Body image, community engagements, cultural beliefs, political set ups and religious beliefs are factors that control the well-being of human beings. When, dwelling in a community or with a group of people around us, we always seek their opinion in whatever we do. This eventually influences the well-being of an individual. The well-being of any individual is based on what they do socially, economically and physically (Berlin & Colditz, 1997). Mechanisms that heighten an individual’s well-being are all significant and connected in one way or another.
When someone suffers a mild depression doctors recommend rest and physical exercise. Resting rejuvenates one’s mind and helps in gaining lost energy. Exercise is proven to be the remedy to diseases such as heart attacks and improving the quality of life by keeping premature deaths at bay (McArdle, 2010). According to Fox (1999), extreme depression leads to mental illnesses, which have become an everyday occurrence worldwide, mental disorders are greatly influenced by an individual’s well-being.
Physical exercise is believed to reduce stress and induce the release of feel good hormones known as endorphins (Toomingas, 2012). Exercise is, therefore, a potential therapy to treating cases of stress, heart attacks, anxiety and depression. It is clinically recognized and recommended by doctors all over the world (Fox, 1999).
A historical approach to how well-being is perceived is greatly affected by a person’s ability to suppress pain and maximize their pleasure. According to a renowned Greek philosopher the well-being and happiness of an individual of is based on their ability to overcome pain this theory by Democritus is known as hedonic (Toomingas, 2012). Aristotle a philosopher also suggested that well-being is determined by the social and collective relations of an individual. He goes ahead to suggest that community well-being is vital since it eventually affects individuals. This theory is known as eudemonic.
During the medieval era people’s well-being was based on religion and not individual interests. The Romans used religion to implement and execute laws that determined the well-being of individuals. Roman laws were used to uphold virtues like chastity and loyalty. Anyone one who disobeyed the laws was subjected to torture until they admitted to their atrocities. The reign of King Henry of England brought about the link between well-being and power. During King Henry’s era, the Church of England was established. This is seen in the present day understanding of well-being by most individuals. Most people believe that power is an assurance of well-being in society (Bergdolt, 2008).
Another historical concept of well-being is the German approach by the famous Nazi policies. The Nazi policies enforced state well-being rather than individual well-being. Individuals that became potential threats to the state were excommunicated or killed to maintain the well-being of the state. Contrary to the Nazi policies that considered state well-being of the state, as opposed to an individual, the United States of America considers individual well-being (Fox, 1999). The United States had its loan debts written off when members of the public who had taken the loan could not afford to pay. During this global financial crisis period, the American government preferred individual well-being to social well-being.
Body image influences the well-being of modern day individuals all over the world. Obesity has become inevitable for most people, and it negatively affects their well-being (Szabo, 2004). Weight loss programs help in maintaining desirable weight by different individuals. Obesity leads to low self esteem which in the long run impacts negatively on well-being of a person regardless of their age. Doctors encourage their patients to watch they eat and practice positive thinking to boost their self esteem and eventually their well-being.
Positive thinking has been used medically to encourage their patient overcome pain. Positive thinking and seeing the impossible as possible has proved that there is power in positive thinking by most people (Kraemer, Fleck, & Deschenes, 2002). Achieving goals at work, school or home improves self esteem and hence the well-being of an individual in the society. It is also proven that eating pepper induces the release of hormones that make human beings feel good. These hormones include endorphin and serotonin which are neurotransmitters that reduce levels of stress and heighten moods.
Finally, in ancient days well-being was limited to countries or small groups of people who shared common well-being policies. In present day, the world has been reduced to a global village in the sense that whatever affects Europe equally affects the United States. Wealth and power might be considered the ultimate guarantors of well-being but, not all human beings are wealthy or in power. Therefore, individual, community and state well-being are complex and contradictory. Well-being differs from one person to another depending on their beliefs and culture (Holub & Micheals, 1999). Although we may differ as individuals, the community’s well-being should be put into consideration since it affects individuals, the state and the world at large in one way or another. All human beings are entitled to well-being regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or nationality.
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