It seems to me that a lot more about physical aspects of wellness, from sports to nutrition to recommendations to pamper your body, but perhaps I should talk more about mind care. It’s an essential part of our well-being, and in this post I’m going to talk about it, also giving some tips for better mental health.
The mind, a fundamental element of a healthy life
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. And I’m not saying it, it’s the definition of the World Health Organization. Taking care of the mind is part of a healthy life, and as the WHO rightly says, mental health is more than the absence of psychological problems.
What do I mean by that? I am going to use an analogy with physical health. You will agree with me that good physical health is not just not suffering from any pathology or injury. It means taking care of your diet, exercising, which has the consequence of feeling fit.
Similarly, mental health is not simply not having psychic problems or not being depressed. A good mental state also means learning to know oneself, to manage one’s emotions, to improve relationships with others, and even to train one’s mind and memory.
Prejudices about mental health
One of the difficulties with mental health is that there are still many social prejudices about it. On the one hand, it is not usual to talk as freely about psychological difficulties as about physical ones. If you have to take medication to fight an infection, you usually won’t hide it.
If you are taking anxiolytics because you are going through a difficult period of your life, you may be more afraid that even your closest friends will know. Those reservations not only come to protect privacy (which also), but because mental problems are still frowned upon by many people.
On the other hand, there is still a significant lack of knowledge regarding everything to do with mental health. Many people believe that they can fight by pure act of will against any psychological problem that comes their way.
Perhaps it is because the mind is something intangible, more difficult to understand than something as concrete as the body. The fact is that we have all heard phrases like “I can manage, I don’t need medication or professional help”. And surely if it were a physical wound instead of an emotional one, the same person would not say the same thing.
How to have better mental health
- Take care of your physical health, it is one of the most important factors. Practicing sport regularly, eating well and getting enough sleep allow you to be in good physical condition, which helps your mental well-being. It is also advisable to avoid the abuse of alcohol, stimulants such as coffee, and not to smoke.
- Do not hesitate to see a mental health professional when you are going through difficult times, or simply if you want to improve some aspects of your life.
- Have a full social life. Family and friends are very important. Never forget that we are social animals.
- Don’t keep your problems to yourself. Bearing up and keeping quiet is not a good strategy in the face of life’s difficulties. When you face something, it is good to share it with a person you trust. And if you have a disagreement with someone, it is also crucial to try to clarify things and express your feelings, especially when it is something important to you and a very close person, such as your partner, a good friend or a family member.
- Stress is one of the biggest psychological problems we have today. You have to try to reduce it. One solution is to have moments of tranquility during the day, even meditation, where you relax and forget all the pending things that prowl around in your head and stress you out. And of course, you should try to act on the root of the problem, giving priorities and looking for more satisfactory long-term solutions, such as changing to a job that stresses you less, or redistributing responsibilities in your family.
- Take care of your mind. It’s great to enjoy hours of series on Netflix, but your mind needs to be more active. Read, do crossword puzzles, have fun with board games… You have many options to train your reflexes, your logical skills, your memory, and many more skills.