We all understand how we get a healthy body, don't we? We know we need to make sure to eat healthily, exercise regularly and cut down on bad habits such as drinking and smoking; however, building a healthy mind is less understood. Furthermore, many people do not even consider the importance of having a healthy mind. Since there is so much confusion about healthy and unhealthy minds, let's try and clarify this.
First of all, having an unhealthy mind does not mean you like to watch horror films or play violent computer games, but it does mean taking a healthy interest in life, habit and behaviour. The sign of an unhealthy mind is seen in the least in self critical behaviour and in the most with clinical mental illness.
Just feeling sad from time to time is not a sign of being unhealthy, for that is part of being human. An unhealthy mind sees difficulty in everything and finds adapting to circumstance near enough impossible. If you have ever failed to do something because you feel that you are not good enough, you may have to loud an internal critic.
The different parts of our personality are organised in importance according to levels of self belief. So for instance,if you are lacking in confidence, the chances of you having a daring or risk taking personality are significantly reduced.
Many people think their personalities are set in stone with the 'I was born that way' expression being the popular refrain. Yet the chances are you know someone who has achieved something that has changed their character forever, such as losing weight, gaining a qualification, having children or getting married. To say our personalities are set is stone is like saying we never change as we get older, and we know this is not true.
Yes, being human is all about accepting change while adapting to it accordingly. The foundations of a healthy mind are those built on an acceptance of change on the one hand; and a desire to maximise as much benefit from it on the other. In the example of someone who manages to lose weight, we thought about the possible changes to that person's character. The chances are that individual will become more confident, feel more attractive and have the courage to learn new skills. The physical act of losing weight will have had a real time effect on their mental health. Of course, in this example, the change is one that the individual desired and prepared for.
How can we have a healthy mind when there are so many random, difficult events that can happen in our lives? I mean we can't change what happens to us, right? Well, a healthy mind is one that is capable of adapting to change and events that are good or bad. You see the individual who is healthy and happy is best placed to cope with any eventuality. Having high morale means being able to take the rough with the smooth. A healthy mind is a resilient mind. You may not be able to change the things that happen to you, but you can affect your response to them.
Never underestimate the power of your own mind to deal with the bad things that happen in life. An unhealthy mind thinks in patterns of negativity and self critique; whereas a healthy mind is ingrained in a pattern of positive attitude and self affirmation.
There are various ways you can increase your mental strength. I am not saying you can learn to bend spoons here, but I am saying you can develop mental fortitude. So long as you are willing to put the work in, a strong and healthy mind is within the reach of everyone. This will help you to cope with stress, keep anxiety at bay and be more well rounded in your personal life. One of the best ways to increase you levels of resilience is through insight.
When something that makes you feel bad happens then ask: What happened? How did it affect you? Why did other people behave the way they did? How do you feel about it? What other factors were part of what happened? People who ask themselves penetrating questions and give honest answers tend to bounce back more quickly.