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Definition of Health
Kristin Carter
820 668 499
Nurs 160

Briefly examining the diverse community in which I live in, one can identify the

several different opinions on proper health maintenance. Each individual is different in his or
her own way, some are smaller and others are larger. Just by looking at a persons appearance
it is easy to get a slight insight into whether they are in good or bad health. In health
maintenance a lot of factors come into play like society, culture, religion and much more.
These factors will later be discussed throughout the paper as well as contrasted with Navi
Manns opinion on health.

Definition of Health
Personal Definition:
In my personal opinion on health I believe that it is dissected into mental, social and
physical health. A socially healthy person is a person that is able to maintain appropriate
working relationships as well as maintaining a family and friend based network. Having a
network to rely on of people that you trust is essential to keep the mind positive as well as
free of frustration. This network can work almost as a therapist, being able to share problems
and to receive or give advice is key to keeping yourself mentally healthy. Mental health is

being clear of all negative thoughts as well as accepting yourself and your accomplishments
in life, if you aren't satisfied with yourself you are not as mentally healthy as you should be.
Physical health is the most commonly known form of health, its easy to spot people who are
physically fit compared to those who are not. According to the Canadian Health Guide it is
important to be active for at least 30 minutes a day and i strongly believe that all canadians
should take part in this in order to maintain an appropriate body weight. Health isnt just
based on how a person looks, it has several different determining factors and the reasons
above help to define why they are important.

Potter and Perrys Definition of Health:

As stated in the textbook, Canadian Fundamentals of Nursing Revised Forth Edition, It
explains that WHO the World Organization describes health as follows. A state of complete
physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
(Potter & Perry, 2010 pg.2). The World Health Organization posses the same beliefs on
health as i do. Both the WHO and I agree that physical, mental and social well-being are the
three main important factors in obtaining proper health. They also further go into detail on
good health isnt described as free of illness or disease it is determined on how someone
maintains their body.

Social Health:
Social Health is having the ability to maintain and separate different networks. Such as
work place colleagues, friends and family as well as acquaintances. Interacting with different
classes is extremely healthy because you are exposing yourself to people and allowing them
into your life, and eventually can work toward a better relationships. these relationships are
key to having a system in place to go to when you have something that is affecting you
physically or mentally. These networks are important because they can help you come find
ways of moving past this bump in the road, not only are they there for you but your there for

them. Being able to help someone is a huge confidence boost which can mentally improve
your health tremendously.

Mental Health:
Mental health is having the capacity to accept yourself for who you are as a person and
to work towards further improving yourself. Not everyone loves everything about them, but
to understand and work towards improving these things is key in mental health. If one cannot
accept themselves it can lead to illnesses such as depression which ultimately in severe cases
can be linked to suicide. Finding strategies that help to relieve stress and can leave a positive
impact on yourself are crucial in mental health.\

Physical Health:
Physical health to many people is strictly maintaining an active lifestyle. Physical
health also involves a healthy diet that can contribute to the overall physical outcome. Both
of these related factors are important because if you ultimately look good your going to feel
good and be in a better mood. Physical health i believe is the one form of health that is linked
to all of the other corresponding factors. As talked about briefly above the Canadian Health
Guide states that people should be active for at least thirty minutes a day, which is not a great
deal of time. Most Canadians should be able to set aside a chunk of time to work on
improving themselves. If a person is physically fit they can avoid possible heart problems,
diabetes and potentially high blood pressure. I believe that Canadians need to be properly
educated on the benefits of even the most minimal physical activity and how it can improve
their health. If action is taken now tons of negative outcomes can be avoided in the long run.
Values and Beliefs
Cultural Beliefs and Values:
As an Atheist we do not really have strict guidelines or rules of life to follow. Basically
we do not believe in a higher power and some of us do believe that evolution is why we are

all here today. As an Atheist we do not pray or talk to god, but leave fait in the hands of life
and science. We believe in changing the outcome for yourself and not relying on others to do
so. As a family we seek comfort in each other, take my Grandmothers illness, we came
together and worked as one to keep her at peace. And we do believe that our presence did in
some respect keep her alive longer. She knew we were there for her and could have
potentially kept her mentally healthy. Instead of praying for a different outcome, as a family
we took matters into our own hands and did what we could to support and be there for her
even if the outcome remained the same.

Family Beliefs and Values:

My family believes in regularly exercising and eating healthy when we can. Although
we indulge every now and again we still keep it within moderation to maintain a healthy
body. My family is also a big believer in homeopathic medications that are able to help us
when we are feeling sick. Not only do we maintain our own health, but my family is a high
believer in going to the doctors every couple of months for a routine check up. Because of
several illnesses and diseases in my family we like to stay up to date with the changes in our
body to make sure proper health is maintained.

Personal Beliefs and Values:

I do agree with having something to believe in like God makes it easier to move
through life and put your mental stresses at ease resulting in a healthier point of view. But I
also believe that we control out life and what happens to us. I like to take matters into my
own hands and try to eat healthy although its not always the easiest thing to do, I attempt to
get active 4 times a week to maintain an appropriate weight as well as I go to the doctors for
regular check ups to ensure that I am healthy and doing everything right.

Comparing and Contrasting:

In todays diverse society everyone is entitled to their own opinions and personal
beliefs on health. For this assignment Nav Mann and myself (Kristin Carter) compared and
contrasted our views on our own personal health beliefs. My family including myself is
Athiest, we arent against people believing in a higher power, we just dont understand how
there is more than one god. Nav and her family are sikh and are accustomed to praying 2-4
times a day, she shared with me that in the case of illness or injury the numbers increase
along with a large family prayer. Something that I found interesting is that both of our
cultures gather together in the case of illness or injury. Maybe we do not take part in the same
religious views but we show our support for our family in different ways that can still have
the same mental and social impact.
Nav and myself both believe in homeopathic healing methods, which are natural
methods of healing. Discussing further our own methods of healing we realized that we both
resort to teas to soothe the throat, ginger and lemon to clear our noses as well as high in fibre
dishes to clear our systems. Getting further into detail Nav and her family would rather treat
their illnesses naturally than medically and for myself I like to start natural treatment but if
the symptoms continue turn to medical treatment instead.
Coming from different cultures its obvious that our food will be wildly different, Navs
food is higher in fat and sodium and my cultures food is fairly bland and high in starches and
protein. Both of our cultures foods can have several negative impacts on our physical health.
Thats why we both turn to active activities that can counter act the affects of the food that we
are eating. Although we are taking in maybe not the healthiest foods on a regular basis we are
still attempting to reverse the effects of them.
In Navs culture she is not allowed to date, and in mine my parents are extremely open
to the idea of me dating. Not only is she not allowed to date but she cannot marry anyone
outside of her culture. I feel like this can cause a tremendous amount of pressure on an
individual not only mentally but socially. It can make them anti-social as well as depressed

because they arent able to socialize with anyone that they could potentially have any interest

Influence of Cultural Beliefs in Nursing:

Its great that i have my own views and beliefs but i also have to respect and accept everyone
elses as a nurse. Sure I might not agree with their views but I need to hold my opinions back
and do everything I can to help my patient without a bias. I need to be open minded to the
ideas of different religions and cultures and treat every patient with the same respect that I
would like to receive. Not only that every patient needs to have the same treatment because
in society we are all equal and deserve to have zero discrimination due to our beliefs. As a
nurse your attitude and attention is key in the healing process of each patient, they rely on
your support in their heeling process. After doing this paper I will assess all patients health
using these three categories to ensure that they are doing everything that they can on their end
to be as healthy as possible. As a nurse you need to understand and accept everyone for who
they are whether they are your patient or not, it is important to be open minded.

Not only is proper health maintenance important but the knowledge of how to achieve that is
key. Its not only physical health that needs to be monitored but social and mental as well.
Cultural and religious views have a large impact on the factors of health even if we don't
recognize it. Not every culture shares the same beliefs and values and as nurses its our duty to
understand and accept that. Nurses should not be by any means bias towards any patient, but
to help with the healing process with open arms.


Potter, P. A., & Perry, A. G. (2010). Canadian fundamentals of nursing. (4 ed.). Toronto:
Elsevier Canada.
Manuelpillai, S. (2012, October 7). Interview by T. Pabla [Personal Interview]. Health
beliefs and values., Humber College.