Health, a priority or an afterthought?

“Health is wealth” is a popular proverb that everyone agrees to. Only when we are full of health can we enjoy the other aspects of our lives.

But the question we need to ask here is when we say “Health”, what exactly comes to our mind? And when do we actually start focusing on our health?  

Radha was a person who loved life. She believed in the adage “live life to the fullest”. She enjoyed parties, and to top it all she was a foodie. Due to lack of time, she either used to order food or eat the “heat and eat” food almost every day. She was working as a manager in a private bank and most of her work was done sitting at her desk. She did exercise whenever she felt like and it took the guilt out of her. Every year she got her medical checkup done provided by her company and every year her cholesterol was rising. The doctor told her to restrict processed food and eat more of fruits and vegetables. Though she improved her diet after the doctor’s visit, she fell back to her original habit of eating after few days. One night in bed, she had a pulling pain in her left arm, which extended to her back and then she felt a pain in the chest. Radha panicked that she was having a heart attack. She prayed to God, hoped that this was a false alarm and promised to take care of her health from now on. She then went to the nearby hospital for a checkup.

Amit was physically fit and exercised regularly. He enjoyed eating nutritious meal and took good care of his appearance. Even with all this, he was not popular with his friends due to his anger issues. Any small incident used to trigger his anger. His friends had a tough time managing him and cooling him down and eventually they started avoiding him. Though Amit passionately continued with his exercising and eating healthy food, he started feeling lonely. He was staying far away from his parents too and this affected him a lot. One day, he was fighting with a biker on his way back from gym for overtaking him and his anger started rising and suddenly he collapsed.

Radha knew that her food habits were responsible for her high cholesterol. But until the day she felt chest pain, she neglected everything and continued with her old habits unable to control her cravings for food. Luckily for Radha, the night she had chest pain, it was a false alarm.

Amit was taking care of his physical health very well. But he did not realize how his mental health was getting affected due to his anger issues. He waited until it affected him so badly that he had collapsed due to an increase in his blood pressure. Only after this incident did Amit start working on his anger issues.

Though we believe that “Health is Wealth”, “Prevention is better than cure”, we hardly prioritize our health until it threatens our life. Instead of making it a top priority, we take care of our health only as an afterthought. We also need to remember that the definition of health is not limited only to our physical health but includes our emotional and mental health. Emotional stress, anger, guilt, shame, fear, can all have adverse effects and can be life threatening.

Like how we feed our body with good food and exercise, we need to feed our mind with good thoughts and meditate. So, what are you feeding your mind and body today?

Photo by Prasanth Inturi on

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