Health and wellness are two major topics we always encounter online, but many people only have a vague understanding of what they mean. They tend to think of health from a reductive approach, meaning they only consider health when it is no longer optimal. They go to a doctor when symptoms arise, receive care and resume life as usual when they’re no longer having any immediate, outoftheordinary problems. But this mindset can actually cause you to perpetuate unhealthy habits that shorten your lifespan, negatively impact your mental health and may even be costing you more money just to live.
A Universal Definition of Health
Healthy will mean something a little different for everyone. Someone who has a chronic condition may experience daily symptoms that would alarm a person without their diagnosis, but they may still be doing well and considered to be healthy by their standard. The idea of being healthy should not be thought of as the complete absence of symptoms.
Instead, a good working definition of healthy is a state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. While the absence of disease is everyone’s goal, many people living with lifelong diagnosis can still achieve a healthy lifestyle as well. Some would even argue that there is a link between smartphones and unhealthy lifestyles, and a smartphone has nothing to do with disease or chronic illness. But an unhealthy lifestyle, such as a bad diet, lack of exercise and substance abuse, can cause conditions that may be resolved with some personal changes.
How Can You Start to Lead a Healthier Lifestyle?
Before you make any significant changes, you must understand health more deeply and be able to identify your current needs. Start by reading about the eight dimensions of wellness. This model, adapted by Dr. Margaret Swarbrick, is a holistic approach to wellbeing. Instead of focusing only on physical behaviors or mental habits, it breaks down health and wellness into eight separate categories so you can systematically identify areas you need to improve. The eight dimensions of wellness are:
Each one of these areas has a major impact on your overall quality of life. By addressing each one together, and then comparing how they intersect, you can create more meaningful, long-term changes that do more than just temporarily cease bad habits.
How Living Healthy Can Save You More Money
Financial wellness is the domain concerned with savings and financial security. When you look into money management and budgeting, you’ll begin to identify places you could cut back and possibly exert some more self-discipline, too. Even with a low income, there are ways to save and prevent waste. But there are other less obvious ways you will save money by living better as well. Insurance is one of the biggest areas of your life impacted by health. Health insurance rates are already high in the U.S., but they’re even more expensive for people with pre-existing conditions or those considered high risk by providers. The same goes for life insurance.
When you’re in better health, you can expect to pay less for life insurance. You may even realize that your existing level of coverage is no longer necessary, so you can sell your policy for cash through a life settlement. Lower premiums mean better coverage for less. Taking steps to reduce your risk, extend your life expectancy and enjoy a higher quality of living literally pays you back in every way.