The Healthy Mind with Dr. Olga Filippa-Nel

MENTAL HEALTH

As we are well into the third wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic, more than ever there is much talk of mental health. So I thought I would dedicate this article to discussing why it is vital not to neglect it.

I have stated before that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body but even more importantly, a healthy body is often the result of a healthy mind. This is because mental health plays a significant role in the decision-making process. Let me explain this. Mental health affects your emotional, psychological, and social well-being which, in turn, impacts how you feel, think, and perform. It also defines how you cope with stress, anxieties, fear, and many other problems you may face.

Mental and physical health are inextricably interconnected and linked.  The way our body responds to the external environment is also reflected in our internal bodies and organs. For example, if you feel stressed,  your body reacts by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol which, if left unchecked, can negatively impact your physical health. The inverse is also true. If you are happy and relaxed the benefits will be reflected in countless physiological ways too.

Furthermore, optimising mental health offers relief from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, as well as promoting increased self-acceptance and self-esteem. Relationships are also impacted. I believe that wellbeing is largely defined by the quality of our relationships and good mental health helps to form or maintain stable and meaningful connections with others. Finally, productivity and motivation are optimised.

Here are a few starting points if you wish to improve your mental health:

  • Practice some feel good activities regularly
  • Nurture your relationships
  • Exercise
  • Express gratitude
  • Give back
  • Work towards your goals
  • Connect with your spirituality

Live mindfully and blossom

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