Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a state of total physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.’ A wide variety of definitions have been utilized over the years for various purposes. In the United States, the National Health and wellbeing status assessment framework considered the four stages of healthy life: physical health, psychological health, social health and specific problems like allergies and asthma. The fourth stage is the critical stage, in which each individual must demonstrate a state of one of the four major categories: good health, fair health, poor health or morbidity.
A good healthful diet, as defined by the National Health and wellbeing assessment framework, consists of a variety of food items that are high in nutritional value and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is important to choose foods from each of the four primary food groups and eat them in their proper proportion. Healthy eating guidelines include a daily dose of at least eight glasses of water. The right combination of a good diet and a regular exercise program can improve your mental health and overall well being, while promoting long-term health and well being.
Mental health refers to a person’s ability to cope with normal activities in work, home and society. The concept of mental health emphasizes the need for balanced functioning of the brain and the surrounding areas. Mental health is influenced by genetic, neurological, developmental and environmental factors and is related to biological, physiological and mental health. A healthy diet and a physically active lifestyle can help you maintain good health and promote mental well-being.
Psychological health is closely linked with physical health, but it is also influenced by the quality and quantity of sleep, social support and coping skills, depression, stress and anxiety. Psychological health refers to the ability to handle stress, relationships, anxiety and other challenging situations that arise in our lives. It is affected by a variety of factors such as negative events and traumatic experiences, early or current abuse or neglect, poverty and aging. Mental health promotes self-esteem, self-awareness and improved coping skills.
There are a number of interrelated components of mental health that promote wellness. They include general well-being, which considers the physical aspects of health, such as heart rate, blood pressure, body mass index, respiratory health, vision and hearing capacity, and gastrointestinal health. Psychosocial well-being is comprised of the interactions between people and their social environment. It is affected by people’s attitudes, emotions and feelings, cognitive appraisals and experiences, and their social and interpersonal relationships. Mental health is also related to physical health, but the concept of mental health and well-being is broader than mere physical health. They go hand in hand and cannot be separated.
A healthy lifestyle enhances your mental health, promoting overall wellness and reducing the risk of serious illness and disease. A healthy lifestyle is not just about eating right and being active; it includes making wise choices regarding the amount of alcohol and tobacco use, protecting yourself against environmental toxins, and getting routine medical care and using relaxation techniques to minimize stress. The mental health of society can be significantly improved through the implementation of a comprehensive public health program focusing on the mental well-being of all Americans. Through comprehensive implementation of community health promotion strategies and practices, the mental health of all Americans will improve, thus reducing the burden on our health care systems and allowing us to feel better about the value we place on our health. Health Promotion is a multi-faceted approach to promote a healthier society by ensuring that all of us are taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from the potential effects of untreated mental disorders.