Updated: May 21
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.
It's a fact, the stigma is alive and well.
Yes, there are many campaigns aimed at abolishing this stigma and I am a big supporter. I believe the stigma will end when more and more people start speaking up. When more people share their stories, and their experiences with mental health challenges as well as mental wellness strategies.
I will admit that many times in my life I have experienced what many clinical psychologists would categorize as depression. I don't consider myself depressed. I am not depressed because I bounce back. I have my dark moments, where I seize to see the light and all hope is lost. Only, I come back to the light. I am very fortunate to have been exposed to the tools that bring me out of the darkness and into the light.
One of the greatest tools I have used is YouTube. Yep. Free content available 24/7. I started by reading books and finding people to trust, then I followed their content. Sometimes, it's just their words that bring me back to life, sometimes it's a particular tool they teach. I also have a background in nutrition, and there are many foods and supplements that help to support healthy brain function.
A great resource that I highly recommend is this TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKj1puoWCg&t=7s
I have read many reports (and have been told personally by clients) that most successful CEOs of leading world organizations practice and cultivate mental wellness. The tools they use include meditation, psychotherapy, personal coaching, spiritual rituals, journaling, brain healthy foods, and many more. They may not be sharing this with the public just yet, but they are actively cultivating mental wellness.
An even better idea, what if children were taught mental wellness and learned at an early age how to create beautiful minds?
I have hope that this is the future, that we will start to integrate mental wellness into school curriculums. Until then, it's up to you to educate your yourself and to role mode to your children mental wellness strategies.
We have a body and in that body resides a brain, a mind, a nervous system...All there, even if you can't see it in the mirror.
You have the power to cultivate a beautiful, gorgeous mind. All you have to do is take the first step and educate yourself.
Choose to beautify your mind, and your body will thank-you.
Do you take proactive care of your mind? What do you do? Share your insights in the comment section below.
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Wishing you love, joy and peace,