Focusing on your mind

Imagine you have asthma. What would you do? It doesn’t take a rocket science to conclude that you’d probably go to the doctors. The same applies for injuries, headaches, wounds, migraines, you name it. Yet, when it comes to mental health issues, seeking professional help is much less common. And it’s a pity because our psychological, emotional and social well-being is as important as our physical health.

There are at least three reasons why we don’t take mental and physical health as equals. The first being that psychological problems are far less visible – if you’d walk around with a bleeding head, people would at least look at you funny. Whereas someone with a broken heart might appear perfectly normal. The second reason is a bit more philosophical. We tend to view our bodies as something that belongs to us while our minds and thoughts are us. And it is easier to give something that you own for a repair than giving for repair yourself. And the third reason partly derives from the second one and partly has historical causes. It is the stigma associated with mental health problems.

The double-edged sword

We often tend to forget that mental health affects physical health in the same way the latter affects the first one. Scientific studies indicate that obese people are much more likely to develop mood disorders, anxiety and alcoholism. And in turn, people with depression, high levels of stress or serious relationships problems are more prone to become obese. The same goes for more severe illnesses such as cancer. No one is surprised when a friend diagnosed with cancer starts to be depressed or have other psychological issues. Yet, the research has shown that individuals with mental health problems have greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular conditions or, yes, cancer.

The simple truth is that mental health issues have far reaching consequences. If you have a broken leg, chances are that besides more difficult commuting, it doesn’t affect the way you do your job (depending on the character of your work, indeed). However, when you are suffering mentally, it can become hard not only to work properly but to enjoy life in its entirety. The list of things that ongoing mental health problems affect is long: work or school performance, relationships, parenting, sleep, appetite, ability to make decisions and stand up to challenges etc.

Treat your mind like you treat your body

And if you are still unsure that mental health matters, you should know that according to the WHO, about 15% of the world’s diseases are mental illnesses. This is not to say that if you feel a little depressed or have a little stress, you can take comfort from the fact that you are not alone but to emphasize the importance of not undermining mental health. When we want to be in shape, we do exercise and watch our diet. When we feel something is wrong with our body, we go to see the doctors because we know that the sooner we start treating it, the easier the treatment will be. There is no reason it should be different with mental health.

Find your own way

But as this is a highly personal topic, the approach should be personalized as well. Some people might need several sessions with a professional while others will do a relatively quick chat with a person able to give them a different perspective. After all, the scale and types of the issues to solve is very diverse. Someone who has just broken up with a long-term partner would need a different approach than a stressed-out executive trying to find the right work-life balance. Yet, prevention and early attention to mental health issues early are always the key. And that’s exactly why Mynd was created for so don’t hesitate to give it a try if you want to start treating your mind with the care it deserves, or even if you just want someone to talk to.

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