Quality of life and sense of well-being add up to more than general health. According to 2010 Arizona Health Survey data, 13 percent of adults (N=7,983) reported having three to six chronic diseases. Of these, slightly over half reported their general health as good, very good or excellent. By comparison, close to 75 percent reported their quality of life and sense of well-being as good, very good or excellent.
Even though people with physical conditions may rate their “general health” below optimum, they nevertheless can engage in social activities or other pursuits, such as volunteering or pursuing new learning opportunities, that can buffet physical conditions and give them a greater sense of self-satisfaction, control and well-being. This is, in fact, what many of us do. The self is social. Health and well-being depend on a web of social reciprocity that extends beyond a concern with physical disease alone. If you want to stay well, stay connected.