When we think about mental health, it usually involves problems, illnesses and neurological conditions that affect our state of healthiness in many ways. However, there are many aspects to this fascinating subject that also include all the positive benefits that are enjoyed by people who have a healthy mental state.
This section of the website concentrates on the many positive as well as negative aspects of a personal state of neurological health. It looks at:
- The benefits of a healthy state of mind and the many ways in which this can be promoted
- The drawbacks of an unhealthy state of mind and the medical conditions related to it as well as some of the currently popular treatments available
In addition to looking at the actual states of mind, I'll also be delving into some of the natural, holistic treatments and preventative solutions to maintaining a healthy mind that are available. This is, I feel important because it compliments the medical advances in neurological science and the treatments that are being tested and trialled without detracting from anything that can help us to maintain a good mental as well as physical state.
Physical to Mental
One of the most important ways to promote a healthy brain is to focus on the health and physical fitness of the body that houses it. The brain is an organ and just like any other, needs a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood to keep it working in tip top condition.
That blood supply comes from the cardiovascular system, which itself, needs to be maintained in the best possible state. We all know that for that to happen, we need to keep our bodies physically fit.
A healthy body makes for a healthy mind!
But for a body to be in good health, it's internal machinery needs to be fed with the one element it needs the most: Oxygen.
One of the ways to ensure enough oxygen finds its way to the brain is to make sure we remember to breathe deeply and often. That's not really a problem for a person that spends each day doing a lot of physical work or exercise, but for the many that have a sedentary lifestyle, it is a real problem.
Sitting at a desk all day or driving a vehicle for a living, or any other form of occupation that does not involve doing any physical work, means our bodies don't move very much at all. When we don't move much, we don't need as much oxygen to the muscles because they aren't doing any work.
However, the organs of the body and the muscles that help them to operate still need lots of oxygen whether we're running down the road or sitting in front of the TV. When they don't get enough, we tend to yawn a lot (a reflex response) to help a little, but what we really need to do is spend some time concentrating on our breathing and getting more fresh air into our lungs.
So now we've figured out that we need to increase the amount of air getting into our bodies during the day. But what else do we need for our brains to function correctly and at their peak?
We need water. We need to be correctly hydrated for our internal organs to function at their best and that includes the brain.
Far too many of us spend our days in a partially dehydrated state without even realizing it. That leads to sluggishness, tiredness and impacts on our body's ability to function at its best, including the brain.
When the brain lacks the optimum level of hydration it needs, synaptic connectivity suffers and cells die faster than they should. The long term effects include reduced mental faculty operation. This includes a reduction in the faculties of:
- Memory, including reduced memory recall
- Innovation, inventiveness or generation of ideas
It's not only plain water that the brain needs to function at full steam. It also needs a full compliment of trace minerals and salts for the internal connectivity to work correctly.
Diet and Supplements
All the nourishment the body and its miraculous brain need comes from our food. When we eat a healthful, wholesome diet of foods that have not been tampered with or had a lot of potentially harmful artificial additives pumped into them, we can expect our physiology to be in a better state than someone who eats a lot of junk.
Even when we try to eat as healthily as we can, often the food that we buy in stores is lacking in many minerals thanks to decades of intensive farming techniques that have literally stripped the arable land of its minerals. Much of our vegetative foodstuffs are deficient in the minerals that we need, leading is to have to supplement in order to make up the shortfall.
This is not an ideal solution, as the body is very good at extracting the nutrients it needs from food. It is not so good at absorbing nutrients from pills!
Opting for organic produce will go some way to redressing the balance, but even there, many organic farms are farming land that is mineral depleted. Steps need to be taken to replace those minerals by using naturally created composts and manures to feed the land.
This works, but it takes a long time to put back what has been taken out over such a long period of time.
Some people look to their own gardens and backyards to grow their own produce and it is possible to replace the soil's nutrients quicker on a smaller scale. This is a solution adopted by many and quite successfully too.
So you see there is a lot more to enjoying good mental health than just seeing the doctor regularly for checkups and going to the gym a couple of times a week. Taking a holistic, or whole body approach is the best (and in reality, the ONLY) way to ensure a healthier mind that will last longer and serve you better throughout your life.
There is much more to read on this amazing subject and to help you there, I have included additional articles that are focused on those sub-topics of interest. See the titles below: