Health is a condition where disease and infirmity are totally absent. There are various definitions used for the same purpose over the years. The dictionary definition of health is: a state of complete physical well being. It includes the absence of sickness, disease, disability or premature death. It also covers the ability to perform the ordinary functions of life normally. This definition of health may be inclusive or non inclusive.
Wellness refers to the active process of maintaining health. Health is influenced by the responses to stressors as well as the quality of life experiences. Stress can result in the responses of the body to different diseases. The health of an individual is also affected by the health of the community or society in which they live. Community health is essential for the overall well-being of people. It is necessary to identify and address the different risk factors of diseases and transmit them throughout the community or society for the overall improvement of health.
This article uses the Universal Life System concept to provide a universal definition of health. Universal Life System theory is a four-level approach to health that considers all of the dimensions of life as functioning in collaboration with each other to provide a healthy and functional state. These include physical, mental, social and spiritual aspects of human beings as a whole. The theory also includes five guiding principles which are the basis of the work of the United Nations World Health Organization.
On this theory, health is a complex system. It is influenced by the physical environment, the activities undertaken and the attitudes and behaviors of the individuals within the family, community and society as a whole. A good example of one of the risk factors for poor health is poor nutritional intake and lack of activity. This poor nutrition is due to poor dietary habits, lack of interest in physical fitness and in the general lack of the ability to engage in physical activity.
Another risk factor is infection or disease. This is included in the third definition because it can be associated with other diseases and it can cause death if proper precautions are not taken. An example of an infection or disease is the presence of a contagious disease like the flu.
Spiritual Wellness is the fourth element of the Universal Life System. Spiritual Wellness focuses on the interrelationship between the mind, body and spirit. This interrelationship refers to the relationship between the mind, heart, mind and soul. These three elements together are believed to offer a better understanding of health and to promote health and wellness.
The fifth and last element is personal responsibility. Individuals are encouraged to control their own health through control over emotions, nutrition, behavior and opportunities that may lead to disease or illness. A defining characteristic is the absence of blame. This element includes a belief that an individual can have control over their health and that no one can be held responsible for the other’s lack of health problems.
Overall, the Universal Life System defines health and wellness as emotional, physical, mental, and social interrelationships that create individual experience and satisfaction. Healthy individuals are happier, healthier, live longer and achieve more in their lives than those who are unhealthy. Thus, healthy relationships are important to everyone.