What does it mean to be healthy?

When I ask people asked what they think it means to be healthy, I often get responses like:

“It’s when you’re not sick”

“To be fit”

“When all your parts are working properly”

These definitions seem focused on one’s physical body and see health as a state in which going to a doctor is not necessary. But being healthy can be so much more than this. In 1948, The World Health Organisation defined health as

“a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Imagine rising before your alarm every morning feeling fresh and energetic. You feel so productive that you’re able to finish a significant amount of work even before lunch. You’re able to pay better attention, learn new things faster and retain the things you learn. You feel sharp and notice things in detail. You are able to find creative solutions to problems. You feel physically light and you’re able to climb flights of stairs as though gravity is no big deal. Your appetite is healthy and you enjoy every morsel of your food. Your breath is full and relaxed. You feel calm and happy. It feels good to laugh. You have an increased level of patience. You are able to be kinder and more present with the people in your life. You enjoy a deep sense of connection, trust and understanding with your loved ones. You feel confident about who you are and know you are resilient to handle well anything life throws at you. People respect your sharp mind, admire your physical abilities, and can sense an inner lightness within you. Every interaction you have starts to hold meaning and bring out the beauty of those around you. You have a clear vision of your life. Every day feels bright, like a celebration.

To be healthy is to thrive, not just survive. It is to live fully, not just to get by. We are living human beings. Our minds and our bodies are capable of much more than we realise and there are ways to reach for that potential. Why not strive to live as the best version of yourself that you can be?