At its core, health has always been about more than numbers on a scale or what size jeans we wear, though many of us grew up believing that our physical bodies were the primary measure of our overall health. In recent years, thanks to more candid, mainstream conversations about mental health and wellness, folks have come to recognize that health needs to be approached holistically — the state of our mind inevitably impacts our physical health, and vice-versa.
The famous yoga instructor B.K.S. Iyengar may have put it best: “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” In other words, nourishing our bodies is just one part of ensuring our overall wellness; developing coping mechanisms for stress and making room for healing are necessary, too. It isn’t enough just to be free of physical disease or ailments; we have to also look for ways to build healthy habits and incorporate sources of joy on a daily basis. Below, we’ve rounded up 15 quotes about the importance of health in its many forms, in hopes that they will inspire you to engage in that most necessary practice: self-care, however you define it.
Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.
— Thích Nhất Hạnh
Every negative belief weakens the partnership between mind and body.
— Deepak Chopra
Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are gardeners.
— William Shakespeare
Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.
— Julia Child
Values are related to our emotions, just as we practice physical hygiene to preserve our physical health, we need to observe emotional hygiene to preserve a healthy mind and attitudes.
— Dalai Lama
Wellness, I came to realize, will not happen by accident. It must be a daily practice, especially for those of us who are more susceptible to the oppressiveness of the world.
— Jenna Wortham, journalist
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
— Benjamin Franklin
What mental health needs are more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.
— Glenn Close
When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot be exerted, wealth is useless, and reason is powerless.
— Herophilus, ancient Greek physician
The more we see health as a practice rather than as a problem to fix, the more we encourage the body’s natural potential to be healthy.
— Aarti Patel, author
Exercise should be regarded as a tribute to the heart.
— Gene Tunney, professional boxer
Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
— Eleanor Brownn, author
Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.
— Josh Billings, humor writer
I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.
— Joyce Meyer, author
The first wealth is health.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photo credit: heather_wilde/ Unsplash