Updated: May 21, 2020
Pretend like your can see your mind in the mirror and decide you want to make it look pretty!
Every year in North America, billions of dollars are spent taking care of physical appearance. So why do we care so much about our appearance?
We care because we are judgmental of what we see in the mirror. We want other people to think we are physically appealing so they will like us and accept us. We spend money on everything ranging from nutrition, to exercise programs, to diet plans, to makeup and cosmetic surgeries.
As a society we put a lot of effort into looking good (or whatever standard we are tying to achieve). I don't fault anyone for wanting to take care of the body. I only point out that by in large, we neglect the mind.
Here's a staggering statistic - In 2017, the World Health Organization declared that depression has taken over as the number one leading cause of disability in the world. It has overtaken cancer and diabetes to take the number one spot.
I know that depression is a complicated and multifaceted disease. Trust me I know. I wish I didn't, but I do. I have experienced many of my close family members struggling with depression for most of my life. I have met a great deal of mental health professionals and have conducted a lot of research.
I can't help but wonder if taking proactive care of the mind would help to prevent a full onset of depression. I can't prove this and I am not a clinical psychologist. I just wonder.
My personal belief is that the stigma that exists about mental health makes it very difficult for people to reach out and get help early on, when the symptoms are more manageable.
There is a very prevalent stigma in society that depression = shame.
Actually, it's not just depression, it's anxiety and OCD and mental health itself.
I have presented to many different business leaders in many different industries. There is a very distinct look that I get when I talk about mental health. First, there is a slight shift in their seating position, then they look away and refuse to make eye contact and then there is the look of discomfort.
This is learned behaviour. We have learned that there is shame in having any sort of mental health challenge. In corporate environments, even stress = shame.