Why Mental Health?
In my time practicing, I have found that looking after our minds is still an idea that can be profound and engaging to some yet entirely new or mysterious to others. Like our physical bodies, our brains require exercise, stimulation, training and the right nutrients to keep it going and working for us. In psychology, we are continuously exploring what this magnificent structure does, and how it works so that we can better that partnership between us and the brain. And the efforts to build and nurture our brains and minds is what my mind thinks of as mental health and the study of psychology.
As we discover more, I've often sensed in clients a struggle in figuring out not only how the brain functions, but also what it needs and how to work with it. These are some of the more common statements we often hear from others (ourselves included):
"It's not working"
"I can't stop thinking"
"It's hard for me to fall asleep"
"I just feel out of control"
To understand how we think, feel, behave and respond, form opinions, have beliefs, live by values - go back to what we know about the mind.
The brain is right up there in importance with the heart, the lungs and all vital organs in our body. I have found that taking the approach on how we can work with our brains to be effective in affecting other parts of our body and indeed many aspects of life. These include how we socialise and interact with people, how we perform at work or study including learning style, physical health and performance, our ability to discern and be aware of how we affect interpersonal relationships around us, and also how we make sense of our self-identity, esteem, purpose amongst other things. It's very complex being a human being in this modern world. The brain is carrying all of what we contemplate, wonder, consider, debate, execute and reevaluate 24/7 (even and especially when we're asleep).
In short, the relationship between mental health and wellbeing makes a strong case for us to study, train and move towards giving our brains the attention it deserves. I cannot think of a better partnership than the one we can have with our own minds.
So why mental health again?
Everyone can take a chance and learn about their minds and how to work best with it.
If you feel curious about finding out more, speaking to a mental health professional could start you on the pathway of exploring the mind.
In the words of William James, philosopher and psychologist (1842-1910),"The greatest revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing their inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives"