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Mental Fitness: The Missing Link for Wellness?

Lately, we experienced another tragic event: full of stabbing in a Pittsburg-area senior high school. Only one week prior it had been another mass shooting at Fort Hood. And before that the lengthy type of devastating and avoidable tragedies from the kind which are apparently increasingly common each day. The Navy Yard, Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine: once names that merely introduced in your thoughts couch potatoes locations across our great nation that, sadly now, conjure devastating recollections of unspeakable heartbreak.

In the middle of all this, a nationwide dialogue has again started to emerge. It’s one which, because of the questionable mental stability of a lot of from the shooters during these occasions, involves discussions revolving around our nation’s attitudes and policies regarding mental health.

~ Shall we be doing enough to deal with the psychologically ill?

~ Exactly how should we better screen people for mental illness?

~ Exactly how should we keep guns from the hands of individuals with histories of mental instability?

And so forth…

But here is a question I have yet to listen to: “So what can we all do to avoid mental illness to start with?”

Appears logical. And truthfully, when we were coping with a crisis of flu, weight problems, as well as other physical malady, prevention could be towards the top of their list. But oddly, our culture’s attitudes and habits relating to mental health differ considerably from individuals toward health.

Think about this.

Within the arena of the physical, it’s globally recognized (although not necessarily practiced), that if you prefer a healthy body, you need to do preventative maintenance: brush the teeth, eat reasonably healthy food choices, exercise, get enough proper sleep. Day in and day trip we participate in a number of chores made to help boost the well-being and durability in our physical selves.

Quite simply, we know that health and fitness is really a precursor to health. Yet, in matters relating to the emotional and mental selves, we discover another story.

Developing habits to nourish and workout our emotional and mental selves isn’t something regularly considered by most Americans. On the other hand, the majority of our effort targeted at taking care of our emotional and mental needs tend to be more about coddling than fitness. Feeling stressed? Grab a beer with buddies. Sadness got you lower? Visit the most recent blockbuster movie. Anxious about work? What about a game of golf?

Instead of growing our mental capacity, we medicate ourselves. We participate in activities to create us feel good within the short term, but without really addressing the main problem which involves an inadequate capability to absorb and deal with life’s difficulties. It’s like addressing unwanted weight gain by removing all of the mirrors in the home. Sure it might cause you to temporarily feel good, what will it do in order to solve the issue?

Juno Ivy Richards: Juno, an environmental health advocate, discusses the impact of environmental factors on health, climate change, and sustainable living practices.