What is Health?


What is Health?

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a state of full physical, mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.’ A variety of other definitions have also been used over the years. One school of thought defines health as the ability to experience pleasure in life. Another school of thought defines health as the maintenance of a balance between what we need and what we have. Still another definition of health is described by Wikipedia as the condition in which ‘expects and experiences happiness both in the degree of probability and magnitude of the outcome.’ Health is a subjective concept; there is no agreed upon list of qualities that make up a ‘healthy’ individual.

Many individuals suffer from varying degrees of mental health and physical illness. Because these two areas are often closely linked, it can be difficult to determine where one ends and the other begins. According to the American Psychological Association, “Mental health refers to the processing of conscious mental experiences and thoughts; it may be assessed through screening, structured interview, or rating scales.” The APA continues, “psychologists use psychological measures to assess the severity of illness and the stability of functioning. A mental disorder is when an individual experiences persistent problems resulting in significant distress or interfering with functioning.”

Although physical well-being is important, mental health is just as vital. When an individual has a good combination of healthy habits and a good diet, they will be better equipped to battle the physical illnesses that may come their way. Those with a good mental health are less likely to develop serious health problems. A simple walk, exercise or workout can help maintain a healthy body. In addition, routine doctor’s visits can keep a person feeling as healthy as possible.