What Is Healthy Deviance?
It's being different — in a weirdly healthy, happy way
Healthy Deviance is the renegade act of being energized, radiant, and resilient in a society where, unfortunately, most people are either stuck in a downward spiral or just getting by.
It requires continually evading and outwitting the Unhealthy Default Reality that has most people in its vitality-sapping grip.
The United States now reliably produces more sick, overweight, depressed and anxious people than it does healthy, happy ones. Like, a lot more.
- 50% of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with at least one chronic illness
- 66% are overweight or obese
- 70% are taking at least one prescription drug daily
- 80% aren't thriving mentally and emotionally
- 97.5% aren't managing basic health-sustaining habits
Yep, according to research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, fewer than three percent of U.S. adults currently observe even four key health practices (eating reasonably well, getting adequate activity, abstaining from smoking, and maintaining a healthy body composition).
Worth noting: That research didn't consider other equally crucial health-influencing factors like sleep, stress regulation, and social connection. Meaning that the real number of U.S. adults currently healthy, happy and on track to stay that way probably amounts to less than 1 percent of the population.
Meanwhile, despite a near-endless torrent of media, products, services, and programs aimed at health-improvement, the majority of people who undertake healthy lifestyle changes fail to maintain them for more than a few months at a time.
If you want to beat those unhealthy odds, you have to operate outside the conventional rules, patterns, and commonly held assumptions that produce them.
So being a Healthy Deviant means being willing to defy unhealthy social norms and conventions in order to achieve a high level of vitality, autonomy, and resilience — and to help make the world a better place as a result.
In essence, Healthy Deviance is the art of being healthy in an unhealthy world. Even when that means coming off as a bit of an oddball.
Wondering if you are a Healthy Deviant? Take this quiz and find out.