Health is wealth. When you hear this phrase, it’s easy to take a simple view of health as the absence of any disease or pain, but that’s not the whole picture.
Take a Closer Look
Looking more closely, we see that health relates to one’s current states of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. While the body may be healthy and fit, the mind and heart can be different. Any changes in wellbeing affect our health, and ailments affect the mind and the heart. The best bet is to seek healthier habits that balance the needs of one’s mind, body, and heart. We believe that looking out for these multiple aspects of ourselves will help us become happier in general. If we can maintain a state of happiness, then we can handle life’s challenges. They won’t prevent us from enjoying each day, and physical complaints won’t affect us as much.
A Different Way to View Health
We like another definition of health, which seems to bring the points above together while allowing for some physical ailments in the body. Health could “depend on whether a person has established a state of balance within oneself and with the environment.” In this definition, a person who has a disease or an impairment is still healthy to the extent that he can establish an internal equilibrium. Health becomes just one aspect of his general existence. You can talk to people who live with chronic disease, and you may quickly learn that their condition doesn’t stop them from enjoying life.
Looking at the Future
We could also choose to look at how we achieve a sense of balance, or internal equilibrium, as it relates to daily choices. Each day when we wake up, we spend at least a moment thinking about how to spend it. Sometimes, the daily pattern is set. It could look something like this: the morning routine, getting the kids to school, working, getting the kids home from school, having dinner, working out, and watching TV.
We Don’t Have Time for Spontaneity
In a typical day, there’s little room for deviation from the pattern. We don’t get the luxury of spontaneity, and we realize that our loved ones are negatively affected when we fail to meet our obligations. With this view of a typical day, we cannot focus much on health or well-being. We make poor choices such as consuming sugar-laden beverages and grabbing fast food because time is in short supply. We suggest that you don’t spend your days running like a hamster on a wheel, panting and searching for an escape route. We suggest making different choices before reaching an advanced age makes you more prone to ailments.
Life Gets in the Way
Because we’re often in pursuit of earning more, we make poor choices such as consuming sugar-laden beverages and grabbing fast food for lunch. We may skip the gym because we choose to work late. We want to get more money so we can buy more. We want to share the wealth with our families. We think that somehow we’ll feel happier with more things or with better things. Somewhere along the way, we spend our health to create wealth, but we end up spending our wealth to regain our health.
What’s Missing: We Don’t Make Our Bodies a High Priority
We fail to make our bodies a high priority because we lack the right values. “High value placed on health (not only on the absence of disease) would make people undertake whatever is necessary to enhance health: participating in preventive action and seeking treatment would become a normal expression of the need to behave in harmony with one’s own and one’s community values.” If we see ourselves as valuing a state of optimal health, we regularly perform the actions that will maintain it.