Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the state of full physical, emotional and social well- Being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Different definitions have been applied over the years for various purposes. For some it means being healthy as a physical being while for others it means being healthy mentally and emotionally. Some people consider it to be an attitude of respect for one’s body and health in general. It can also mean the quality of one’s relationships with others.
Being health conscious can mean a variety of things. One could be interested in health policy, the importance of a healthy lifestyle and so forth. Some people consider it necessary to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly and be aware of their weight. Others believe in the power of positive thinking and want to live a happy, disease free life. Being aware of one’s habits helps in avoiding the onset of any illness and maintaining a healthy and normal lifestyle.
The presence of a dimension known as morbidity affects the chances of getting a disease. By this I mean the chance of dying soon after being diagnosed with a certain disease. People who are healthy may be prone to diseases of the elderly but may remain unaffected if they maintain a good overall health regime. While there are many definitions of health and wellness, the dimension of morbidity imparts a unique definition to people suffering from a specific disease. It shows the seriousness of the situation by indicating the likelihood of dying soon after being diagnosed with the disease.
In the field of public health, seven dimensions of wellness are used to determine the condition of a nation. These dimensions include overall health, physical activities and exercise, healthy food choices, beliefs in and support for medical prevention and control, attitudes toward substance abuse and smoking, emotional health, social environments and community resources. It is important to note that these seven dimensions of wellness are not equivalent to each other. Each one contributes to a greater level of health, and poor scores on any one dimension are a warning sign for future problems. A nation that scores poorly in all seven dimensions of health will have a poor overall health, and those with good scores are more likely to get sick and experience other health issues as they age.
Emotional wellness refers to a person’s ability to feel good about themselves regardless of how they look or feel. This dimension measures the emotional well being of a person and how they manage their negative emotions such as anger, sadness and anxiety. Other dimensions of wellness include physical health, learning and knowledge, financial security, sleep quality and quantity, and social connections and support. Each of these seven dimensions of wellness is equally important to overall health and increases the quality of life for everyone.
While age is an important factor, it does not have to be the defining feature of good health. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are not the defining features of well-being either. In fact, the best way to improve your health is through a combination of healthy lifestyle choices and wise investment in your health. In addition, the seven dimensions of wellness can be improved through your thoughts and your actions. You can begin by making small changes in your life today such as improving your diet and incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine. Remember that in the end you will reap the rewards through improved physical health and better mental wellness which will contribute to your well being and the improvement of your quality of life.