Health is a condition of full or total well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. It is an attitude of respect for the individual, community and world at large. Various definitions have also been applied to health over the years. In general, health is the condition of being able to cope with ordinary demands of life.
Mental health is associated with the ability to enjoy one’s life and to function normally in it. It comprises aspects such as the ability to make choices, stable relationships and achievement of goals. Mental wellness can also be achieved through the absence of mental illness or infirmity, through the maintenance of appropriate lifestyle and through the absence of current mental health problems. The absence of physical illness, while it may not always guarantee the absence of mental illness, is often an indicator of good health.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the indicators of good health. Excess body weight places a greater burden on health and society than does being obese. Obesity can be a major risk factor for many types of diseases and cancers. Good health can also be achieved through the intake of nutritious foods and by leading a physically active lifestyle. Obesity results when excess body fat combines with a lack of activity or poor nutrition to create a body that is unhealthy. Societal class, race, gender and the diet patterns and activities of people contribute to the prevalence of obesity.
Psychological well-being encompasses aspects of the self-image, self-confidence and coping skills. Individuals who are mentally healthy tend to be optimistic, resilient and persistent, and these traits are associated with higher levels of productivity, higher levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of absenteeism and sick leave. Individuals with mental illness are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and substance abuse, and are more likely to use tobacco and drugs in combination with physical illness.
Having a sense of personal worth and feeling good about life is what defines health. Being depressed, anxious and unable to feel good about life is not only a sign of physical illness but is often a symptom of deeper emotional problems such as depression and other mental illnesses. Physical health is improved through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Mental health is enhanced through a positive mental attitude and a supportive mental environment. Family support, therapy and support groups all play an important role in maintaining personal well-being.
Poor wellness can be a significant risk factor for a wide variety of diseases and death and should be taken seriously. Illness can have serious ramifications for loved ones and can lead to higher expenses and reduced quality of life. Health and wellness should not be considered as an option but as a necessary outcome of good health and a life that is rich in physical, emotional and mental health. A healthy lifestyle can promote overall health and contribute to the prevention and treatment of disease.