What Exactly is Health?

What is health? How do we improve it? Why should we improve it?

These are questions we don’t think about too much until we become “unhealthy”.

By thinking about it this way, most people see health as the absence of illness, injury, or pain. But health isn’t just about the absence of bad things happening to our body. It incorporates everything we know that contributes to our general well-being in mind, body, and soul.

There are many things that we can do to improve our health…

1. Exercise
2. Get Enough Sleep
3. Maintain a “healthy” body weight
4. Avoid environmental contaminants
5. Practice safe habits
6. Eat “healthy” food
7. Drink clean water and breath fresh air

And those are just a few things to think about to keep our bodies healthy. We also can practice a lot of things that help keeps our minds and our souls healthy.

Human beings have defined themselves as having three separate parts for a very long time. Many different societies talk about the gut, heart, and mind as three separate things. And science has shown that nervous system near the gut and heart can sometimes have a “mind of their own.”

There are many ways to define health, and many categories of health to look at. A person can be perfectly healthy in their body, but be sick in their mind. Or they can be sick at heart while their mind and body are functioning perfectly. And each area can affect the other. A person who has a sickness in their body can become depressed about it, and depression can lead to a sickness in the body and heart.

The complexity of what health is boils down to a very simple idea. Good health is what allows you to do all the things you would like to do in this world. And poor health is what takes away many of your options. In other words, good health brings freedom.

“The wish for healing has always been half of health.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

As Seneca said, a desire to be healthy is half of health. It is where everything begins. If you do not want to be healthy, then you will suffer the consequences of your lifestyle. If you do desire to be healthy, then everything else you desire in life becomes that much easier to attain.

For me, health comes down to one’s ability to accomplish things in life. I desire a little more in life then mere survival. And because of that desire I have to care about my health. For without health, I couldn’t achieve many of the things in life I set out to do.

Many people think that being healthy keeps them from enjoying things in life. They often talk about how boring life would be without alcohol and delectable treats. How boring life would be without dangerous behavior and other things that threaten health and life itself. People with this mindset have a very shallow view of health, and perhaps a very shallow view of life itself. I would go as far to say that they lack understanding of just how precious life is and can be.

Life can be very enjoyable without the things that bring you joy, but threaten your health and life. And many of the things that people view as unhealthy can be healthy and enjoyable in moderation. Striving for good health does not mean depriving yourself of some of the finer things in life.

Health is a mindset with the belief that life is precious. That it deserves respect. That your life is worthwhile. It is not to be wasted.

Good health is, in the end, making the most of your life. Enjoying it to its maximum potential. Health is the great enabler of life.

This is our 2nd challenge in The Personal Health Challenge Series…

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