The Five Health Benefits Of A Well-Being Study
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social health with no limitations. A number of definitions have also been used over time for various purposes. While we often speak of health in terms of physical attributes, we do not always take into consideration the emotional or mental attributes that also affect our overall well being. It is these mental and emotional elements that need to be taken into consideration when assessing our state of health.
The physical definition is really a somewhat vague and general one, as it is affected by both lifestyle and genetics. The definition of ‘good health’ then becomes a bit more specific, referring only to a state in which the body’s systems to function optimally under normal circumstances. This is perhaps a bit too simplified, but even so, it does represent a good framework from which to begin our discussion.
For example, while the definition above refers to a state in which the systems of the body are functioning at an optimal level, another common definition is that of ‘excellent health.’ This again is a broad range and includes physical health, but also includes immunity to disease, proper weight for height, energy levels and functioning capacity, functioning skills such as concentration and memory, life expectancy, and others. It is important to remember, however, that a person may be in good health and still develop some form of disease, such as cancer, at some point during their life. Poor health would be diagnosed as such, and the sufferer would be advised to seek treatment.
More specific definitions can be used, depending on the circumstances. For instance, when we speak of good health, we imply a general quality of life. A more specific definition would be that which allows you to experience pleasure and accomplishment, and to be capable of caring for yourself and for other people. While poor health would indicate a general lack of well-being, with a corresponding inability to experience enjoyment or purpose in your life. The most common use of these definitions is in clinical settings, such as those in doctors’ offices and hospitals.
However, the definition has significant social and psychological meaning as well. Just as the physical definition provides a reference point for choosing a healthy eating and working diet, the mental definition provides a reference point for assessing one’s mental health, and deciding if that person is healthy or not. While many professionals subscribe to a narrow definition of mental health, such as focusing on the need to manage emotions, and avoiding negative thoughts, there are many who define mental health much differently, as an essential element of personal worth, and a source of real, lasting happiness. In addition, some consider it to be a natural state, requiring no effort whatsoever to maintain.
It is also important to note that the definitions do not refer to disease, per se, but to the condition of being unable to carry out the activity, or the incapability of living as one might normally do. This definition excludes such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease, which can take many forms, and is characterized by forgetfulness, or the inability to remember things. As such, the references to disease are not to a specific form of illness, but to the fact that the body is not able to function normally as it did before the disorder was diagnosed. Thus, the focus on healthy behaviors and a balanced diet is not intended to attack any specific disease, but to ensure the body functions as normal when it is faced with challenges, such as Alzheimer’s disease.