Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is an “uneven condition of the body in relation to health and well- being that may lead to death or disability.” A wide variety of definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. Generally, however, health is understood to be the quality of life that a person has established or acquired through his or her life. In other words, one who has good health has good relationships, he or she is financially independent, and generally enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle. By living this way, we are assuming that the person has healthy practices and is not subject to any life threatening illnesses or diseases.
Mental health, on the other hand, is defined as the quality of being able to cope with both the physical and mental aspects of life. In other words, one who has healthy mental health is mentally healthy. Being mentally healthy can take many forms. For starters, healthy people are able to learn new things. The absence of mental illnesses or disorders does not necessarily mean that the person is mentally healthy, though.
Healthy physical habits and a balanced diet do not guarantee the absence or the lack of illness. Similarly, a physically healthy individual does not necessarily mean that he does not suffer from a single disease. It is important, though, for medical professionals to know whether there is a relationship between the physical symptoms and the presence of a mental disorder, such as depression. In other words, if the patient has normal levels of mental health but exhibits physical symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, chills, sweating, muscle aches, nausea, headaches, sleepiness, or low energy levels, then it is advisable to make an appointment with a health professional.
Healthy diet, exercise, and exposure to sunlight all contribute to healthy mental health. However, it has been found that a combination of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and regular exposure to natural sunlight helps maintain overall wellbeing, which in turn contributes to better mental health. A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that a person’s lifestyle and mental health had a direct impact on his or her lifespan. Those living a sedentary lifestyle and those with poor personal hygiene were more likely to die before reaching 60 years old. A group of healthy volunteers who were exposed to sunlight early in the morning and late in the evening were found to have a much longer life span than a control group who had similar lifestyles.
The importance of a balanced diet cannot be overemphasized. A physically fit body can help alleviate depression and other mental disorders. However, it has also been observed that an unhealthy diet leads to obesity and an increased risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Research has proven that a combination of a healthy diet and daily exercise can lower the occurrence and severity of physical illness, while maintaining a good healthful diet can also help prevent the onset of serious health problems like cancer and heart disease.
A physically fit body can lead to a healthier mind. Researchers have observed a positive correlation between stress levels and depression. Mental health has been shown to be associated with social support. Societal support can reduce the prevalence of both major and minor physical illnesses. In conclusion, a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity can contribute to good health, and a lack of physical activity may result in increased illness or disability. Adequate intake of basic essentials like vitamins and minerals, adequate sleep, and adequate social support can help keep your mind healthy and ward off serious health complications.