The Determinants of Wellness and Health

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, mental and emotional well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease. A wide variety of definitions have existed over time, most of which are used by governments and health care practitioners. Some may be more appropriate than others for particular situations. In any event, though, health encompasses a much wider range of experiences and concerns than merely being fit and healthy. It also includes the prevention of major diseases that can cause major problems in a person’s life such as disability, premature death, and poor health and economy.

To achieve good health, the first step is to take inventory of your physical environment and understand its interactions. A good example is the fact that good health is often determined by a clean and safe physical environment where social interactions, exposure to physical environments, and physical activities can be freely undertaken by everyone in an atmosphere that is both free from physical threats and emotionally safe. This is the primary source of environmental influences on health and wellness.

The second step is to choose good health practices for yourself that will create and maintain a mentally healthy you. Good habits are habits that lead to good health. It is important to adopt behaviors that reduce stress, manage tension, improve your self-image and cultivate self-confidence. Developing and maintaining a balanced combination of diet, exercise, and good behaviors is the best way to attain and maintain optimal physical wellness. And, conversely, engaging in unhealthy behaviors is a major source of negative environmental influences on health.

Spiritual wellness combines both a physical environment and mental wellness. Spiritual wellness refers to a person’s ability to appreciate and use spirituality as a means of expression. People who are spiritually healthy often find their sense of self-worth and connection to others is significantly higher than those who are not. And they have greater success with self-care and with their physical environment. When a person feels connected to both their body and to a greater power or divine force, it makes their sense of self-worth, health, and spirituality that much stronger.

Spiritual wellness also requires having a lifestyle that is consistent with one’s beliefs. People who are committed to their spiritual beliefs and practice regularly are in the best possible position to promote mental and physical wellness. Being present with one’s beliefs is not enough. A commitment to continual personal growth is also necessary. If one is not willing to make this commitment, the wellness and happiness that one experiences will be somewhat limited.

In this new world health promotion requires being aware of the connections between diet, exercise, and spirituality. Health promotion and well-being depend on these three determinants. If you would like to improve your well-being or health, then you need to take care of your self, your mind, and your body. The health promotion and well-being that you experience will directly affect the quality of life that others have.