A Brief Look at Wellness and Mental Health

The definition of health has changed quite a bit over the years. Originally, health was equated with life; being healthy meant having a long life. In other words, a person was said to be healthy if he lived a long and healthy life. Health, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, emotional and social well-Being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes.

Today, many individuals, particularly those with a low self-image, define health differently. According to them, a happy and contented life is the only definition of health that matters. This may seem contrary to the original meaning of health, but it actually reflects a view toward life that views health as well-being, or the positive aspects in life, rather than focusing solely on the absence or serious illness.

The World Health Organization defines health as “the well-being of an individual and his or her family, society or the community.” By creating a balance of mind, body and spirit, the goal of public health is to promote good health throughout life. It does this through a combination of prevention, early detection and treatment of diseases and conditions, support for the community through education, monitoring and evaluation and providing protection against diseases and conditions. It also defines mental health as relating to abilities, talents, skills and attitudes necessary for people to participate in public life and achieve their goals.

The concept of wellness begins with a persons’ overall physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. Mental wellness is associated with a persons’ capacity to live well with normal emotions and distress, along with motivation and the ability to manage stress. Emotional well-being is related to emotional intelligence, which involve persons’ ability to experience and manage stress, and positively affect change. Social and physical wellness are influenced by a persons’ ability to get and maintain a healthy interpersonal relationship and healthy self-care, as well as the basics of healthy mobility and good nutrition.

People who are leading a healthy lifestyle are able to cope with stress and improve their health and well-being. These persons have greater coping and control over bodily and emotional symptoms such as pain, depression, fatigue, insomnia and anxiety. They spend less time in hospital and are less likely to utilize drug and alcohol abuse. They tend to be active and socially involved and are less likely to engage in violence or risky behaviors. More people are living longer, healthier lives and they are able to work in demanding jobs.

This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice or recommendations for diagnosis, treatment and/or any health issues. Prior to starting any health program, it is recommended that you consult your family physician for your diagnosis and treatment of any health problem. Your doctor can assist you in creating a tailored health plan based on your needs and current situation.