Bridging the Gap: Physical & Mental Health
I am increasingly inspired and encouraged by the increase in awareness and research on the links between emotional, mental, and physical well-being. I am hopeful that this change will continue and create social and community reform.
Part of this perceived trend could likely be because I am surrounded with people, professionals, and material supporting and advocating that... Something is still very apparent to me: there remains to be a significant gap between the value of physical and psychological health.
Billions of dollars are spent each year on changes in health care (a whole other topic to be addressed), new ways to improve physical appearance, anti-aging techniques, and extreme weight-loss diet and exercise regimens...but what about our hearts? Our spirituality? Our minds? Our feelings??
Somehow still, psychological self-care is often de-prioritized and overlooked, maybe even labeled as "hokey psyco-babble". I know that I'm not alone in the concern that quality mental and emotional care is lacking and oftentimes, highly inaccessible.
Let me clarify that I am certainly not de-emphasizing the importance of physical health - I consider medical and biological history in every case in my practice. However, I do strongly believe that our minds and our bodies are innately interconnected, constantly influencing one-another and contributing together to overall quality of life. I'm somehow surprised when I hear doctors, psychologists, nutrition experts, professors, etc. who don't acknowledge just how deep this mind-body connection is.
Guy Winch, Psychologist and author, presented an excellent TedTalks on this issue, discussing the incredible benefits of addressing our psychological pains, in order to not only heal from them, but also build "emotional resilience and thrive". Guy outlines some common ailments of the heart and mind which are so often trivialized, but in fact contribute to serious health issues. With his perspective on the human nature of mental and emotional challenges, such as loneliness, failure, rejection, shame, and negative thinking, he encourages us to look inward, take action, learn new responses, and treat the psychological pain caused by these wounds.
***If you get nothing else from this, please take this one reminder: treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness that you would appreciate from a caring parent, a very good friend, or a nurse. Or better yet, the same way you would treat a very special loved one.
" Why you should listen
Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist who works with individuals, couples and families. His most recent book is Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts. He writes the popular Squeaky Wheel Blog on PsychologyToday.com, and is the author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem. (He also blogs for Huffington Post.) For fellow psychologist and blogger Susan Heitler, “Reading Guy Winch's excellent new book Emotional First Aid proved to be a surprisingly powerful experience for me. … I feel deeply appreciative for his astute observations on so many common causes of emotional distress and their cures, and especially for the chapter on loneliness." "
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