Physical activity and preservation of mental health
Most people invest in their health, unfortunately, only when the disease occurs. When we catch a cold we start drinking vitamins, caring about nutrition and sleeping habits. It is very similar to mental health. Investments only occur when the problem occurs, although we are often aware of the onset of the problem much before it erupts. An additional problem with investing in mental health is widely held stigma about working with a psychologist or fact that somebody has mental illness.
Cold, flu or injury receive attention, help, assistance and understanding. It is even justified to take days off work. However, a different image emerges if you have a panic attack, anxiety in a social context or depression. When it happens people often walk away, become unavailable for you, and your presence is undesirable in the society. Most will take about you, but only behind your back.
I wonder what is the difference between physical and mental illness in the eyes of the beholder? Unfortunately, many people diseases ones for their mental health problems as if they consciously decided to have a problem and are themselves guilty of not solving it or solving it without success. At the same time, those with a problem regarding physical health are deprived of any responsibility even if it is completely clear that the negligence or unhealthy lifestyle caused the disease. There is another essential difference and it is connected to reduced investments for preventive purposes. Investing in physical health is perfectly socially acceptable and even desirable while investing in mental health is sometimes viewed as the first sign of illness.
What can we do to change the view and initiate a positive change in our society for the benefit of people around us and ourselves? There are ways and here are few of my suggestions:
- Revive the fact that many people have some symptoms of mental health issue, and many of us will get one. Although we pretend there are no problems, they are still here and will retain until we accept them and take action.
- Invest in your mental hygiene daily – put in your daily schedule moments for your peace and activities that make you happy. This is not the ultimate medicine but it surely can help in preventing part of cognitive decline. Even if it does not, moments of peace and happiness won’t bother you and you’ll never feel sorry for them.
- Ask your neighbors how they are and take the time to talk – many challenges, being overlooked, eventually become problems that might have been previously prevented.
- Invest in your physical health – physical and mental health are so connected that physical activity is one of the best ways of preventing mental difficulties. I mean nutrition, exercise and sleep.
- Share your thoughts and emotions with your neighbors openly – such a way will help you reexamine the same and remind yourself that thoughts and emotions, as well as your behaviors, are under your control. It will also encourage those who are close to you to do the same.
- If you find out that one of your friends or colleagues has a problem, be supportive of it or at least occasionally an ear for listening. “Be the change you want to see in the world”
- Read and learn – These are the most often neglected forms of prevention of some diseases in the long term, especially in this modern era of pictures and video material. Take away 30 minutes a day for reading and learning whether you are taking the exam or not. Everyday investing in yourself helps to better understand yourself and others, and to choose the view of the world that suits you.
- Find a hobby – create something just because you want to and not because you have to. Choose anything that fulfills your spirits. Being present in the moment can be perceived as a sort of meditation.
- Be Thankful – change your view! Disorient from what you don’t have in life, focus on what you have and gratitude will come.
- Accept yourself as the most important project and systematically start the process of change at least once a year – we receive or choose the projects that are important to us or someone else. What if you approached yourself as a project, which is important to you and others. Like all other problems, mental health problems require attention and support. Be prepared to give support and look for it. More importantly, never stop investing in your mental health. Invest in both physical and mental health not only when the disease occurs, but much earlier when you feel healthy, ready and strong. Grab that feeling with both hands tight and never let it go.