Healthy Lifestyle Essay: What Does It Mean to Be Healthy
Most people used to think that health is a state when a person is free of disease. Concerning the World Health Organization’s Constitution, this is not accurate. Being healthy means being in balance with your physical, social, and mental well-being, when all your needs in these areas are satisfied. Therefore, illness is not the only factor that can damage our health, as there are many other destructive factors when a person cooperates with the outer environment.
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What Does It Mean to Be Healthy
The concept of health remains constantly present in everyday life. Nonetheless, we rarely question ourselves about the integrative meaning of health, which is often thought about as purely an absence of disease. So, what is health? What does it actually mean to be healthy? According to the World Health Organization’s Constitution, “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (1). We can be sure that there is more to health than just the presence of illness or not, and there are several reasons why.
To start with, well-maintained health allows the individual to appropriately endure all the demands of daily life. This does not necessarily depend on the existence of disease. A good example is represented by people who suffer from asymptomatic conditions (whether they are aware of it or not) and carry on with their lives anyway.
Secondly, health is all about balance. Physical, mental, and social health imply an equilibrium between the person and the environment. Therefore, any good practitioner should be able to do a background check and assess the patient’s emotional state and social surroundings.
Consequently, diseases do not mean an absence of health, as they affect the individual’s balance according to the severity. Therefore, it is the patient and the doctor’s duty to work together on easing the symptoms, as well as balancing the patient’s lifestyle as much as possible.
According to the World Health Organization’s First International Conference on Health Promotion, “health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities” (2). This tells us that health is only one of the many resources that preserve a person’s life in society, rather than being a purpose in itself.
In conclusion, we can asseverate that health refers to a much more global concept rather than simply a lack of disease. It implies balance within the individual, and also between the individual and the environment. Such balance is affected by disease, but that does not necessarily mean a complete loss of health.
“Constitution of the World Health Organization.” World Health Organization, 7 Apr. 1948, https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/.
“The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.” World Health Organization, 21 Nov. 1986, https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/.