Let’s talk about Mental Health: the Mind Body connection

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Mental Health

With the new normal taking over our lives, the increase of stress in each of our lives has only made the need for mental fitness of utmost importance. Since times immemorial a lot of emphasis has been laid on the importance of physical fitness and having a healthy body, but very few take on active initiatives to build their mental health. Thus we see lots of seemingly fit people without a trace of peace, tranquillity and happiness in their lives. No doubt the mind and body are fundamentally interconnected and hence improving one will by default improve the other over a period of time, however most self reform activists in their enthusiasm for personal growth tend to have a lop-sided development as far as their minds and body are concerned.  I am sure in your school days, you may have seen academically brilliant kids who are otherwise gawky and don’t seem athletic at all. And at the other end of the spectrum there are kids who are great athletes and well built physically but have zero inclination for any studies or learning. None of the vast academic subjects’ interest them at all and all they seem to want to do is hone their diy craft or skill in their chosen sporting activity. And finally there are a select few kids who have the persona of being an all-rounder both in studies and in sports. These are the select few who all mostly aspire to be. They seem to have an equal measure of development in both the body and mind and hence the all rounder outlook.

Ancient yogic texts account for these differences in mental and physical build up on mainly genetic endowment, date and time of birth, past karmas and societal exposure. Based on these factors each individual is endowed with a certain mind and body but that is only the case up to childhood. Once adulthood hits us many are incompetent of taking the correct and continuous steps to be both physically and mentally strong along the arduous path of life. Many are left behind in this race. For example, it is common to see once healthy youngsters and children as completely out of shape adults now who are struggling in their daily activities. This is only because at some point in their adult lives they let go of themselves and were unable to enforce control and discipline in their lives. It’s never too late to act on ones ambitions.

Due to this imbalance in mind and body development, we have recently witnessed an increase in young people caving in to the pressures of life and committing suicide. One such case is the recent demise of popular Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

Many scientists in the field of “mind” research have carried out several studies in this regard. Their findings clearly show the mind /body connection and which has been termed as “psychosomatic”. This has been derived from the Latin words “psyche” and “soma” meaning “mind and body”. These studies clearly state the deep rooted mind body connection that is evident in humans. They also go onto claim that most physical diseases are first manifested in an individual’s mind. Ancient yogis referred to the mind as the subtle body for this reason itself. Subsequently many diseases can also be cured by just taking charge of the mind and self healing the body from. It is on this very basis that placebo tablets work. In the case of placebo medication, the very thought of ingesting a medicating pill even though it is a dud pill, happens to cure the disease that the patient is suffering from. These pills have no inherent value or chemical composition in them just the hopefulness of the patient.

In conclusion, since the mind body connection is undeniable. It is advisable to take care of the body via exercise and sports regularly. Also, nutrition plays an important part in this development as not only does good nutrition enhance the physical body but the right kind of foods can have a positive effect on the mind. So always remember to work hard and play hard too for a long, happy and joyous life.

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