Here’s an overview of mental health that not many of us pay heed to. Mental health isn’t only about being free of depression or related illnesses. It means a healthy mind that resides in a healthy body frame that helps one shoulder responsibilities. One cannot be healthy or happy if the mind isn’t free of negative thoughts and stress. It’s a fact that negative thoughts manifest themselves in the form of diseases sooner or later.
Men’s Health took a wider approach to the subject and spoke to experts in the fields of nutrition, fitness and a life coach to get a holistic overview of mental health…
1. Get Moving
Vinod Channa, fitness trainer to many big names in Bollywood and an award-winning trainer couldn’t agree more. He tells us, “First and the most important step one must follow in life is to start thinking positive thoughts. No matter what you are going through, turn your mind towards the thought of wellness, beauty, joy, growth… Sound mental health is a mix of positive thoughts, doing what you love, exercising and good nutrition.”
2. Eat Right
Pooja Makhija, renowned celebrity nutritionist, author of Eat. Delete. and mother to two beautiful girls, breaks it down in very simple terms. “You are what you eat, mind and body are related. It’s not only how you look but also how you think that is decided by what you have eaten. If you eat regular small meals, you’re fuelled throughout the day, you are less likely to have hanger attacks. Hunger-induced anger directly affect your moods and tolerance and in turn your capability to be a good boss/colleague… all of it.”
It’s almost as if Channa and Makhija echo each other’s thoughts. While she mentions, “What you put in your body because your moods and behaviours for the next hour or so are decided by what you’ve eaten.”, Channa adds, “Following a balanced diet in your daily routine keeps your gut healthy and nourishes your whole body and mind. Nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your mind healthy.”
3. Be Positive
Positivity of thought and action is an important factor too. Deepa Rajani, mother, author and entrepreneur tells MH, “A man is usually the head of the family. He is the one whom the family depends on for all of their needs. His attitude towards his career, health, relationships etc plays a very important role in the lives of his partner and kids. If he has a positive outlook in life, he will be able to deal with all challenges calmly. A sound mind leads to a happy and successful life. For that, one needs to balance work and pleasure and a positive attitude goes a long way in achieving that. If you love what you do or do what you love, the road to success is paved out for sure.”
Exercising is key. Channa stressed on the fact that exercise not only helps one in building strength and stamina, relieving stress but also helps you regain whatever you lose due to the stress caused by your lifestyle. It’s also a known fact that exercising releases happy hormones that help fight depression. Since most individuals have sitting jobs, a sedentary lifestyle or a fast-paced life where they lose their basic physical strength, even a housewife or a student do not get to utilise the full level of their fitness capacity due to lack of exercise. Hence, movement of one’s limbs on a regular basis is a must. He adds, “A sedentary lifestyle results in stiffness. Besides making one more agile and happy, exercise also gives you a sense of achievement.”
Mind health sounds like a simple three-step process - think good, eat good and exercise. Let’s not waste any more time and get started!