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Health: What is it and How Does Your Health Status Measure Up?

How Healthy Are You?

Some things in life are pretty easy to calculate, like how many hours until your next day off work, when your credit card bill is due, and how many grams of fat there are in that greasy cheese steak.  Other things require you to toss your measuring tools aside and venture your best guess.  The concept of health is one of those things that boggles the mind and causes us to shake our heads as we try to calculate how healthy we are.  How healthy are you?  Do you know?  How can you tell?  Are you sure? These are all great questions, but they’re not so easy to answer are they?

Calculating ThingsPixabay.com/jarmoluk

Let’s Define Health

In order to determine how healthy we are, we should probably start with a basic definition and then we can take a look at how to determine if we’re healthy or not. The World Health Organization (WHO) developed this definition, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This one simple sentence is jam packed full of key points.

Four Key Points:

  1. First of all health is described as a state.  States are something we are very familiar with here in the USA.  We might start out in California and make our way over to Arizona, then head on over to Texas and eventually find ourselves in Florida.  The point being that states are not permanent, we can move in and out them fairly easily.
  2. The second point is that the word complete is used in regards to three areas.  Complete is a pretty powerful word.  In my mind complete means something that is whole, perfect, 100% not 99%, 95% or 90% but 100%.
  3. The third point focuses on well-being or someone “being well” which is a very subjective phrase. One summer I had minor foot surgery that left me out of commission for several weeks.  I couldn’t get it wet, so showering was a blast.  I had to change the dressings regularly and go for frequent checkups with my podiatrist.  So you might think that was a bad time for me.  Actually, I had been under so much stress that I welcomed the chance to sit in a chair, prop my feet up and not go anywhere for awhile. For me, that time gave me a sense of well-being even though I had a wound that was healing and was in a fair amount of pain.
  4. The fourth point is perhaps the most important one.  You don’t have to be free of disease or sickness to achieve a state of health.  That’s good news for many of us who may never obtain our ideal state of health. Chronic diseases are here for life but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a state of well-being in the midst of them. That means there is hope – don’t forget it!

Personal Health Status Check-Up

Our next big challenge is to figure out how healthy we are.  How close to a complete state of well-being am I and how close are you?  Nordqvist (2015) discusses several areas that contribute toward our health.  The main areas include where we live, our environment, genetics, our income, our education level, and our relationships with friends and family.  You can use the prompts below to start thinking about your own health status or signup for my site update emails on the left side of my webpage and get a copy of my free gift, a “Personal Health Status Check-up Tool.”  The tool will provide you with a more in-depth look at your situation.  But, if you’d rather not, the HEALTH prompts below are a good place to start.

  • Heart – How are your vital signs? Do you have a good heart beat, blood pressure, breathing rate and temperature?

  • Emotions– Are you emotions stable?  Do you have frequent episodes of crying, sadness, anger, worry or anxiety?

  • Actions– What are you currently doing to improve or maintain your health?

  • Love– Do you feel that you are a loved person and that you feel free to love others?

  • Thoughts– What occupies your thoughts? Do you dwell on positive or negative things?

  • Heavenly Focus– Do you have a sense of well-being when it comes to spiritual matters, God or a higher power?

Wrap-up Questions

  1.  Did anything surprise you about the WHO definition of health?
  2. What do you see as your biggest health concerns at this time?

References

Nordqvist, C. (2015, July 1). “What Is Health? What Does Good Health Mean?.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/150999.php.

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