What Do Health and Philosophies Mean to Me

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Philosophies are important to have within people’s lives; they’re the building blocks of all learning that shapes people's identity. Philosophies help people reflect on their personal values, beliefs, and ideals. They help distinguish one’s viewpoints on what is real in the world and what they believe to be true. Without philosophies, individuals have a harder time determining who they are, and begin to follow other’s philosophies. Throughout my life, my philosophies have altered as I’ve grown up and matured. Health and philosophies are closely associated with one another as philosophies guide better understandings of health. The philosophical school I endorse is realism. Realism is the idea that concepts have a distinct objective. It’s the idea that the truth is what you observe, not what you think. It’s a logical philosophy that is based on evidence and real existence. I picked realism because it’s the way my brain thinks, and the way I see the world. I believe in philosophies that I can physically see with my own eyes and that are thought out by thinking scientifically and crucially.

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My philosophy of life is to have a positive mindset no matter what the circumstances are, and in return good things will follow. This is important to my life because I believe my mindset plays a crucial role in achieving my goals. If my head isn’t in it, I won’t succeed. I need to be focused and have the mindset that I can do it, no matter how hard or how long it takes. Having a positive mindset helps me a lot through my everyday life. When I’m sad or frustrated, I just take a deep breath and tell myself that I can do this. Sometimes it’s hard to always look at the positives but training my mind to stay in a good place, helps me cope with stress and anxiety. What I value most in my life is determination. I value this the most because being determined or hungry is what helps me achieve my goals. I feel you must want something in order to get it in life and realize not everything will be handed to you. Working hard for something and getting it is an amazing feeling that makes me feel like I accomplished something bigger than myself. I felt this feeling when I got selected as varsity cheerleading captain. I never sucked up to my coaches or tried to take the easy way out. Instead, I worked hard to show them what type of leader I was. I did this by giving advice to my teammates when they needed help and improved my own confidence skills. I felt these actions would show my coaches I was up for the challenge and had the potential to lead the team. Undoubtedly, the hard work paid off and I achieved my goal. Ideals that I hold close to me are commitment and honesty. In my life, I don’t get involved in something unless I’m 100% committed to it. For example, in cheerleading I would never miss a practice even if I wasn’t feeling well and I would go to the gym extra to improve on my own. Also, in my relationships whether they’re romantic or not, I’m committed to the people I love, and I support them no matter what. Being committed to the people and things you love obligates you to take a certain path of action which can lead to a healthier life. Honesty is another ideal I believe is important to live by. I was raised with this ideal from my parents. I knew if I ever got in trouble that the truth would always come out and that the consequences would be even worse. So, even if I didn’t want to talk to my parents, I stayed honest with them. Honesty created a bond of trust between us that continues to get stronger. Honesty prevents bad feelings from entering my body. Significant aspects of my life, my values, and my ideals all play a substantial role in my identity. They influence the way I believe and act since they are principles I’ve decided to live by. The purpose of life is to stay true to yourself and to do what makes yourself happy, not what makes others happy. For a long time, I would always follow a certain crowd, but looking back on my philosophies I’ve realized that I like the person I’ve become.

Health and Philosophies are connected by being dependent on one another. Health involves many factors like your physical health, mental health, and social health. My philosophy of health is creating a mindset that provides a good state of well-being. I feel to be healthy; it isn’t just how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside. Being the skinniest girl doesn’t mean your healthiest and I feel that is a misconception with my generation. I perceive that health starts within you with eating right and staying fit. My own definition of health is that it's a state of multiple conditions (social, emotional, and physical) that are a way of living based on interactions and experiences. Wellness is another important factor to one’s health. It’s described as a way of balancing many aspects of one’s life through increasing health conditions and behaviors. The dimensions occur when the optimum state of wellness occurs. The dimensions include 6 components which are Social, Spiritual, Environmental, Emotional, Intellectual and Physical. Wellness is divided up into these 6 categories to form all the aspects a healthy person should possess. Continuum wellness can be described as variables that affect actions and determine the possibility there is of that dimension occurring. Health education also plays a role in health and wellness. My definition of health education is it’s a way to promote the public about health in a structured and evidence-based way. Health education is just one of the ways to promote health. I feel health education is significant because it informs the public about serious health issues and educates them on preventing diseases. I feel the purpose of health is to maintain good habits that will lead to a nourished, happier, and longer life. Without having health in our lives, we would be exposed to many more sicknesses/diseases that would lower life expectancy drastically. It’s a crucial part of people’s life that needs to stay maintained.

Health education specialists have a major part in creating health related philosophies. These health education philosophies were all favored and reviewed by health education specialists. They’ve been created throughout the last 50 years and are continued to be used today. There are five of them being behavior change philosophy, cognitive-based philosophy, decision-making philosophy, freeing/functioning philosophy and social change philosophy. My personal philosophy of health education is social change philosophy. I picked social change because it’s all about creating political, social and economic change which is a very vital part of a health specialist position. Social change is a topic I’m passionate about since it’s crucial for specialists to keep up with present changes, so they have the ability to create laws to keep the public safe and healthy. Health education can be described as, “Any combination of planned learning experiences using evidence-based practices and/or sound theories that provide the opportunity to acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors” (Joint Committee 17). Health education is one main part of health promotion. Although health education provides a way to acquire knowledge, it comes with some barriers. Health education programs can be difficult for certain populations to afford and may not be offered all around the world. Cultural beliefs can also be a barrier since certain groups may not believe in specific programs. Being a health educator also comes with a great amount of responsibility. They teach behaviors that promote wellness, and educate the public on types of healthcare services that are available.. There are many types of health educators like, a certified health education specialist, a health education teacher, a master certified health education specialist, and a school health coordinator. They all share the main role of educating the public, but each type of specialist comes with different certifications. I feel goals of health education specialists are achieved when disease rates drop, sickness drop, and more people are becoming healthier. I personally feel that goals are achieved when rates suicide and weight gain decrease throughout the United States since those topics are a big issue we are dealing with.

Health education has many purposes and each specialist has a different viewpoint. I discovered two practicing health educators and their opinion on health education. Laurie M. Wagner, MEd, PhD (2019) , from Kent State University states, “The purpose of health education is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health” (p.1). Daphne Guillaume (2017), a certified health education specialist and public health adjunct faculty at Southern New Hampshire University states, 'The value in these programs is having a topic or issue tailored to the needs of the audience...and working with them one on one to make behavioral changes”(p.2). Both educators express the purpose of health education is to help influence the public towards conditions that benefit their health. I feel a person is health educated when they work towards goals of trying to improve their overall health and are better educated on topics that affect their personal health. Overall all these topics are linked together to help the public be healthier. Philosophies, health, wellness, and health education help dictate one’s beliefs and health.

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