Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition of total physical, mental and emotional well-being. Various definitions have been used over time for various purposes. For some it is a state of mind and well being, for others it is an ability to manage one’s physical and emotional health, while for others it is their level of involvement with community health programs. Regardless of the definition used, health is seen as a critical component of one’s quality of life. It directly impacts how people experience and perceive their lives and what they can do to improve their health and live with greater flexibility and control.
Mental health, on the other hand, has been described as “the capacity to meet the basic needs of life; the ability to enjoy life and handle challenges, responsibilities and stresses.” It often takes a great deal of effort and perseverance to maintain well-balanced mental health and the mental health of others. According to the National Comorbidity Study, approximately 50% of adults nationwide experience some form of mental illness or disability, with anxiety and depression being the most common mental illnesses in America. As mental health improves through treatment, the quality of life of individuals increases as they become more able to meet their physical needs. Physical well-being, on the other hand, is essential to living a happy and healthy life: physically healthy people are able to participate fully in the society and community, and are less likely to get involved in dangerous activity or engage in self-harm or suicide attempts.
There are many important connections between physical well-being, mental health, and quality of life. Healthy diets, regular exercise, and a balanced work-life balance are essential components of good health. Being physically active and exercising regularly can have a profound effect on both your mind and your body. Staying physically active helps you to burn calories and build muscle, which in turn helps you to feel better emotionally and physically. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise provides your body with the nutrients it needs to reduce your risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and obesity, while at the same time improving your mental health and assisting you to cope with daily stresses.