What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?

Being more healthy is a goal that many of us have. We want to lose a few pounds, lower that cholesterol, climb the stairs without getting winded.

But what, exactly, does getting “healthy” mean? Determining how to define the word health is a logical first step.

There are many different ways to be healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially.

Physical health is, perhaps, the most obvious, and the easiest to measure. For instance, you can step on a scale, or count the number of reps or laps, or take your blood pressure. In January, gym memberships surge, as people try and work out regularly. They want to lose the weight they gained over the holidays.

Equally important but less often addressed is mental health. How much introspection do you do? Do you go to therapy, for yourself or with your significant other? Meditation, for example, is becoming more popular, which many people use to become more calm and centered.

Similarly, emotional health is rarely dealt with. Are you more often happy or sad? Do you express your emotions in a healthy way? Our emotional well-being is part of who we are, but we often ignore it.

Finally, there is the issue of how we fit in with others. Our relationships with friends, co-workers, and family members can be positive or negative. Healthy or unhealthy. On a larger scale, how do you fit into society? What is your carbon footprint? Are you a good citizen?

Of course, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are other ways to be healthy. Can you think of some?

In short, what is your definition of health? Do you eat organic food? Run marathons? Host a weekly poker night? Vote in your town elections?

What does it mean to be healthy?

Related questions: Could everyone benefit from therapy? What duty do we have to live properly? What makes you the happiest? Resolutions or no resolutions?

 

1 thought on “What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?”

  1. There are four capacities I track to build personal health:

    Physical Capacity: Am I as physically fit as I can be (e.g., well-nourished, strong, flexible, well-rested)? Good habits include a proper diet, regular exercise and safe stretching and/or yoga, adequate sleep, and the best posture possible for my body.

    Emotional Capacity: Health, in this arena, can cover many aspects of life. Do I:
    – have a healthy self-awareness;
    – pursue goals that fit my personality and further how I want to live;
    – internalize responses that steer me away from irrational, negative thoughts and reacting;
    – successfully manage my Depression;
    – change my relationship with Anxiety from someone who struggles against it to someone who observes that it is there and lets it be until it passes; and
    – exude joy?

    Good Habits include:
    – regular meditation;
    – regular exercise;
    – taking my mental health medications;
    – when I experience Anxiety, write;
    – when I have toxic thoughts, let them go;
    – seeing my therapist as needed; and
    – writing an expression of gratitude daily.

    Intellectual Capacity: I want to:
    – build upon my expertise regarding affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and tenants’ rights;
    – be knowledgeable about politics, physical fitness, social media, and sustainable gardening practices;
    – build knowledge regarding climate change and its impacts; and
    – learn and share, in part, through blogging.

    Good habits include reading for work and pleasure, keeping up-to-date on the news, writing about my positions on critical issues, and regular blogging.

    Spiritual Capacity: For me, spiritual health does not come from religion. Instead, I try to follow secular humanist morality. Additionally, I want to advocate from a position of abundance and strength.

    I have two domains of good habits I want to maintain and be passionate about:
    – In my career, I want to have a better understanding of social, economic, racial, and environmental justice history. I also want to employ successful strategies and tactics to contribute to achieving the changes I want to see in the world.
    – In my personal pursuits, I work to know more and belong to communities that care about:
    – ending the stigma and discrimination directed at those experiencing mental illnesses;
    – slowing the progress and mitigating the impacts of climate change; and
    – using sustainable gardening practices to grow more local food and build healthy soil.

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