Health is a condition of overall physical, emotional and social well being where infirmity and disease are either absent or negligible. In the United States, the common definition of health is having a healthy body mass index, and being of average weight for age. The goal of life extension is to improve health, slow the aging process, and lengthen life. There is a general consensus that maintaining a good health profile and keeping it within normal limits is desirable for our long-term health. Health is important for all of us as we grow older.

Mental health and well-being are closely related but not identical. What are mental health and well-being? Mental health is self-awareness and the ability to manage one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It involves an individual’s ability to evaluate his own health, in regard to both physical and mental aspects. Mental illness is any mental condition that causes the individual’s functioning to deteriorate, or that interferes with his capacity to function normally in his daily activities. Mental illness can be severe and debilitating, or relatively mild and manageable.

There are many different components to good health. Physical health refers to how you physically look, and how you feel, as well as your ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). Emotional health encompasses your emotional well-being, or your ability to connect with others. Mental health, on the other hand, is affected by your attitudes and behaviors toward stressors, your coping mechanisms and your ability to change them when needed. These components are influenced by environmental factors such as your home environment, the media, schools, family life, work, and leisure activities, and cultural traits such as gender, ethnicity, religion, and language.

We all should strive to maintain good health and physical well-being. A healthy diet, regular exercise, relaxation and sleep are essential to maintaining health and promoting happiness. We all know the importance of these things for physical well-being, but very few of us make an effort to keep our minds, bodies and spirits in good shape. Mental health is the result of a lifetime of habits – positive ones, that is. If you think you’re doing all you can to maintain good health, consider trying one of these five tips for mental health.

* Learn to Have Depression Tested. Allowing yourself to fall and to bounce back from difficult experiences is important to building up your strength for the future. When you take a standardized test designed to detect depression symptoms, you will be able to determine whether your mental health is deteriorating or whether it’s just improving. In the United States, more than 20 million adults are estimated to have some form of depression disorder. Getting help now can mean the difference between a life of health and a lifetime of suffering.

* Watch What You Eat. While exercise and nutrition play an important role in both health and mental well-being, they’re equally important in the prevention of illness and disease as they are in maintaining good health and an ability to fight off disease. Eating a balanced diet high in vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates, and getting plenty of sleep and rest are your first lines of defense against common forms of illness and disease. A body that suffers from poor nutrition and stress is like a body that can’t fight off infection. The two go hand in hand.

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