Health and Well-Being
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of “complete physical, mental and emotional well-being” and not just the absence of illness and infirmity. A wide variety of other definitions have also been used over the years. One school of thought defines health as “the sum total of physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being of an individual.” Another approach sees health as a state or quality of life that is achieved when people are happy, healthy, and safe. Still another definition of health holds that it is the ability to cope with challenges in a meaningful way. No matter what school of thought one chooses, however, health is vital for all people to enjoy a long and productive life.
Health and well being therefore go hand in hand. Achieving a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle requires that you take steps to ensure your health. One way to do this is through eating a healthy diet, which entails eating foods that are high in fiber and nutrients, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and beans. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, getting and maintaining regular exercise is imperative. In addition to diet and exercise, another way to improve health and wellness is to engage in stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and prayer. These practices can be beneficial in alleviating depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Another way to improve your well being is through a combination of healthy habits and practices, as well as a good, active lifestyle. Getting regular exercise and avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption are essential components of a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, a diet that is high in fiber, minerals, and nutrients can help prevent illness and disease. Having a good, balanced diet and exercising regularly can help to improve your self-image, which has a positive effect on well-being. Social interactions, as well as daily rituals, such as brushing your teeth, taking your medications on time, and following the doctor’s orders can all have positive effects on your health and well-being.
Depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure can negatively impact physical health, but they can also negatively impact your mental health. In fact, poor mental health can be a precursor or indicator of physical illness. Poor mental health can lead to physical illness if you do not address it. For example, if you do not get treatment for depression, it may worsen over time and result in physical complications such as kidney stones and osteoporosis. Likewise, if you do not treat anxiety and panic attacks, it can lead to depression, psychosis, and other mental health issues that can ultimately lead to physical illness. In other words, addressing both physical and mental health issues can go hand-in-hand to achieve and maintain good health.
The illness can be prevented by practicing good preventive health practices, such as taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. Illness can run rampant when one is unable to practice good health practices. For instance, if you are experiencing a lack of sleep, you should avoid consuming large amounts of alcohol or smoking, as these behaviors exacerbate insomnia. Similarly, if you are suffering from a physical illness, such as a fever, you should avoid driving, as your lack of physical mobility can cause severe strain on your heart.
Drug use, whether intentionally used or not, can lead to physical illness and emotional distress, but it can also lead to emotional disorders, such as depression, psychosis, and other mental illnesses. Thus, drug use and addiction must be addressed. Public health experts are beginning to understand that drug use and addiction can lead to poor health outcomes for an entire community. These findings are leading the medical community to advocate strongly for better programs that address drug use, especially among at-risk teenagers and young adults.