Dr Ankita Dahiya
Health has been the most cherished virtue of mankind since ages. There are various proverbs in Indian folklore emphasizing on the importance of good health. Who doesn’t want to be healthy? But what is health? What does it mean to be a truly healthy person?
There are various explanations defining health. Most accepted one is that of WHO which states that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This has a deep meaning. Now a day’s people only stress on remaining physically fit and healthy. Everyone wants to look good. For this they will spend heavily on gyms, beauty salons, detoxing and spas etc. But they actually forget about the importance of mental, social and spiritual well being. Even modern day clinics and physicians focus on treating the physical signs and symptoms of the patient. Ayurveda, the ancient science of life looks at it with a different approach. It stresses on total health. According to Ayurveda health is a balanced state of equilibrium of physical components along with mental, sensorial and spiritual components of any individual. Although most important thing is to have a healthy body but if mind, senses and spirit are not in a healthy state one can never feel healthy. Being healthy and feeling healthy are two different things. One cannot feel healthy unless his mind is at peace, socially he is satisfied and spiritually he is elated. But we have adopted a rather different perspective of health. If we are feeling low or sluggish someday we will call a physician, if we are having a symptom we will take one or two pills. We really don’t bother to explore the underlying cause. We are deeply fused with our belief that medical professionals are the true keepers of our health. This is a misguided notion that good health is defined by the absence of symptoms, rather than by the presence of vitality. Good health is more than the sum of favorable physical factors like low cholesterol and nice muscle tone. If you’re in good health, you should pop out of bed with a smile on your face, you should be able to eat a meal and really savor the flavors, or take a walk with a friend and fully revel in the conversation. Can doctors measure such things?
Many of us give an outlook of being healthy. But actually there exists an unseen but very rapidly increasing social and emotional crisis. Nobody can see or feel this invisible but damaging crisis but the person himself. Loneliness, stress, anxiety, work pressures, social and emotional deprivation are so common. We neither want to connect to ourselves nor to the outer world. We all are living in our own shells irrespective of age, gender or generation. Parents don’t have time for their children. They may be fulfilling their financial needs but they are failing in moral and emotional parenting. Elderly people feel most insecure now a days. We don’t have time for our loved ones. We may spend plenty of time on our smart phones or gadgets but we cannot sit and talk with our parents or grandparents. Professionals have insecurities at work place. Students face performance pressures. So if each of us is facing some kind of social, professional or emotional crisis, then are we truly healthy? Do we feel healthy? So what is the way out?
We have to seek the answers from within. We have to adopt a different approach towards life. We have to forget all the worries and let loose the unnecessary burden we carry on our shoulders. We have to explore our emotional needs. Boost up our social circles. Connect with our old friends. Go offline more often. We have to become a child when with children. Think positive. Connect with old friends but not on social networking. Make new friends. Make acquaintances at work place. Smile more often. Sleep at time. Go for a walk with nature. Do things which make you happy. Help each other out. It will surely make us feel good. Share good times with others. Learn from each other. Reinvent our forgotten hobbies. These are some simple suggestions. There can be many more. Explore individually what make you feel at peace and harmony. The results can be life changing.
Take good care of body but don’t forget about mind and spirit. As one can be truly healthy and feel healthy when the three pillars of life: body, mind and spirit are healthy.
(The author is Assistant Professor, Govt. Ayurvedic Medical College, Jammu.)
Dr Ankita Dahiya