The World Health Organization defines good health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, rather than merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Having good health takes place on many levels. Holistic health is a concept that addresses all aspects of good health as an integrated whole. A holistic lifestyle aims to achieve balance of mind, body and spirit to improve quality of life. In the quest for optimal health, holistic health also takes into account accepting one’s personal responsibility for good health, health education, preventive care, nutrition, exercise and mental relaxation.
Holistic health believes that a person has multiple parts and if one part is not working properly, all other parts of one’s health will be affected. Therefore, if a person has an imbalance (emotional, physical or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their health. So, how can we achieve good health? By becoming more aware of our mental, physical and spiritual needs.
According to the CDC mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Research indicates that a positive mental health is associated with improved wellbeing. To have positive mental health one most have:
Perceived life satisfaction, happiness, cheerfulness, peacefulness
Self-acceptance, personal growth including openness to new experiences, optimism, hopefulness, purpose in life, control of one’s environment, spirituality, self-direction and positive relationships
Social acceptance, beliefs in the potential of people and society as a whole, personal self-worth and usefulness to society, sense of community
Physical health includes exercise/movement and nutrition. Regular physical activity helps improve your overall health and fitness. Studies claim that the more active one is, the less likely they are to suffer from anxiety or stress. The benefits of physical activity are abundant. It can help:
Control your weight
Reduce risk of disease
Strengthen bones and muscles
Improve mental health and mood
Increase your chances of living longer
Spirituality refers to the inner most part of us and is unique to each individual. Things that can help you spiritually include community service, volunteering, meditating, spending time in nature, yoga, singing or reading. We all find it in different ways.
Spirituality is the connection to something bigger than ourselves.
Join us for our Mind/Body Connection Series every Thursday in February 10 a.m. or 5 p.m. Call the Whitley County Cooperative Extension Office to register or for more information at 549-1430; visit the office located at 4275 N. Highway 25W in Goldbug; or email DL_CES_WHITLEY@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.