Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. The definition of health has been expanded from what we perceive to be the normal condition into what we conceive to be desirable for our bodies, mind and spirit. It is the sum total of favorable changes that improve the quality of life for an individual. The quest for health has many shades, as it relates to cultural, spiritual, economic and individual differences.

Factors that influence the state of healthcare vary by context. In general, however, the factors that affect overall health are lifestyle choices. These choices include diet, stress, general exercise and other habits that promote a sense of well-being and physical condition. These lifestyle choices can be affected by factors such as genetics, heredity, medical issues and environmental exposure. In addition, the physical environment is influenced by the degree of social support, exposure to violence and various types of stress.

Mental health refers to the ability to live an active and satisfying life despite the presence of physical illness. This also includes functioning within the relationships that one has with others as well as managing stress and working toward self-acceptance, assertiveness and spirituality. The mental health of an individual is affected by factors that influence both their emotional well-being and their mental health. These factors may include genetics, family background, social support, early experiences and educational background.

There is good health and then there is bad health, and when the two are not balanced then there is a disorder or a condition that needs attention. The cause of the disorder or condition will help determine what type of treatment is necessary. Although, research has shown that some illnesses will automatically correct themselves with time, when the cause is unknown then treatment will be directed towards helping the patient to adapt to the illness. While many will turn to traditional medicine when faced with an illness that they think is incurable, newer techniques are being used in more natural and holistic forms of treatment. These include incorporating herbs, vitamins, exercise, relaxation techniques and other practices that can be beneficial to the mental health of a person.

Stress, depression and anxiety are also important contributors to the development of these illnesses, so it is important to consider both physical environment and lifestyle choices when attempting to improve overall health. In addition to addressing the individual, there are several other areas that need to be considered as well. For instance, when a person is facing a difficult situation or are having a conversation with a friend or loved one who is ill. This can lead to complications if the care giver or friend is not paying close attention to the other factors that may affect the situation.

In addition to physical conditions there are other factors that affect an individual’s ability to live a normal and healthy lifestyle. Socioeconomic status is one of those factors. The greater the economic status of a person, the better their chances are of living a healthy and quality life. Those who are better educated, better off financially, more affluent have better overall health than those with lower socioeconomic status. It is suggested that all individuals strive to maintain a stable and growing economic status and a healthy lifestyle. By doing this they will have less illness and in turn will live longer.

By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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