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Health Definition

by John P. Reisman — last modified Aug 23, 2012 John P. Reisman

Understanding Anxiety/Stress and its Relationship with Health

Why we need a new perspective on health.

Advancements in understanding and the lag time between new understanding and dissemination of knowledge is speeding up. Health has always been a relative term to a degree and measurable to a degree. We know when someone is sick because normal function begins to break down. It’s the same when a system breaks down or is under stress. Recognizing what causes something to become unhealthy is important so we can lower costs and prevent breakdown. 

This is not to say that all unhealthy systems should not break down. Sometimes that is healthy and a part of nature. In fact, failure in natural progression of evolving systems can help maintain health of larger and smaller systems.

This means greater pre-science in understanding health can reduce the ultimate breakdown of critical health systems. This can also translate to greater efficiency and reduced costs for a more healthy outcome.

Defining Health

For the purpose of the anxiety model: the following definitions regarding health are utilized as a foundation for understanding and gaging anxiety.

  • Healthy: anything that reduces anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, on an individual and/or group basis, with consideration of short, medium and long-term consequences.
  • Unhealthy: anything that increases anxiety and/or stress, simultaneously and/or consequentially, on an individual and/or group basis, with consideration of short, medium and long-term consequences.

Short, Medium and Long Term Considerations

It should be understood within the model that sometimes short, or medium, term anxiety must be increased in order to achieve long term health. This can benefit systems on an individual and/or group basis. By considering short, medium and long-term health/unhealth, one can more easily find a basis for increasing anxiety in the short term to produce a healthier long term outcome.

The Health Systems Model

The Health Definition Model is based on recognition of anxiety and stress in a system. This includes  individual and/or group environments. In order to prevent more severe consequences of manifest behavior and societal neurosis that stems from ignoring anxiety. The majority of modern psychology is based on fixing things after they are broken. A ‘health model’ enables seeing more how things are going wrong rather than waiting for things to go wrong. This type of recognition model for health and anxiety should help reduce costs and increase benefits.

Back in the late 80’s Reisman, when working on ideas regarding relative health of system interactions, designed an idea around ‘boundary layer’ interactions between parent, co-lateral, and sub-systems.

Here is an example of how systems are viewed to give you an idea of these interactions:

Application of Living Systems Health Model

Reaching beyond single system perspectives and reaching beyond and boundaries and borders of geopolitical views is key. Seeing multiple systems as one system and separate systems id needed. Only then can we better assess the inter-dynamic relationships that are our world.

Scope of Definition

Applying this view of health to individual and group psychologies as well as physical relationships braodens the scope of our understanding. Of course systems covers a lot of ground including molecular, cellular, organ (neuro-physical/chemical), medical, as well as regional, national and geo-political. From teh micro to the macro of individual and group social systems, economic systems, biological, geophysical, planetary, and universal systems.

When both rules of the definition are applied, recognition of the relative health, or lack of health of a given system is determinable to a degree. This can work in qualitative and quantitative perspectives.

Understanding “Health”

Examining anxiety and stress in this way allows for new types of understanding regarding the relative health of a given system in relation to its surrounding systems.

The actual measurement of qualitative/quantitative values regarding anxiety and stress are subject to methods of understanding and thereby human perception. And yes, how and what you measure can make a difference. However, in society and in individuals, anxiety and stress is beginning to be better understood. In society it is measured in blue and white collar crime as well as economy and societal/government function and efficiency. For individuals it is through blood chemistry, brain and body function.

Anxiety as a Qualitative/Quantitative Measurement

In accord with the Webster’s definition, anxiety is prescient or anticipatory. The reason anxiety may exist is the anticipation, or the natural systems prescience resulting from behaviors that are, or may soon occur. Therefore, anxiety is seen as a predecessor to what may occur. Understanding “Health” in this way allows the viability of new types of societal forethought.

Stress as a Qualitative/Quantitative Measurement

In accord with the Webster’s definition, stress is tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium. The reason stress may exist is the dynamic pressures between systems, or the natural systems dynamic result from behaviors that have occurred. Therefore, stress  within a system and between systems is an indicator of the degree of health of the system.

Contact The Centrist Party and Let’s Make America Healthy Again! We are looking for academics and scholars that can add expertise to our political, medical, economic, educational, health. This includes energy, environment andnational security. Our goal is to make America healthy and in doing so help make teh world a healthier system.