Dr Mazvita Machinga
AS a psychotherapist, I have often heard people asking me: “How can a person have a healthy mind?”
This sounds like an easy question, but it is not. It is a question that is loaded. We all know ways we can improve our physical health, from getting medication, exercising and nutrition, down to cleaning our teeth.
We know how to do basic first-aid when we injure our leg. But most people have no idea on how to deal with psychological issues and have healthy mind.
Without a healthy mind a person experiences mental health and social problems which may lead to physical illness.
But taking you back a little bit, we cannot talk of a healthy mind without talking about unhealthy mind.
Unhealthy mind begins by disregarding your mental state which then can gradually lead to poor physical health.
Agitated mind is unhealthy, stressed mind is unhealthy. Unhealthy mind also impacts your behaviour and cognitive functioning.
For instance, research shows, those who neglect their mental health and stability are just as likely to die of health issues as those who die of a regular illness.
You might be able to protect your physical body by taking all kinds of antibiotics and medication or through healthy eating, but how do you protect yourself when you feel lonely, when you lack social inclusion, facing ill-treatment and are neglected? In such cases, taking care of yourself, goes beyond taking medications, bandaging wounds or dieting techniques, it also requires self-reflection, self-care, and nurturing healthy minds.
A healthy mind is an important aspect of human well-being
Why healthy mind?
The mind-body connection is no longer up for debate, it is a real fact. Productive lives arise from a healthy body, a healthy mind and spirit.
A healthy mind impacts on our overall health and it promotes beneficial physiological responses and coping.
A healthy mind fosters healthy interpersonal relationships and productivity
Cultivates empathy, compassion and kindness
Ways to promote healthy mind in adults
Healthy mind begins with what are you thinking about what is happening in your life? Maintain a positive attitude, and positive outlook especially when going through tough times. Remember that you may not choose what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond. If you only filter our all or the positives, and dwell on negatives, you will miss out on all the great things life offers.
Stay connected to people who love you. Be with people you enjoy. Surround yourself with positive people. Express your emotional pain and feelings in positive ways.
Keep communicating and interacting, and tell those you trust how you are feeling if you’re going through tough times. Seek help early when distressed.
Stop use of alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs, for these can increase feelings of depression, anxiety or disorientation.
Change the way you see things, as stated by Charles Swindle, “life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it”.
Have time to relax, and adequate sleep. Take care of your spiritual life. Keep learning and keep your brain and body active.
Try not to dwell on past mistakes or negative things that have happened to you. We all make mistakes and stewing on things or worrying to excess will not change anything. Learn from the experience and be willing to move on.
Get organised, make plans and manage your time well.
Remember a healthy body needs a healthy mind, A healthy mind just does not come, you must intentionally nurture health minds.
You must learn ways of maintaining a healthy mind. So, are you giving an equal amount of care and attention to the health of your mind as you do to your physical? If not, it is important to have that balance, mind, spirit and body. For a healthy mind, stay connected , stay active, stay calm, and stay centred.
Dr Mazvita Machinga (Ph.D) is a qualified psychotherapist in Mutare can be contacted at 0778 83 84 10 or 0771 754 519 email email@example.com