The concept of health is an ever-changing concept, but its meaning has remained virtually constant over the years. According to the World Health Organization, “health is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity.” Various other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. However, what we know today as health remains to be essentially what man has sought to define as the condition that can deliver the maximum number of happiness and flourishing in life.
The study of the human person began with his physical well-being. Looking deeper into the psyche, we come to realize that mental health often goes hand in hand with physical health. For instance, good physical health is necessary to be at peace and able to enjoy life. Mental health is often affected by the way we perceive and handle stress and therefore plays an important role in how we deal with the daily stresses of life.
The concept of wellness also includes the concept of values, attitudes, beliefs, personal orientation, social networking, lifestyle, and communication. These are considered to be the seven dimensions of a person’s well-being, although the dimension of spirituality is now part of the wider umbrella term of wellness. Each of the seven dimensions of wellness has its own contribution to making a person happy and contributes to his ability to live and work in a healthy manner. These are in turn reflected in physical health, emotional health, and mental health.
While the concept of wellness is broad, there are seven dimensions that have greater significance in overall health and their effect on wellness. Physical well-being includes the ability to be able to move, take part in everyday activities, and maintain ones health. Emotional well-being entails your capacity to handle stress and concerns, and your coping skills.
Mental health also includes your ability to learn new things and be creative; your ability to concentrate, learn from others, and solve problems. Mental health is closely linked to physical health but not all aspects of your life may influence your mental health or vice versa. For instance, while your physical health may be impacted by your lifestyle habits and how you cope with stress, you will need to address the impact of drugs use and your engagement in substance abuse on your mental health. Similarly, while emotional well-being is influenced by your relationship with others, you may need to address your relationship with alcohol and drugs.
Overall health is affected by your response to stress, which in turn impacts your physical health. Stress management and relaxation techniques can positively impact your mental health, and your attitude can have a direct impact on your well-being. Drug use and other substance use can negatively impact your mental health and your well-being. People who suffer from mental illness and substance use disorders are more likely to experience health issues, both physical and mental, and should seek treatment if they feel that they are suffering from these illnesses.