Health is a condition of overall bodily, mental and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. It is the sum total of all the processes that allow the body to function normally so that the person experiences life as it is. This definition also includes physiological processes such as the maintenance of homeostasis, normal growth and development, maintenance of the nervous system, regulation of vital processes, maintenance of glucose levels in the blood, regulation of nutrient retention and appetite, the supply of energy to the working muscles, and the regulation of biological and mental health.
Health affects our well-being. A healthy mind and body lead to good health conditions that benefit us physically, mentally and emotionally. Many people do not understand the relationship between the quality of their sleep, good health practices and the well-being. A few have even gone as far as to claim that having a long enough sleep is enough for good health.
A poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, alcoholism, inadequate sunlight, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle are some of the major factors that contribute to poor health status. When a person has a prolonged illness, it is likely to lead to a poorer health status. Other health conditions include obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type II diabetes, and other illnesses. Some lifestyle diseases include tobacco use, alcohol use, obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity.
A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy products, whole wheat products, fish, poultry, red meat, and green leafy vegetables. A healthy diet is an effective tool to prevent chronic diseases. It has been found that a well-balanced diet and a lifestyle with less stress can improve the health of an individual. A low stress level leads to reduced incidences of cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other chronic diseases.
A healthy lifestyle is necessary to manage stress and to maintain optimal well-being. A person who is mentally healthy expects a good quality of life, and he feels satisfied with his physical health. Stress, whether from work or from personal relationships, has become normal for most people today. However, if left unchecked, stress can lead to a variety of health problems including insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, heart attack, depression, and other serious illnesses. Mental health is influenced by the quality of one’s relationship with others; one’s social support system, the quality of his work and relationships, and other factors.
Most people nowadays accept the fact that physical illnesses can lead to long-term mental health problems. They do not, however, believe that mental illness can also result in physical ailments. The occurrence of any physical illness is associated with the occurrence of any mental illness. The fact is that stress alone cannot cause the development of a mental illness but mental illnesses can develop even under stressful situations. A combination of an unhealthy lifestyle and stress is most likely to lead to a full blown mental disorder, which can be difficult to treat.