Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being where infirmity and disease are absent. Over time different definitions of health have been utilized for various purposes. Today, when “health” is used most commonly, the term implies the well being of a person, family or society. However, health is more than just being healthy. It also involves the knowledge of how to maintain health.
Mental health issues include those that relate to the thinking process and behavior. These can include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders, phobias, panic attacks, personality disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Health care providers also include psychotherapy as part of their health issues treatment for these mental health issues. This includes mood stabilizing medications and alternative therapies as well. The goal is to assist the person suffering from the disorder or illness to stabilize their emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Feeling good health starts with you and ends with you. It is your sense of well being and how you view your own body and health. The ability to love yourself and accept yourself as you are has many benefits for your physical and mental health. As people age, they begin to notice changes in their appearance including the onset of wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, loss of muscle mass and flexibility and loss of youthful energy. These changes affect the way they feel about themselves and their relationships. People become less tolerant of others and themselves and this can lead to depression, unhealthy eating habits, substance abuse and other related illnesses and conditions.
There are a number of environmental and lifestyle choices that have strong links to a person’s health status including genetics, sex, environment and current health status. Environmental determinants refer to those factors that are outside of the individual’s control and are therefore likely to contribute to increasing or worsening health conditions such as obesity, smoking and alcohol use. Lifestyle choices and determinants such as sleep, diet, exercise, diet supplements and stress levels can also have strong influences on health status.
Lifestyle choices such as eating the right foods, avoiding dangerous diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and maintaining a healthy level of personal hygiene are important determinants of good health. Lifestyle choices that lead to the prevention or delay of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity and osteoporosis, can also improve the quality of life and increase one’s longevity. In addition to these positive benefits, good health allows you to enjoy better health throughout your life. Good health would allow you to participate in more activities, work at a greater level, be involved socially and enjoy a longer and healthier life.
As the globalization, modernization and scientific improvements continue to advance the world over, there are more diseases and conditions that fall under the third definition of “good health.” While not all diseases that fall under this third definition are life threatening and should be treated, it is important to treat them if they are diagnosed early and if the severity or risk for progression is manageable. Prevention is always better than treatment. The key is knowing and being able to identify a disease and its preventive measures and treatments early. This knowledge and the ability to make informed decisions regarding disease and medical care will allow for a greater chance of lifelong health and longevity.