Monday, 9 June 2014

What does 'healthy' mean?

What does it mean to be healthy? To different people, health means many things. The most widely accepted or popular definition of health is that of the World Health Organization, which states that health is spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical - and not simply the absence of disease. 

I like that definition, mainly because it sums up what I have learned to see health as. When I was sick, I didn't really care what health was. Was I underweight? Yes. But I felt good, didn't i? I was still religious. I was getting good grades. So, technically, I thought I was okay. Looking back now, I see that I wasn't. Health is more than just physical, but being physically healthy is important too.

Unfortunately, society today has somewhat changed our perceptions of health. Sometimes, we don't even know what 'health' is - and why it's important. Take a look at commercials for diets or any product. Do they advertise health as important for happiness and success? No. Diet products show that losing weight is important so that you can look good. Yes, some of them say that this will help you feel good. But they miss the point that feeling good doesn't come simply from being at a certain weight. Or, consider the example of a commercial for a dating website. Emotional health is important, right? So wouldn't a relationship be important too? Yes! But is this the only thing about health? No. Again, society doesn't give us a compete picture of health. And if we aren't careful and alert, we won't be aware of what health really is.

Being healthy is important because it helps us maintain an optimal quality of life. Being healthy helps us love life fully. We can then set goals and strive to achieve them, always persevering and feeling successful. We can eat and drink in moderation and feel strong physically. We need a good education so that we can work, feel accomplished, and bring something important to the world. We need healthy relationships so that we can communicate and live peacefully with others. We need to feel at peace and to feel safe so that we can complete our daily tasks and be proud of ourselves, feeling safe and confident. Therefore, all aspects of health are important. We can't be healthy physically and expect that this alone means we are 'fine', because perhaps emotionally we are struggling. We can't be healthy mentally and expect that we will be alright, as we may in fact be struggling physically and therefore suffer. What's the 'take home' point? Health encompasses many aspects of our lives - and one isn't more important than the other.

But society will try to tell you what it wants you to believe - that one aspect alone implies a state of health. Be aware and alert, and take time to define what health means to you. When you know how you define 'health', you will be able to determine what aspects of health you have in your life, and what remains. And remember, life isn't perfect. It's nearly impossible to be 'healthy' in the compete sense, because challenges always appear. The difference - and what's important to recall - is that you have the power to change your life. You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you CAN change how you respond to it and how you let experiences impact you. Take each moment and each experience as am opportunity to learn and grow. When you do this, you can start to see that although being fully 'healthy' may be difficult, having an awareness of health will allow you to pick yourself up after every struggle and remind yourself that you alone have the power to control how life's obstacles influence you. Will you let your troubles make you or break you?

52 comments:

  1. WOW.
    So healthy means all of this .!!!


    Carlos

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  2. This is absolutely true.
    I was impressed when we had tutorial about global heath and I was amazed to know that health does not mean only absence of a disease but also extend to include people' feelings, emotions,social network,support sytem,belief
    ,spiritual meaning in their life and enjoying their function at school or work or volunteering etch or envy enjoying studying.
    You are up Marina

    penny
    Med student

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  3. You are right ,there is a push from media and doctors for people to lose weight but We know this advise for people who are obese not for those who are normal.
    If we have 40% of Canadian obese ,so make sense to me that all health authority advise lose weight.
    Those who have ED or normal weight got be careful how to interpret this advise.
    Am I right??

    Jenn
    Welland

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  4. Yes to be healthy and feel healthy is very important. Our feeling and perception of health is very important and how we are satisfied with our health and life.
    We need to enjoy every minute of our life even when you are at my age 76

    Sam Ibrahim

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  5. Sure thing
    We need to have all aspect together.
    I look at it at you get a mark out of 10 of each aspect and globally you need at least 60 % but you can not fail one item/ Good analogy!!!


    Jack

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  6. It seems our thoughts actually leading our life. So if we think positive ,will have positive happy life. And this the bent of complete recovery

    Mary
    Mississauga

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  7. Yay
    You think good ,you feel good

    Magaly

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  8. Your blog talking about your personal experience and your knowledge but this blog overwhelmingly helped me and still helping me know about ME more than about you.
    I only started to have a feeling about my health after your blog guided me to my recovery.
    Now I am able to think wisely and decide what is better for my health (6 parameters)


    Anne

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  9. I really enjoy this post
    Good work Marina


    Cindrella

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  10. I like the analogy of seeds and flowers. Yes our thoughts are the seeds of our feelings and behaviours.
    I learnt how to take things easy and never take any thing personally at all and this making me calm and happy.

    Mays

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  11. Our health is like taking a course with a total score that to pass you need get 60% total score but you need to pass all 6 parameters also.
    You can not pass if you score 99% of five and you fail the sixth.
    Same as your health ,you can not just be 99% of 5 of them and one is failing.
    Make sense to me

    Hamza

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  12. Marina ,you have been a guide and a master in showing how one can change course of events and can turn scars into stars.
    Ally loya.

    Hend

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  13. My friend Hend told me about your blog and I am amazed with all the health advise I am getting.
    Now I will look at my health from all those 6 angles

    Razan

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    Replies
    1. Welcome Razan! I hope you enjoy the blog! Thank you for your kind comments and thank you to Hend for telling you about my blog!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Marina for your reply and nice words. I am still reading previous posts and the big news with your published book.
      Way to go.

      Razan

      Delete
  14. I struggled years with ED and I never felt what health means till I recovered completely AND now I can enjoy health and feeling and positive thoughts and good attitude and zero anger !!!

    Recovered ED

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  15. I was not aware that being healthy means any thing more than physical but now since knowing your blog and of course this post I am impressed that this is right We need to include all those 6 issue to feel healthy.
    I will make sure my daughter is physically emotionally and socially and spiritually in reasonable state .
    I credit you for this Marina

    JP( a thankful mother)

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  16. When I was writing my exam I remember a question about a patient with hemoptysis and as a nurse what you should do first when see him bleeding. I remember 4 answers were correct but the one We should choose is to Validate his feelings ,fears and emotions.
    This post tell us that health not only physical but feelings and emotions .
    You can teach nursing Marina

    CJ(RN and CDE)

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  17. Kudos to Marina


    Gerry

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  18. This post is really a GEM !!
    Health=body+feeling+emotion+spirituality+finance+job+education+family+support+recreation and fun.

    You said all.
    Please live and enjoy life to the fullest

    Lillian

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  19. This blog makes me feel good when I read.
    I recommend this blog.

    Filomina

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  20. I will think in my health this way rather than only what is hurt but how do I feel

    Helga

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  21. This post remind me how to make sure my health is in good shape and not look at absence of a disease.

    Clorado

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  22. Thank you for this clarifcation on how we need to see our health

    Blanchette

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  23. Yes the thoughts are the seeds.
    If we plant postive thioughts we reap good feelings and we function well.
    If we think people hate us ,we feel angry,sad and will not function as well and we create our own enemies.
    I learnt to use this analogy or philosphy to counsel clients.CBT)
    With my humble respect


    Muhammad

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  24. WOW
    Your reader excited with your new definition of healthy.

    Morandan

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  25. I like this total definition of being healthy.


    Oswaldo

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  26. You are right
    I see my health this way.

    Larivierre

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  27. I should look at my heath this way too.

    Sorina

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  28. I admire you, this blog and this post.

    Anastashia

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  29. Now I know which seeds I need to plant in my thoughts.

    Emma

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  30. That is what We all need to know about our health.

    Gordana

    ReplyDelete
  31. Every post I learn something new
    That is why I am a regular reader.

    Sally

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  32. I wish I am o k in all those 6 areas

    Regina

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  33. I am good in every thing except financial.

    Rodica

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  34. I am well financially and physically but I am a single woman and have few friends and so I feel something missing in my health.

    Sheila ketson

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  35. Yes our feelings are as important as our physical body.

    Shady

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  36. 35 years ago I saw down and thought about what is missing in my life as I felt I have every thing but still not feeling well. I has job,money,houses,cars ,family, kids and friends ,then I realized that may be sick but my doctors run tests and told me healthy like a horse. A Christian friend at that time started talking to me about Jesus and I admit since then I am feeling well balanced .
    Now the ring is complete >I had 5 pieces and finally I found the sixth.

    Sam Ibrahim

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  37. I graduated and I have computer skills but for years I have not been able to hold full time job and my finance struggle despite I am very healthy but still feels unsatisfied

    Gustav

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  38. I never looked at my health this way but I will do this effective immediately.
    Thanks Marina

    Jorge

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  39. Lots of medical information
    Oh boy boy boy .

    Kadesha

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  40. This post is a learning lesson for me .

    Raja

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  41. I wish I have all of them in order to be really healthy but I have zero income for 2 months now .

    Hernandez

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  42. Yes
    This pie reflect what ismeant by health
    Excellent post

    Nagy

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  43. This is the best way to look at our health.ALl together make you feel healthy

    Sasha

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  44. Your readers love to read your blog because there is always something you can add to your knowledge.

    Zeesman

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  45. Well done .
    I wish you are achieveing what consttute a HEALTHY.
    I am trying myself and am getting there slowly but surely.

    Nanraj

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  46. This definition is absolutely right.

    Mehta

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  47. I wish you all the benifts of complete recovery and Good health that include all of the above

    Clorado

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  48. I agree all of those are important determinant of good health esepcilly mental health and feelings and emotions and this needs lots of support,socail network ,eduaction,job and finance.

    Lenus

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    Replies
    1. I WISH YOU THE BEST HEALTH marina.
      you DESERVE

      Delete
  49. Kudos to Marina

    Saroosh

    ReplyDelete