How Does Culture Affect my Health?

Remember how your culture affects the way you act with everyone and everything around you? How it affects the way you see things, process things, and respond to things? The ways in which you interact with those around you affect your overall health, because your behavior and the choices you make help to determine who your friends are, how you live, and how enriched your life is.

Cultural wellness is about your awareness of your own culture and your awareness and appreciation of other cultures.  Recognizing and appreciating other cultures brings more diversity into your own life – you get to experience different ideas, people, foods, and ways of living.

Try thinking of cultural wellness as a skill you can develop. How good are you at accepting and appreciating people who are different from you? Think about differences like religion, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, people of different ages, and people with different abilities. Also think about the “subcultures” or micro-cultures that are part of everyone's life: their family, their work, their school, their friends, their church, their significant others. These are each examples of “subcultures” that help to form a person's overall culture.