You may feel good, but are you truly healthy? Good health is not just about the absence of disease, but is a matter of how well you function on a day-to-day basis. And, how well you function has a direct impact on your quality of life. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." You do not have to feel sick or have symptoms of disease to be in an unhealthy state of functioning.
How well do you function on a daily basis? Can you climb a flight of stairs without getting out of breath? Can you touch your toes without difficulty? Are you able to jog a mile without stopping? Are you able to control your anger when another driver cuts you off in traffic? Can you wait patiently in a long line at the store without yelling at the clerk? Can you forgive and forget or do you hold a grudge? Are you a "worry wort"? Can you adapt to change without undue stress? Are you obsessive? Do you procrastinate? Do you have a strong social network of support upon which you can rely?
A de-conditioned state, poor anger/stress management, among other maladaptations, interfere with your ability to function optimally, and can lead to the development of a chronic disease in the long-run. Although our bodies and minds are capable of enduring much "mistreatment" (e.g. lack of exercise, poor stress management, unbalanced diet, etc.), there is a threshold. Often times, a disease may be silently present and when symptoms do arise it is too late.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, before symptoms of disease occur, is the best path to follow. Enroll in self-improvement classes if needed. Establish social ties that will last through the good and the bad. Start an exercise program. Pursue a hobby.
Incorporating these lifestyle choices can create an environment which fosters a healthy state of functioning, improving your quality of life.
Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization
as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p.100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948. The Definition has not been amended since 1948.
Labels: health, WHO, World Health Organization