Health is a condition of mental, physical and social well being in which infirmity and disease are absent. The state of health influences the way an individual carries out his day to day activities. A physically healthy individual usually finds it easy to cope with life and other challenges. A mentally healthy person is optimistic in attitude and is capable of handling all situations. A healthy individual looks forward to life with enthusiasm and imagination instead of fearing its challenges.
To measure health status, several determinants are used. Some of these determinants are age, sex, general health, physiological factors, lifestyle choices and genetic factors. Determinants can be personal or institutional and they have been developed for different areas like physical, mental, social and ecological determinants. The determinants influence an individual’s lifestyle choices.
A good physical health depends upon good nutrition, regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, all of which facilitate good health conditions. Mental health consists of the capacity to learn, sense and think appropriately and to communicate effectively. Mental health also entails the ability to concentrate, follow instructions, meet responsibilities honestly and be able to work productively. Emotional well-being refers to your emotional well being such as your ability to enjoy and be pleased with your relationships, your ability to relax, your acceptance of others and responsibility for your own actions and emotions. Lifestyle choices may affect your well-being such as your consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, your eating habits, your level of physical activity and your freedom from diseases and infections.
Developed nations suffer from many health problems at a very high rate. One of the most prevalent diseases is diabetes, which is the result of insulin resistance, uncontrolled and sustained production of insulin in the body. In developed countries, diabetes has reached epidemic proportions because of unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise. A physically fit body is capable of fighting against stress and infection. A physically healthy diet that includes a multivitamin supplemented with folic acid and vitamin D is a fundamental requirement for overall good health.
Stress can affect everyone; however, people who are susceptible to stress and high anxiety levels are more likely to develop mental illnesses and to develop cardiovascular disease. Stress can have long-term effects on the body and cause serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke and hypertension. People who suffer from mental illness are prone to serious accidents, such as road accidents, suicide attempts and violent crimes. The lack of education about mental health and its relationship to well-being is the primary cause for people not recognizing the importance of mental health and well-being. Many people blame their personal circumstances on bad luck, but mental illness often has a reason behind it.
There are many types of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorders, which are highly treatable. However, people in developed countries are not taking adequate precautions to keep themselves away from stress-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Developed countries have one of the highest incidences of heart diseases, and they are among the leading causes of death in the developed world. A simple change in lifestyle can significantly reduce the incidence of heart diseases and other diseases and can help maintain good physical health.