What is HEALTH, and how do we obtain it?

Also, why is it so elusive to most people?

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

This article serves the purpose of discussing a few key health-related concepts as well as to highlight a couple of common fallacies and dysfunctional beliefs which keep people sick.

I will do my best to keep the article brief but meaningful in content.

For a staggering number of people in the world, general wellbeing and overall health have been on a steady decline for quite some time. This is especially true in most Western Countries. We need to ask ourselves the serious question of why that is, given our modern advancements in societal comforts, medicine and technology.

Why is health and quality of life decreasing for so many in this day and age?
This is a rather loaded question but an important one, and in the article, I will do my best to highlight some key aspects and concepts of this problem in hopes that you will derive some meaningful wisdom on how to better act to obtain greater function, health and wellbeing.

Let us start right at the core of the issue…

Most people’s notion of what health is, is very vague and low resolution at best. This is a major issue because right off the bat, how can you act in accordance with obtaining a desired outcome when the nature of the desired outcome isn’t remotely clear to you? The answer is you can’t, you are shooting in the dark, you might not even be facing the right direction… The chances of you actually being healthy is slim to none when your internalised concept of what “health” is, is dysfunctional.

With that being said, let us quickly take a look at what health actually is. (i.e. what a more functional conceptualisation of health is.)
Now many people hold the notion that health is a noun… I.e. They believe it is something you can obtain and lose like a car or a house; the problem with this conceptualisation is that it creates a very detached, dysregulated relationship between “you” the notion holder and the concept of health. That detachment doesn’t provide meaningful feedback on how to act in order to move towards a desired outcome e.g. towards “health”, proper function and a feeling of welling.

Holding the idea that health is a fixed state will automatically put you at a major disadvantage when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle because this dysfunctional idea will blind you to the truth of what health is…

If you want to be healthy, if you want to have a sense of wellbeing and a properly functioning body, you need to conceptualise health as a VERB, not a NOUN! Health is a process; it is a dynamic adapting state across time. You need to understand that everything you do matters, affects your health and affects your state of being in the moment. Much like a gravitational field, the degree of influence of past and present actions in the moment, is relative to the context in which they exist. They are relative to situation and circumstance in the moment.

Health is a phenomenon that exists on a spectrum, it is a process which is constantly adapting and changing moment to moment. To analyse health is to conceptually freeze time and the state of the process to evaluate the overall condition in a fixed frame of reference. This is what takes place in a doctor’s office during a health check-up. (The assessment criteria which most people use is often very fragmented and incomplete, but that’s perhaps a discussion for another time). The state of your health in any given moment is a momentary, fixed reference to the totality of your being. Taking stock of your health or your ” current” condition can be a useful exercise, as it gives you context on how to act now given your condition as it is now; not as you would like it to be but as it is. Remember though, mentally frame your health as a verb, as a process, and not as a noun, as the latter removes your ability to influence the outcome moment to moment, day by day.

Life is a game of moments, everything done matters to some degree, and everything plays out incrementally until it builds momentum…

Exponential snowball effects can lift us up or knock us down. Make sure that you are aware of the incremental movements of energy each day, so that you don’t get levelled by a snowball of your own making! This speaks to the age-old adage, “take care of today, and tomorrow will take care of itself”.

You don’t have power over everything that happens to you, but you do have a degree of influence and receptiveness which alters the course of your experience. Over time, this has extremely powerful compounding effects in terms of health, wellbeing, knowledge, wisdom etc. Your world views, beliefs, values and aims purposely frame and generate meaning from your experience.

When you think of health in this manner, you are not blind to the causal relationships between your actions and your state of being in the moment. This engaged state of awareness to life allows you to derive functional meaning from your experience. To act in accordance with a healthy lifestyle, you need a degree of awareness and wisdom guiding you. That wisdom is derived and accumulated from observing the transactional relationships between the various aspects of your life.

When you view and are aware of health as a process, you are in the “GAME” so to speak.

You are actually able to begin learning and playing the “game” in a way that moves you towards the desired outcomes i.e. Health and Wellbeing. Contrarily, if you hold tight to the notion that health is a “noun”, that is, something you can be given or something you can buy, then you are definitely not in the “game”. Your awareness is completely blind to the extractible wisdom and causal relationships that could help you in your everyday life.

Your health is a process that you influence daily whether you take responsibility for it or not. Most people fail to take responsibly for their health. They shirk their personal obligations or are completely blind to them… Don’t be one of those people; refine your held concepts. Make sure that what you think and believe functionally, serve you. Grow, refine and when necessary, restructure your held notions, this keeps your awareness calibrated so that it can derive useful wisdom from your environment and experience.

There will be many more articles to come that provide more useful guidance on functional conceptualisations, common fallacies and how to act in order to lead a healthier life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you enjoyed it, please comment, like and share it with your friends and loved ones.

Warm Regards
Stephen du Preez

Stay healthy in these crazy times!

Article Word Count:1162
Author: Stephen du Preez
Date: April 4th, 2020

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