I don’t cover mental health nearly as often as I should. Considering how I’ve been facing a myriad of problems my entire life, you’d think it would be one of the things I talk about most. But, alas, I don’t.
This doesn’t mean that mental stability isn’t important. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that mental health is probably more important than physical fitness.
After all, the state of your mind can and will prevent you from even caring about losing weight or lifting weights. As I’ve said during the podcast, fitness and losing weight is 90% mental.
To What Kind of Things Does Mental Health Contribute?
The brain is an intriguing organ. It maintains all of your bodily functions to keep you alive while storing things like your personality and memories. If you think about it, it’s crazy to imagine just how much your brain has to do on a daily basis.
That’s why it’s crucial that you keep it running at top efficiency. Things like exercise and diet keep the brain operating well, but what about the emotional states you come across?
Sure, you may eat foods specifically to improve the “health” of your brain as an organ. But how often do you focus on the mind within the brain? The collections of neurons firing that makes you who you are.
For some of us, motivation can instantly become non-existent from the simplest of circumstances. And a lot of it has more to do with past experiences. Familiar settings, sounds, and even people can feed into a maddening mindset that can obliterate any motivation to work or exercise.
Although some of us are capable of handling these issues with grace, others are not.
It doesn’t mean they are any less of a person. It just means that maybe they should seek professional help in some regard. Because a lack of motivation can ultimately be devastating for everything in life.
On the flip side, a positive mindset can make you feel like you’re king of the world and ready for whatever the universe tosses your way. By building yourself up, you’ll have the motivation to accomplish everything you set out to do.
The trick is to know when you’re sinking and have a plan to pull yourself out.
Anxiety is something I deal with on a regular basis. Although it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be, there are days when I’ll run on pure adrenaline all day long. And it’s really not good for the heart.
Suffering from anxiety can cause all kinds of internal, physical problems when not put into check. For example, heart disease is linked to anxiety in a variety of cases because of what this mental state can do to your physical health.
Something as simple as dwelling on something you said to someone important to you can dial up the anxiety to 11. And if you’re unable to shake that feeling, it can be debilitating while making it difficult to continue your day.
In fact, some people get to the point where all they focus on is a single incident making it overly difficult to accomplish anything.
In a lot of instances, anxiety is also linked to…
Another common enemy of mine is depression. Again, it’s not as bad as it used to be, but it’s still something that I have to manage quite regularly.
Of all mental health issues, I think depression is probably among the worse. That’s simply because of how your mind will toss out every saddening scenario to a myriad of situations.
And the really bad part is that this can often be the result of absolutely nothing negative. And when you start to dwell on thoughts and memories, it can be overly difficult to pull yourself out.
While suicide is all too often a result of depression, you don’t need to take pills or hurt yourself to end things. In some cases, depression can simply alter your eating, sleeping, and living habits to the point where you literally start to degrade.
In other words, you don’t need a weapon to end your life. You can do it slowly from within.
As I said, the brain controls a myriad of things within the body. If you’re faced with poor mental health, it can lead to a very long list of debilitating diseases and illnesses.
For instance, the state of your mind could prevent you from sleeping. This, in turn, affects your physical stress levels, increases blood pressure, and can later cause very realistic hallucinations.
Be aware that the state of your mind and emotions can do a great deal of damage to your body. And the longer you go with these negative feelings and emotions, the more you put yourself at risk.
Mental Health is Responsible for Everything, Really
In reality, the state of your mind and the health of your brain contributes to everything in your life. It’s responsible for keeping your internal organs operating, the decisions you make, coping with situations, being able to problem-solve, and how you interact with others.
Not enough attention is given to mental health, in my opinion. Without some form of stability, a person could view the lightest of issues as something dire. Then, he or she could do something drastic because they see no way out.
A permanent solution to a temporary problem. But that’s how the brain works for many people.
So, the next time you are focusing on fitness or heading to the gym, keep in mind that your brain needs help as well. Whether it’s eating right or seeing a therapist, your mental health is just as vital as being able to run a 7-minute mile or lifting 20 pounds worth of dumbbells.
Without it, existence is far more difficult to face.
Do What You Can to Take Care of Yourself
Losing weight, building muscle, improving stamina…sure, those are all notable goals. But don’t forget that the state of your mind controls so much more in your life.
Recognize your triggers and take precautions. Because it’s incredibly easy to slip into an abyss from which you can’t escape.