Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity. Various definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. However, most modern individuals consider a healthy body as having a condition that makes it function properly and is free from many of the diseases that can invade our bodies if we are not careful. Health maintenance can mean many things to many individuals and a definition as to what it means for you might be more appropriate than the definition for someone else. The definition as to what health is for you can be influenced by your cultural and ethnic background, your gender, age, general health, and even your physical activity.
There are many examples of the ways in which health can be affected by health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and obesity. All of these health conditions have affected us in very different ways and some of us are at higher risk than others. Some examples of these conditions are: the presence of chronic conditions, the existence of physical barriers to health, or inadequate access to quality health care. Another example is the way that some cultures and communities view health. While some cultures view physical health as something that needs to be managed and controlled, some cultures view good health as something that can be achieved through lifestyle choices and the implementation of practices such as exercise, diet, and stress management.
Mental health, on the other hand, has a broader meaning than the mere absence of physical illness. It also includes the ability to cope with distress, pain, and trauma and to live a normal and productive life despite these traumas. Mental well-being can be influenced by one’s cultural background and educational experiences. Socio-economic status, race, sex, and the experiences of family members also have an effect on our sense of mental health and well-being. Mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety can also have a devastating effect on a person’s sense of self-worth and emotional well-being.