Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity. Various definitions have been used over time for different purposes. Today, we use the phrase “health” to refer to a state of complete well being. It is an overall sense of well being with respect to health, the physical, mental, and social aspects.
Some other terms used in this definition are wellness, health, and health promotion. A physical definition is also included in the third definition. Wellness is the emotional and mental aspects of life that relate to how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Both wellness and disease are emotional concepts; the absence of one does not necessarily mean the existence of the other.
The fourth element is psychology or the psychology of health. This element includes aspects of motivation, education, societal support, work performance, social networks, personal behaviors, and mental health. Mental health is the ability to handle stress, change, and grief; aspects that are common in the aging population and which may be associated with greater health risks for these individuals. This definition does not include the specific disorders or maladies associated with a particular mental illness.
The fifth element is physical health. This element focuses on the body’s functions and mechanisms for self-care. This includes functioning at normal levels of capacity for any given activity and any diagnosis of a physical illness. The mental illness aspect of this definition is also related to symptoms such as depression, substance abuse, and physical disabilities.
The sixth element is defined health. This element focuses on the extent to which diseases, conditions, and behaviors are detected and treated. It also covers the quality of life lost because of any disorder or disease. This may have an effect on patients’ employment, relationships, health insurance, and other aspects of their lives. In some cases, absence from work due to lack of ability to manage pain, disability, and other factors is included within the definition of diagnosed absence.
As you can see, health promotion is much more than disease prevention and control. Healthy eating, daily exercise, and good communication with your health care provider are just a few of the components that comprise the definition of well-being. These tips for defining health would help you and your doctor understand each other and lead you toward successful treatment. This may be your first trip to the doctor, but it won’t be your last. The definition of health promotion remains a steady companion as you work to better your health.