Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an awareness of the value of physical health and its maintenance, an ability to provide for the physical needs of the body and an ability to relate to and control the physical environment”. Various definitions have been employed over the years for various different purposes. Some definitions include the view that health is the sum of all beneficial conditions for a person; others define health as an actual state or trait desirable for the satisfaction of needs and some even believe that health is a quality in a person that can be improved by appropriate opportunities and tools. In addition to these, health is also associated with notions of life style, meaning one’s attitude towards health and well being and the practice of healthy habits, behaviors and responsibilities.
What are the new ways of understanding health? The definition provided earlier defines health as a sum of the whole person, which includes mind, body, spirit or soul and that is to say it is a totality comprised of persons and their roles, responsibilities and accomplishments. With this new way of looking at health, we are now trying to integrate the mind, body and soul of every person into one. We are trying to make healthful lifestyle more important than diet and exercise. This is because it is known that when any one of these three components are neglected or not given enough importance, then other components start neglecting or playing a greater role. We are trying to keep them all in balance so that there will be maximum benefit from them.
A state of complete physical, emotional and social well Being is what we all want for ourselves. But it is not easy to achieve as it takes commitment, action and responsibility on our part. A person, living a healthy life, has high self esteem, has a good sense of self and is in control of his emotions, thoughts and actions. When any one of these aspects is missing, he starts having anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of motivation, and lack of social well Being. Thus the importance of having a complete health, along with healthy lifestyle.