Approach mental wellness the same as physical health.
From the CONCERN: EAP Resilience Library
An ancient Latin saying goes, “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” For hundreds of years, it’s been the motto for athletic clubs and sporting associations, which often use it to emphasize that physical exercise and health are essential for mental wellbeing. But, if you dig back to the original, it appears that the author was referring more to the way mental and physical wellness are equally important and inextricably connected.
Modern behavioral and health sciences have shed new light on that connection, exposing just how much our mental and physical health depend on each other. Though we’re generally aware how important it is to stay physically fit (eating well, exercising, visiting doctors, etc.), we don’t always give our mental health the same attention. But it doesn’t have to be that way: we can, and should, take the same proactive approach to mental wellness that we do to physical health. Here’s why.
Focusing on your psychological wellbeing can help you have:
These benefits are like the ingredients that combine to form a fuller, more balanced life. Incidentally, they’re also very closely linked to the methods and mechanisms we use to cope with stress, surmount challenges, build relationships, and bounce back from life’s setbacks and hardships. If all that sounds familiar, it’s because those same methods and mechanisms are the ones we use to help build resilience!
Before diving in too deep, it’s important to dispel a common myth about mental wellbeing: it’s not about living a life absent of bad times, disappointments, or emotional hardships. Challenges and rough patches are normal, and sometimes even helpful.
Rather, it’s about learning how to cope with sadness, anxiety, and stress, and growing stronger from the experience. Just like physically resilient people can bounce back faster from bodily injury, the mentally resilient can more readily recover from setbacks and emotional pain.
Here are some proactive ways to help elevate your mood, manage thoughts, and promote overall mental wellness.