Four Forgotten Faces of HealthHave you ever wondered what being healthy actually means? Is this just the obvious ‘having no pain, no injury, no disease? And what adaptability to change, your social circle and ‘realising your abilities’ or ‘fulfilling your individual potential’ have to do with health?

Here is the WHO definition and some answers to questions: 

  • What is Health? 
  • What 4 forgotten faces of health are?
  • How healthy do you feel you are?

What is Health? An official definition 

According to WHO ’Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in which disease and infirmity are absent’ and then mental health is as ‘a state of well-being in which the individual realises 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’.


Forgotten Faces of Health

What we often forget about health is that health is not just an absence of a physical or mental disease or injury. 

What is assumed in the WHO’s definition is that we should be not only 

  • free from disease, pain or injury 

but also be:

  1. adaptable to the world (‘can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully’)
  2. able to develop fully while following an optimal lifestyle according to our individual constitution (the individual realises his or her own abilities) 
  3. pay as much attention to our own mental and social wellbeing as we do to the physical and
  4. able and willing to contribute (‘make a contribution to his or her community’).


What’s about you?

Assuming you have no disease, injury or pain at the moment do you feel that you are:

  • adaptable to the world and successfully face normal stresses of life and work 
  • able to develop fully while following an optimal lifestyle according to your individual constitution and realise your abilities 
  • taking care of your mental and social wellbeing as your physical and
  • able and willing to contribute to the world around you?

If you do have a health problem, physical or emotional, do you feel you can create a sustainable solution to it?


Practicing commitment to building sustainable health and wellbeing

If you answered: ‘hmmm, may be not, not really’ to any of these questions check out our next video from our series ‘How to build Sustainable Health and Wellness’ called ‘When a Therapy is enough and when it is not?’

Surprisingly not many people actually know about the WHO definition of health. And even more surprising is that most of those people who do know, rarely take consistent steps to actually access their ‘full health’ state or have a plan on building it.

Part of the problem here is lack of education on a subject or existing structure: usually we don’t call our GP in an alarming situation of an acute problem with ‘fulfilling our individual potential’….looking into and addressing adaptability, social health and authentic worldly contribution is simply not (I much hope ‘not yet’) in a mainstream culture – we are not taught about it in school, not explicitly or in relation to our health that is.

The whole idea of sustainable health is that it is not just a quick fix to a pressing medical problem – physical or emotional – that we need: we need to build a solid foundation to the entire structure consisting of other aspects of health for our conventional or alternative therapy ‘fix’ to be sustainable.

If you would like to dive deeper into what ‘health’ may mean for you in particular, subscribe to our Cafe Self Newsletter to receive our worksheet  ‘Your 5 faces of health’. Here you visualise how your health currently looks and feels, assess how healthy you are, what ideas you may have around health  in general and your health in particular (which you might not realise you do), connect with your internal reference points for ‘being healthy’ and plan One Step leading to better habit building which you can take right now towards building your sustainable health and wellbeing.  

Subscribe to Cafe Self fortnightly Newsletter for more tips on building Sustainable health and Wellness, Cultivating the Self, Organising your Life Experience and more!

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