Health, habit, happiness – 80 inspirational quotes and proverbs on the importance of physical and mental health

Multiple waves of the pandemic are reminding us more than ever before about the importance of health. These quotes and proverbs inspire us to appreciate the wealth of health.
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At a personal, social, and national level, the coronavirus pandemic has shone a harsh spotlight on the importance of health infrastructure and governance, and its gaping holes in many countries. In this compilation, YourStory presents 80 quotes and proverbs on why and how we must bring physical, mental and spiritual health back to centre stage.

See our extensive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, and our COVID-19 Resource Centre. Check out our weekly quotes compilation Storybites, and picks of 60 Quotes on Crisis Management and 70 Quotes on the Power of Hope.

YourStory salutes the entire healthcare community and frontline workers for their heroic efforts during the pandemic, and extends our support and comfort to all those struggling with a sense of loss and gloom.

Health is not valued until sickness comes. - Thomas Fuller

Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy. - Joycelyn Elders

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. - BKS Iyengar

It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver. - Mahatma Gandhi

Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. - Lao Tzu

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos - the trees, the clouds, everything. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Happiness is the highest form of health. - Dalai Lama

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. -Buddha

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

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. - Jiddu Krishnamurti

To keep the body in good health is a duty - otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear. - Buddha

Treasure your well-being as your greatest wealth. - Lailah Gifty Akita

The greatest wealth is health. - Virgil

Sickness - nature’s vengeance for violating her laws. - Charles Simmons

[Ebola’s] emergence into human populations required the special assistance of humanity's greatest vices: greed, corruption, arrogance, tyranny, and callousness. - Laurie Garrett

Endangering human life for profit should be a universal crime. - Suzy Kassem

It is hard to talk about a middle ground for something that is a fundamental right. - Teri Reynolds

We should resolve now that the health of this nation is a national concern; that financial barriers in the way of attaining health shall be removed; that the health of all its citizens deserves the help of all the nation. - Harry S. Truman

Remember, too, that at a time when people are very concerned with their health and its relationship to what they eat, we have handed over the responsibility for our nourishment to faceless corporations. - Lynne Rossetto Kasper

If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t. - Michael Pollan

Health and cheerfulness are brothers. - William Hardcastle Browne

Health is a vehicle, not a destination. - Joshua Fields Millburn

Health is being in harmony with the world view. Health is an intuitive perception of the universe and all its inhabitants as being of one fabric. - Jeanne Achterberg

Health is hearty, health is harmony, health is happiness. - Amit Kalantri

Health is the crown on the well person’s head that only the ill person can see. - Robin Sharma

Health isn’t about being perfect with food or exercise or herbs. Health is about balancing those things with your desires. It’s about nourishing your spirit as well as your body. - Golda Poretsky

One billion people in the world are chronically hungry. One billion people are overweight. - Mark Bittman

A day is long, but a lifetime is short. - Russian proverb

A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought - they must be earned. - Naval Ravikant

A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement. - Jess C Scott

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. - Irish proverb

A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison. - Marcus Valerius Martialis

A healthy outside starts from the inside. - Robert Urich

A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time, pills or stairs. - Joan Welsh

A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. - Hippocrates

All the money in the world can't buy you back good health. - Reba McEntire

An old patient is better than a new doctor. - Kannada proverb

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice. - Mary Berry

Creativity is a fragrance of real health. When a person is really healthy and whole, creativity comes naturally to him, the urge to create arises. - Osho

Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. - Norman Cousins

Every negative belief weakens the partnership between mind and body. - Deepak Chopra

Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings. - Publilius Syrus

Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account. - Anne Wilson Schaef

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabic proverb

Humor and health, the staples of wealth. - S Austin

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. - Joyce Meyer

I stand in awe of my body. - Henry David Thoreau

If you truly treat your body like a temple, it will serve you well for decades. If you abuse it you must be prepared for poor health and a lack of energy. - Oli Hille

It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet. - Margaret Mead

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor. - Marcus Tullius Cicero

It is in the balancing of your spirituality with your humanity that you will find immeasurable happiness, success, good health, and love. - Steve Maraboli

Keep your vitality. A life without health is like a river without water. - Maxime Lagacé

Let your body be your holy temple. - Lailah Gifty Akita

Life is like a tree and its root is consciousness. Therefore, once we tend the root, the tree as a whole will be healthy. - Deepak Chopra

Life is not merely being alive, but being well. - Marcus Valerius Martialis

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle. - Jules Robson

Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively. - Sharon Salzberg

Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health. - WHO

Mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it. - Sharon Salzberg

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. - Kevin Trudeau

Our bodies are our gardens - our wills are our gardeners. - William Shakespeare

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. - Joseph Pilates

Prevention is better than cure. - Desiderius Erasmus

Respect your body. Eat well. Dance forever. - Eliza Gaynor Minden

So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health. - AJ Reb Materi

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. - Jim Rohn

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted. - Mother Teresa

The body is wiser than its inhabitants. The body is the soul. The body is God’s messenger. - Erica Jong

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. - Thomas Edison

The firewood gathered when you are healthy warms you when sick. - Bakiga proverb

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. - Ann Wigmore

The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness. - Arthur Schopenhauer

The groundwork of all happiness is good health. - James Leigh Hunt

The man who earns a million but destroys his health in the process is not really a success. - Zig Ziglar

The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results. - Tony Robbins

The mud of one country is the medicine of another. - Afghan proverb

The winners in life treat their body as if it were a magnificent spacecraft that gives them the finest transportation and endurance for their lives. - Denis Waitley

There are some remedies worse than the disease. - Publilius Syrus

There's nothing more important than our good health, that's our principal capital asset. - Arlen Specter

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. - Edward Smith-Stanley

Walking is a spiritual journey and a reflection of living. - Edie Littlefield Sundby

What drains your spirit drains your body. What fuels your spirit fuels your body. - Carolyn Myss

When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied. - Herophilus

When you feel yourself to be in critical condition, you must treat yourself as gently as you would a sick friend. - Julia Cameron

Will is a skill. - Jillian Michaels

Work is half of health. - Swedish proverb

You find when you pursue a life of greater health and happiness, you then treat the body you have with dignity, respect, and absolute care. - Dale Roberts

Your body holds deep wisdom. Trust in it. Learn from it. Nourish it. Watch your life transform and be healthy. - Bella Bleue

Your health is what you make of it. Everything you do and think either adds to the vitality, energy and spirit you possess or takes away from it. - Ann Wigmore

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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