If you had to measure your current Health on scale between 1-10, what would it be?
…. don’t answer that just yet.
Let’s (try to) define health first. It seems no one can come to an agreement on how to define Health. Not even the internet. According to various resources, Health takes on several definitions (in random order):
- the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially : freedom from physical disease or pain
- the general condition of the body <in poor health> <enjoys good health>
- the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness and vigor
- soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment
- vigor; vitality
Then we have the World Health Organization definition:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Reference: 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.
Ironically, it seems Wikipedia has a pretty solid definition (in my humble opinion):
In humans it is the ability of individuals [or communities] to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social changes.
Health is all things related to your state of being well. All things. Not just your physical condition, not just your mental sanity and not just your social satisfaction.
It’s all of those things. As a Health Coach, those three areas are what I consider the pillars of health. Everything that affects your health (well-being) will fall into one of those areas of focus.
Being in “good health” or optimal health requires a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy social (socioeconomic) state.
And it’s a balancing act. You have to find a “healthy” balance between all three areas (yes… pun intended).
Wouldn’t you agree, when one of those areas is off-center, off-kilter, off-balance or not well your over-all health is affected?
It’s not enough to be in perfect physical condition if you’re constantly unhappy. And it’s true what they say, “Money cannot buy you happiness”. Especially if you have high blood pressure secondary to the unrelenting stresses of your high-paying job.
Would you consider yourself “healthy” (or well) if you had any of the following:
- degenerative joint damage secondary to morbid obesity
- always angry
- always afraid
- unable to pay your bills
- unable to participate in your hobbies
Do you think any of the above would make you feel content? Would you feel balanced?
Health is not only striving to prevent actions that cause you to be unwell, but Health is the ability to roll with the punches of life. To be able to take a hit. To fall and have the ability (and coping mechanisms) to pick yourself back up.
Most of us have a tough time finding that balance. Most of us need a little help.. I know I did. It took me a long time to admit that. I sought help from others constantly. It took me years to find my balance. But I finally learned what optimal Health was.
So I ask you again. What is Health to you?
Referring back to the mind, body and socioeconomic pillars. On a scale of 1-10 where do you see your health right now?
10 = “I’m exactly where I want to be”
1 = “I have a lot to work on”
What’s your number?
What’s keeping you from being a 10?