Sound Mind in a Sound Body
I hear people say exercise and eat well for a long life, but I will argue that they are missing something significant- a sound mind. Mental health is often overlooked in many cultures because mental issues are causes of social stigma. In reality, people are not truly healthy if they fail to take care of their psychological well being. A sound mind in a sound body is important for better health, improved productivity, and a happier life.
A sound body is great but to add a sound mind to that ensures comprehensive good health. The mind is inseparable from the body. If you have physical pain, this can affect your work and social life and generate mental concerns. For instance, I had a toothache way back and the pain gave me anxiety. I could not have the rotten teeth immediately removed due to a hectic work schedule but the pain made me almost lose my mind. Indeed, physical health concerns can lead to mental health issues. At the same time, mental problems can produce physical symptoms as well. To illustrate, mental health illnesses can result in sleep disturbances and lower immunity. Consequently, if the doctor focuses on the physical aspect of treating disease, the problem will go back and worsen in time. My mother had depression and only when her doctor addressed it did her arthritis pain diminished. People need both a sound mind and a sound body to have great health. Missing one creates a lifetime of illnesses in the long run.
A healthy mind is important to productivity as well which is critical to financial stability. People who have mental issues depend on meager disability income and sometimes, have to leave work while paying for expensive mental health treatment. Surveys showed that many people who are mentally ill have very low salaries since they cannot accomplish demanding duties and managerial work. Sometimes, people with serious mental illness can make less than 40% than those with good psychological conditions. Many mentally ill people are also jobless and homeless. Likewise, even when they are working, those with mental issues have lower productivity. They lose numerous work days because of depression and resulting physical disability. They take long sick leaves repeatedly as well that affects their take-home pay. The absence of a sound mind produces financial problems for the self and the family.
A life without mental illness or resolved psychological problems contributes to a long, happy life. People with mild to serious mental health problems have some of the lowest life expectancy. With depression or anxiety, the risk of dying increases by 90% or even more. Some die of a heart attack, while others resort to suicide. Likewise, mental illness saps the happiness out of the person and their families. Since they cannot fulfill their work and family duties, they experience work and interpersonal problems repeatedly. They are also unhappy when their children become at risk for neglect and abuse apart from developing emotional issues of their own. When adults with mental illness see their children having psychological disorders of their own, they become less and less content with living. My friend has a history of mental illness which she inherited from her parents. Like them, she suffers socially and financially. A sound mind resolves many of these problems as it prevents mental problems and their resulting adverse social and financial effects.
To achieve a happy and long life, one must pursue a sound mind in a sound body. Avoid focusing too much on the physical aspect of life and take care of the inner life as well. The mind is powerful enough to change one’s fortune, so people should start regarding the mind and respond to problems early on to prevent further psychological illnesses. Love the body but love the mind as well as both are critical keys to a good life.
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