One of the most renowned German philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer, once said that “health outweighs all other blessings so much that one may really say that a healthy beggar is happier than an ailing king.” Indeed, the pace of modern living often makes us forget just how important health is. Still, in order to fully commit ourselves to taking care of our health, we need to comprehend what this concept represents.
We often equate health with the absence of illness but this complex concept is so much more than that. In other words, health is not only a matter of absence of certain medically defined disabilities or deficiencies. The standards of what is considered healthy keep changing and they depend on a wide range of factors – age, gender, and living conditions being the most prominent ones. The World Health Organization advocates that “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This standpoint leads us to believe that health is a multidimensional notion, signifying dynamic processes taking place in and around us, all of which aim at achieving a certain balance.
Being healthy is not the question of being only physically healthy. One has to mind their mental and social health as well. Whether or not we actually achieve this equilibrium depends on so many factors and mutually connected aspects of health. If we have a well-balanced diet and stay physically active, we are more likely to weather stressful situations. It is this analogy that makes all aspects of health interconnected and co-dependant.