Physical, emotional and social wellbeing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as 'a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'.

Health is shown as a state of physical, emotional and social wellbeing in different coloured circles.

Physical health

Good physical health is linked to fitness – being able to perform effectively the physical tasks involved in life as well as sport. Being physically healthy includes:

  • enjoying being physically active
  • having good balance, coordination and agility in everyday tasks as well as sport
  • having the strength, stamina and suppleness required for daily life, work and play
  • having fewer illnesses, diseases and injuries

Emotional health

Emotional – or mental – health is linked to personal wellbeing – feeling positive about yourself. Being emotionally healthy includes:

  • having self-esteem and self-respect
  • being able to recognise and express feelings
  • being able to manage emotions to suit the situation
  • recognising and managing the factors that affect emotions
  • feeling positive about life (which includes feeling useful and being optimistic about the future)

Social health

Social health also contributes to wellbeing – feeling positive about interactions with other people and the wider world. Being socially healthy includes:

  • being able to interact with a range of people and having a sense of belonging
  • having respect, empathy and tolerance for other people
  • being able to manage emotions to suit the situation
  • recognising and managing the effects of actions on others
  • being aware of rights and responsibilities

Often feeling anxious and stressed is an indication of which type of poor health – physical, emotional or social?

Frequent anxiety and high levels of stress are indications of poor emotional health.