Three fundamental groups of factors constitute the basis for a healthy life:
- Material factor: Social security, enough healthy food and drinking water, work or an activity that guarantees that material needs can be fulfilled.
- Factors with an impact on the body and the environment: Physical activity and rest, nutrition, the environment, emotional life, how we treat ourselves and our fellow man. Our genetic heritage is also important, as is constitutes the “starting point”.
- Factors affecting the mind and the soul: To love and to be loved, self-confidence and recognition, security, sharing goals and purpose of life.
The salutogenesis model developed by Aaron Antonovsky is quite helpful in explaining health.
According to Antonovsky health is a result of the way a person copes with tension and “stressors” that continuously act upon us. Our continuous crisis management can only be successful if we understand the situation and the causes for the tension and stressors (comprehensibility of the circumstances of our life), if we can overcome them with the means at our disposition (manageability of the tasks at hand and our objectives), and if we understand the deeper meaning behind fighting our adversities (purpose of life).
Challenges we face in our daily live:
- How often do we feel unable to cope with the challenges of life – and cannot admit it.
- How often are we stuck in our cars in traffic, breathing filthy air, while the time is ticking away – and we cannot escape.
- The daily news shower us with information that affect our heart and soul – and we cannot do anything about it.
- Stressful encounters in the family or at the place of work (mobbing).
- An overflowing schedule.
- Acceptance of a task I know I cannot possibly cope with.
- More and more external expectations while my energy reserves are already seriously depleted (burnout).
We know what we should do, but we don’t act until the personal disaster happens.
Sooner or later we have to bring our life in order, to return to the centre, to regain and maintain our health.