Before we discuss the personal responsibility we all have for our own health and wellness, first we need to understand WHAT health and wellness are. An emerging trend has been taking place across this country regarding what true health is. Many people have health problems or issues, but few people are able to define “health” accurately. “Health” is generally known as a healthy state of wellbeing, free from disease or injury. Wellness is generally used to describe a healthy balance between the mind, body, and spirit that results in a whole-body sense of well being.
So how do we as Americans take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing? The answer is quite simple, we often don’t. In this day and age of “blame someone else,” it’s easier to blame the fast food place down the road for our ever-expanding waistband than it is to take responsibility for our own lack of discipline. When our bodies are unhealthy, it contributes to a lack of wellness in our lives. This tends to manifest itself in a few very noticeable ways. Depression is very common among unhealthy.
Those who feel unwell, often overeat. The use of food as a comfort measure contributes to a lack of wellness (if OVERUSE is occurring) which contributes to a new need to be comforted by food. This cycle especially is one that many American’s struggles with. The inability to understand how our responsibility contributes to our health and wellness is something that doctors are finally beginning to address in their offices, at corporate clinics, and in schools.
What can we do to learn to be more responsible for our choices that contribute to our health and wellness? The remedy seems simple enough; awareness of how what we eat and what we do affect our lives. But that’s often more easily said than done. Most people typically have no idea what they are doing to themselves. For instance, the average American male has no idea how large the serving size of meat should be for him. Instead of eating 4.5ounces of steak, he often eats closer to 8. In most restaurants, the smallest sirloin steak is 9 ounces.
That’s DOUBLE the size of a suggested serving. Another misguided concept is a very, very dangerous one. Many larger people will take more than the maximum suggested dosage of over the counter medications. Their rationale is that because they are larger (women as well as men) they need more medication. People often overdose on children’s medication because they do not realize that children’s medication is more concentrated than the adult counterpart.
Another area we tend to take exception to our health and wellness is on the highway. A lot of people genuinely do not understand the correlation between speed and death. Some also refuse to wear seat belts because of urban legends of heads being ripped off, not grasping that they stand a better chance of being beheaded by exiting the vehicle through the windshield. Parents do not take the appropriate precautions when it comes to securing children into cars often because they are in a hurry.
While we are progressively moving toward a better state of health and wellness, we as Americans still have quite a way to go. The beginning step should be an understanding of personal responsibility.