What is health? When have you ever sat yourself down and really thought about it in terms of what it actually is and what it means to you? Most people have in all probability never done this and they probably never will. Its not really something that interests many people until that is, something comes along and takes that health away.
But even then, many people will not want to try and understand it, but they will be happy to let the doctors try and figure out what went wrong and what pills or potions they will have to take to make it right again. Unfortunately for some, it could be that the very lack of understanding has placed them in this unfortunate situation in the first place.
Invariably it sometimes takes more than just some medication to bring about relief from the ill health condition that has afflicted them. In some cases, surgery may be required and in a few, the doctor may shake his or her head and say that there is nothing that can be done.
How can anyone allow themselves to get to that point?
What is Health?
People allow themselves to suffer deteriorating health all the time through lack of understanding. Their health is something that they believe they have little or no control over and when things go wrong, there are doctors that can weave their magic and make it all better. That view, of course is not always correct.
So what can a person do to prevent ill health from blighting their lives?
The first step to attaining a much better chance of enjoying good health is to learn to understand what health is and how it can be improved or undermined by the individual and their life choices. That starts with what is going on inside a person's head, or more particularly, what their predominant thoughts and mental attitude is.
This is because a person's physical health is largely determined by their state of mind.
Now many people will take that statement and dismiss it as hokum, because they have been schooled in the way of thinking that says a person's health is down to clean living, a healthy diet and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise. And if an illness appears, then they are to go see a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate medication to fight the illness. While to a point this is true, there is much more to the maintenance of good health than just the face value physical side of life.
It all boils down to the fact that the body is controlled by the mind. When you really think about it you must see that this is true. What else do you think is controlling the heart beat, causing the lungs to go on breathing, regulating the body's temperature, dealing with bacterial infections, healing wounds and a million other activities day in and day out, if not the mind?
It has been effectively concluded by experts that the mind can be divided into two main areas, which are the conscious part and the unconscious or subconscious part. These two areas are briefly described thus:
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind is that part of our brain that deals with whatever is going on in our lives at the present moment. It allows us to rationalize situations and determine our actions in response to those situations. It applies logic and provides us with the means to "think" and to "reason" which is what sets us apart from every other species of living thing on this planet.
We can consciously work out problems make calculations and devise strategies. We can make plans and use our imagination to create wishes or desires that our creative faculties can bring into form through physical work.
The consciousness is our thinking brain and while it is very powerful, it is limited in the number of tasks it can perform at the same time. Have you ever tried to think about two things ate the same time? Not so easy, is it?
Try to do three tasks simultaneously and you will most likely be defeated. Can you imagine trying to keep yourself breathing manually by constantly monitoring your lungs while trying to add up a series of numbers and hold a conversation with another person all at once?
The Subconscious Mind
This is what we have a subconscious part to our mind for. The subconscious does not have logic or rationality, nor can it make calculations or respond to a situation that requires rapid mental determinations. What it can do is multiple simple tasks simultaneously. In fact, it can do millions of them and it does every second of every day of a person's life!
The subconscious part of the mind is responsible for determining when it is time for cells to die and new cells to be created. It is programmed to keep our bodies living, operating normally under all conditions that we may find ourselves in and operate life saving emergency tactics if we are threatened, often referred to as the "fight or flight" response. It is responsible for reflex responses to external and internal stimuli.
The main purpose of the subconscious is to keep us alive.
It is also there to make us grow from infancy and to build flesh and bone to bring us to maturity. It is responsible for our reproductive abilities as well as operating our metabolism where we are able to ingest food and convert it into fuel, while eliminating the unusable waste and storing any unused fuel as fat for later use.
The subconscious mind is also influenced by our emotions and our emotions are controlled by our predominant mental state as well as to some extent by external stimuli.
It therefore stands to reason that if we are depressed or feeling unhappy, angry or resentful or guilty about something, then those powerful emotions are going to negatively affect the way our subconscious mind operates the sensitive machinery that is our physical bodies!
The Physical Body
If the state of the physical body is controlled by the subconscious and the subconscious is influenced by our mental state, then it makes a lot of sense to ensure that our mental state is happy, positive and uplifted as much as possible. It has been scientifically proven that when we are in a happy, positive state of mind, our bodies respond by increasing new cell production. Wounds heal faster and people recover from surgery quicker. We are less prone to illness in this state.
Yet the opposite is also true in that when we are unhappy and negative, we are more illness prone and our body produces fewer new cells to replace those that have died. This knowledge is fascinating in that it means that people actually control their own health by their mental state.
Happy people tend to be healthier than unhappy ones. Well, you could say that people are unhappy because they are unhealthy. True, but how did they get unhealthy in the first place? The likelihood is that they had an underlying unhappiness or harboured feelings of resentment or anger which degraded the body to the point where ill health was allowed to enter.
You see, the body is designed to ward off illness and disease. It has several levels of defence against bacterial and viral attacks. It is only when those defences are breached that illness can get inside and do its damage. There are some things that a person can do to help themselves, such as going on a diet and losing weight for better health if they have become overweight through bad lifestyle choices.
You Can Choose
A person can choose the way they live their life because they have a mind that has that ability. If a person s been living it the wrong way, they can just as easily change it to the right way. Mind and body act together for the good or ill of the person.
So now that you have this knowledge, try to understand it and accept it. Because it is not just some airy fairy notion, it is measurable scientific fact. Your health is determined by the state of your mind! In other articles here, we will explore further these amazing but true aspects of health and see what can be done to make improvements to physical health by making improvements to mental health.