In university, when I was learning to be a Physical Therapist, all I really wanted to learn about was how to rehabilitate people, specifically after musculoskeletal injury. But I remember learning about stuff I really didn’t care about at the time.
One of the “useless” things I remember learning and memorizing was the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
We studied the WHO definition because it is more complete than other definitions. If you look at The Oxford dictionary, it states that “health is the state of being free from illness or injury.”
Like I said, at the time, I really didn’t care.
But now, I see that knowing what “health” actually is is very important and that there’s a big difference between these two definitions.
Imagine a number line in front of you. On the far left is -5, and on the far right is +5. In the middle is 0. If this scale represents the continuum of well-being, the negative integers represent sickness, disease, and imbalance that worsens as you go towards -5. 0 represents the absence of sickness, disease, and imbalance. +5 represents optimal functioning, flourishing, and “full potential”.
According to the Oxford dictionary, being in the state of health is sitting at 0 on this scale.
But according to the WHO’s definition, health is from 0 to +5.
Why is this important?
It’s important because it means that health is an important topic to everyone, no matter where you are on the scale. Health is not simply a goal for the “sick” and “ill”, but a human potential to be realized. It means you do not have to be sick before you care for your health.
We know this when it comes to our physical health. We prevent sickness and illness. We take care of our physical health by brushing our teeth, eating vegetables, sleeping, showering/bathing/cleaning ourselves, and staying active.
When we “prevent” illness, we do the minimum requirements to just stay at 0 on the scale.
But you could be healthier. You could flourish! You could, for example, brush and floss your teeth and avoid acidic foods before brushing. You could eat nutritious meals at proper times that are optimal for your body and metabolism. You could make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You could bathe regularly. You could work on strength, endurance, and flexibility training and take on bigger and bigger physical challenges to maximize your physical health and flourish.
There is always a higher physical potential you could reach that would make your life easier, more satisfying, and/or more enjoyable.
Now, what about your mental health? Do you take as much self-responsibility for your mental health as you do your physical health, or are you leaving your mental health status to chance? Did you know that you can take care of your mental health while on-the-go?
Where would you place yourself on the scale when it comes to your mental health? What measures are you taking to, at the very least, “prevent” mental illness? What steps are you taking to maximize your mental health and flourish?
What would life be like if you were mentally flourishing?
We want to help you flourish. We want you to say “yes” to your maximum mental health.
Learn the inner skills you need to flourish- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually- so you can live a life you love! Take advantage of this Mental Health Week sale and let us show you the science of conquering stress and the how-to skills with our services tailored to fit your needs.
Here’s to conquering stress.
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