Physical ailment is easy to understand. It’s relatively easy to gauge your physical health – blood pressure, weight, heart rate, among others. And there are a variety of tests to measure how healthy you are.
The reality: Most of us focus on our physical health only and often neglect that one other thing we need to take care of – our mental health. It’s not our fault, of course. I feel like there’s not enough resources on mental health available for everyone. Because of the lack of education, there’s a stigma on mental health/disorder that prevents people from admitting that they need help.
Believe it or not, even the strongest, the happiest, the most productive person in the world may suffer from anxiety and depression. No, they may not want to kill themselves. Yet. Those numerous days when you don’t feel like going out or doing something you used to enjoy (running, reading, watching a movie, whatever), that may be a sign that you’re going through something. You will never know unless you become more aware of your own thoughts. I think that self-awareness is a very important tool in navigating your way around mental health. Meditation and reflection are techniques that we can use to stay mentally healthy, the way working out in the gym or running outside keeps us physically healthy.
I hope that day comes when we’re able to talk about mental health the way we talk about physical health – no judgements, no stigma. Wouldn’t that be a happy world to live in.
For more information on mental health, please visit NAMI. (Disclaimer: No, this is not a paid ad, and I’m not a spokesperson for NAMI. I feel strongly about this topic. The more people know, the better their chances at admitting they need help and getting it. )