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The "Health Bar" Theory -- How To Better Understand And Work Towards Greater Health

Updated: 1 day ago

A bottle of wine

Our Lives: A Series of Refillable Bars

For those familiar with video games, a character's demise often hinges on a single factor: their health bar. Depleted to zero, and it's game over. But this "bar" isn't just limited to physical health. It can represent sanity, fuel for vehicles, or even the strength of an army.

The concept translates surprisingly well to real life, given that anything could be mathematically reduced. Each of us possesses a collection of internal "bars" that reflect our overall well-being.

These bars, however, are unique to each individual, with varying capacities. Understanding yourself better can also help you understand what you should do to "increase" these bars.

Consider physical health. Some people are naturally more susceptible to illness, requiring them to be extra vigilant in maintaining their health bar. Similarly, diabetics need to manage their blood sugar, another crucial "bar" in their system, that is less critical for non-diabetics. Love, too, has its own "bar" as well as some people's need to be touched and hugged. As it fills, feelings for a partner deepen, mirroring mechanics found in some dating simulator games.

While these bars aren't exactly/necessarily tangible objects like a table or cup, they serve as a powerful metaphor for our limitations. We're not invincible, nor immortal beings. We live in an intricate, multi-layered reality that affects us in different ways. People suffering from misophonia can be deeply vulnerable to audio they often despise, and not by choice. A seemingly-fine reality can affect their "health bar" in ways that can't really affect people without it.

We're a complex network of countless "bars" that constantly need attention, whether it's maximizing them, maintaining balance, or accepting their depletion. The key is understanding these bars and how they influence our lives. Doing so can remind us to pay better attention to our health, for these "health bars" within us are a synergetic network, never existing in a vacuum.

Optimizing, Balancing, and Accepting

Of course, the distribution of these "Bars" is far from even. Some, like the healthy and wealthy, are dealt a hand with optimized bars. Others face a constant struggle against a multitude of ills and financial constraints. Some bars, however, modifiable. Through exercise and healthy habits, we can raise our health bar. 

Others, however, are fixed. Chronic illnesses, certain disabilities like CP, and certain personality traits fall into this category.

The wisdom of this theory lies in understanding how to play "the game" of life. To live a fulfilling life, we must strive to:

  • Increase the bars with the most potential for growth (AKA, health through exercise and good nutrition).

  • Reduce the bars that are hindering us (AKA, unhealthy habits).

This applies only to the aspects of life within our control. Ignoring the unchangeable bars is a sign of realism. However, it's important to not develop a victim's mentality, as neglecting the objectively improvable bars can breed pessimism, and make you overlook them.

This theory reminds us of our limitations, but also of what we merely think is our true limitations. Our lives are a collection of finite bars, and we must treat them with care to avoid preventable depletion. Distinguishing between reality and illusion can, as such, help us manage these "bars" far more effectively.

The Fault in Our Bars

I have a unique bar -- mental exhaustion. I tend to suffer more from fatigue as many empaths do. Pushed too hard, and I become paralyzed from exhaustion. It's like an energy/stamina bar in certain games. Make too much effort while constantly disregarding yourself, and your energy depletes in accordance. When it hits zero, you're forced to quit until you recharge, by methods ranging from resting, social interactions and coffee. The methods for rejuvination are individual, and to think they fit all is the product of the generalization fallacy.

The key to living wisely is self-awareness. Understanding your capabilities and limitations is crucial. Without this knowledge, you become vulnerable to misunderstandings from others; Without your own understanding, explaining to them your condition properly is difficult. You can't properly advocate for your disabilities' awareness if you don't know exactly what awareness you're advocating for.

Therefore, a link could be seen between knowledge, the truth, and the key to a better, healthier reality.

This understanding extends beyond ourselves. Employers, for example, should be aware of their employees' limitations, especially when dealing with disabilities. Some countries provide social safety nets for individuals with lower "bars" in specific areas.

But in their absence, employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees don't break under the burden of work that might exceed their capacity. After all, some are simply "blessed" with naturally higher bars for endurance, while others struggle due to lower ones. And you can't make your company work properly if you have workers being sick all the time. Therefore, their health is their employer's financial interest.

The Ultimate Bar-Form

One could argue that the most significant bar of all is the bar of lifespan. This bar is the product of many "sub-bars", each contributing to our overall longevity.

To truly maximize our potential and experience life to the fullest, maximizing our lifespan becomes crucial. This, however, requires optimizing the sub-bars that contribute to it. These sub-bars could be health, stress management, or even the extent of our healthy habit. Ultimately, they are all working together to influence the ultimate bar: our life expectancy.

And the longer we live and the better our health is, the more time and energy we have to work towards our success.

Ms. Tamara Moskal's Review

How do we define healthy or sick? Does healthy mean normal? George Canguilhem, a French philosopher, wrote in 1943: "'An anomaly is not an abnormality, and diversity does not signify sickness."
Medical science is not a static entity but one shaped by statistical averages, which form normative values for health parameters. These values, far from universal, are subject to change and often influenced by cultural, political, and economic factors.
An autism spectrum disorder is considered a disability, and for unknown reasons, the number of children diagnosed with ASD has risen dramatically since 1990. Theoretically, shortly, advancements in medical science and increased societal acceptance of person on the autistic spectrum may lead to a shift in their current health status, creating a new "neurodivergent normal."
No uniform set of bars representing health or normality fits everyone because we are all unique in our genes and circumstances.
However, we share a uniform human physiology, and our basic health requirements are the same. Therefore, the standardized healthcare system should not be dismissed or underrated but should be approached with critical evaluation. We must realize that as diverse individuals, only we can experience our physical and mental sensations.
Some recognized diseases can be identified and treated with precision, but most medical complaints involve vague symptoms of discomfort and aches. If symptoms don't fit into defined medical standards, the diagnosis is a more or less accurate guess, often through trial and error methods.
Our unique perception of ourselves and our well-being can't be standardized. Consequently, we must figure out our personalized "health bars" and take good care of them to last longer, function to our satisfaction, and achieve our intended goals before the end of the game called life.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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