The Determinants of Good Health
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an overall degree of well-being with respect to health that impacts an individual’s ability to cope with his or her life” and “the quality of life developed through successful living.” A wide variety of other definitions have also been applied over the years. In a basic sense, health covers all the aspects of life that are related to being able to live safely and healthily. A healthy body and mind contribute to this concept. Health also includes behavior, the capacity to work productively, relationships, the security of your dwelling and safety in the community.
The ability to be calm and relaxed and the power to handle stress both contribute to good health. Mental health refers to your thoughts, attitudes, judgment, ability to learn and make decisions as well as your memory, thinking process and communication skills. These are the foundation of physical health. Other important aspects of good health include well-balanced diet, regular exercise, sleep and a safe working environment.
In developing countries there is a greater tendency for family members to suffer from illness and stress rather than the person having the illness itself. This has led to a situation where young children are the main victims of viral gastroenteritis, pneumonia, diarrhea and other viral diseases. The major cause of death in these countries is illness related to infectious diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia.
People in the United States tend to focus on their physical health more than their mental health. However, a strong mental health foundation goes far beyond mere good health. People in the United States have become more stressed and more prone to sickness and disease due to a higher level of stress and a smaller social support system. It has been found that people who are living in poverty have a greater chance of developing both physical and mental illnesses and infectious diseases. If you want to develop a mentally healthy lifestyle, you must learn to reduce your daily stress load.
Mental health is determined by the three determinants: genetics, lifestyle choices and the physical environment. Genetics is influenced by heredity and is passed down through the generations. Lifestyle choices are made based on the person’s environment. A person’s physical environment is largely affected by the air he or she breathes, the food he or she eats and the water he or she drinks. By making appropriate changes to one’s environment, you can greatly improve your quality of life.
Mental health is closely associated with the quality of life and general health. It is affected by a number of factors including stress, aging, depression and loneliness. Although most people will experience some health problems throughout their lifetime, they are normally preventable. Most diseases are the result of the body’s response to an infection, disease or other condition. By making lifestyle choices, you can greatly improve your health status.