top of page

How Healthy Are You?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (October 19, 2017)

"I was leading a teacher training session last week and the topic was on character education and classroom management but I started the workshop with something that was seemingly unrelated. I asked the teachers to reflect on how healthy they are. Now most people will just think of their physical health when asked this question but the World Health Organisation defines health as the following:

"a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

So in other words, health is a combination of physical, mental and social health. For ease of brainstorming, I separated it into 5 categories: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental, whereby the environmental health is things regarding our surroundings that can affect the other areas of health.

And after introducing the five categories, I invited the teachers to think about one habit in each area that they could establish for better health. And after the roomful of teachers brainstormed, they shared some really great ideas. One teacher shared that for her physical health she would eat an apple instead of drink coffee every morning as it’s a healthier way to start the day, another teacher shared that for her emotional health, she would use her commute to work as a time for reflection and mindful thinking instead of being on her phone. I shared that for me, when my desk is messy, it spirals into me getting stressed and being emotionally unhealthy so my environmental healthiness is keeping a tidy workspace. For spiritual, it doesn’t necessarily mean something related to religion, even though it usually is, and for some, being mindful is a spiritual practice.