25 Oct Salutogenesis: what is it?
Definition of salutogenesis
Aaron Antonovsky, PHD in Sociology from Yale University, coined the concept of salutogenesis. He has done research on stress and anxiety, as well as on how social, cultural, and economic differences impact health over time.
The term salutogenesis refers to the origin of health. So, it is the opposite of the pathogenic view of medicine, which focuses on the search for the origin of diseases.
Generalized Resistance Resources (GRR) and sense of coherence (SOC)
Generalized Resistance Resources (GRR) are defined as any resources of the person or the environment such as money, knowledge, experience, self-esteem, healthy habits, commitment, social support, intelligence, etc. Those resources favor the creation of a sense of coherence (SOC).
Antonovsky argues that salutogenesis depends on experiencing a strong SOC. Likewise, his research showed that a strong SOC predicts positive health outcomes. SOC was defined as a cognitive-motivational pattern reflecting a person’s view of life and ability to respond to stressful situations. Three sub-dimensions could be identified:
- Comprehensibility: focuses on understanding what happens to us in our lives and helps us to explain how events affect us.
- Manageability: the degree to which the person believes he/she has adequate skills and resources to cope with life’s demands.
- Meaningfulness: motivational dimension that allows us to find meaning in our lives.
The more resources an individual has, the more easily he/she can overcome a stressful event and find meaning in what is happening. Being exposed to certain life experiences leads to a strong SOC.
Fields of application
Based on this theory, salutogenic models have been developed for the construction of public health policies and programs. In those models, each individual becomes a responsible, active and participating subject. Besides, the task of health professionals is to support and provide options so that people can make informed choices.
This approach allows us to analyze and intervene in our health from the perspective of positive development and the assets that the person and his or her circumstances have.
Salutogenesis supports the idea of taking action to implement habits that improve our health.
Nutrition is a key factor for our overall health. A healthy diet optimizes the immune system and is related to proper development, aging and longevity.
Self-monitoring meals is a great habit to start being aware of what you eat and to make more mindful food-related decisions. Still not logging your food with LogMeal?