a lesser risk for developing some diseases or illnesses that are serious. For instance, people who live in developed countries have lower incidences of depression. Those who are exposed to social, psychological and economic stresses are less likely to develop heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes and other physical illnesses. This is because good environments promote healthy living.