Healthy is a state of physical, mental and social well-being, not just absence of diseases or illnesses. However, a healthy mind is a state of mind that can manage stress, disappointments, failures etc without drifting into depression, lose your sleep or appetite as a result.
Mind is the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences to think and to feel the faculty of consciousness and thought. Mind is your brains. Consciousness, thoughts, subconscious. Intellect. The way we think can either bring negative or positive feeling or experiences. In life people go through unpleasant things like divorce, abuse, death of loved ones, illness/dangerous diseases, lose properties or money and all these triggers negative emotions. Healthy mind is the mind that is capable of handling negative emotions so that it does not cause affect their lives. A health mind is a mind that does not become overwhelmed by emotions like fear, anger, love, jealousy, guilt, anxiety. Healthy mind feels comfortable with others, laugh at themselves and with others, accepts ;life disappointments, meet and handle life crisis. Healthy mind always sees a light at the end of the tunnel and it is a positive mind that thinks positive about themselves and others.
Connections between mind and body
Mind and body are clearly linked, even though it is not physically seen. Mind and body influenced each other either in a negative or positive. When mind is distressed this affects the body and vise versa. Our body releases different hormones and chemicals based on negative or positive experience of our outer world. When having a positive experience like having money, weddings, achievements, harmony and success the body releases happy hormones; dopamine which produces’ pleasurable sensation and motivation, serotonin the hormone that regulates your mood, oxytocin a hormone that promote trust, empathy and bonding. Endorphins hormone is a pain inhibitor hormone. So when your body released the above four hormones, you produce positive emotions like joy, hope, gratitude, kindness, interest, serenity, cheerfulness and etc,
When you are having negative experience such as failure, loosing a loved one, divorce, and bullied; the body produces’ cortisol a steroid stress hormone that regulates metabolism. It helps the body to deal with stressful situations. However, continuous stress causes excess corticosol which is bad for the body. It will then cause anxiety, high blood pressure, stroke and depression. Testosterone is another hormone that is produced by the body and it affects the side of the brain that deals with emotions that are likely to increase aggression, depression, anger, mood swings, anxiety and low level of empathy. When having a negative experience the body produces’ epinephrine and adrenaline neurotransmitter that provokes stress response and causes the emotions of fear and anger and excess of fear and anger emotions causes mood swings. When all these hormones are released during negative experience or unfavorable experience negative emotions such as anger, sadness, annoyance, guilt, fear, anxiety, discouragement, despair, apathy, disappointment and frustration, aggression and ashamed.
Negative emotions or positive emotions has either a positive or negative effect to our bodies. This suggest that healthy minds have positive impact to our bodies therefore healthy aging. On the contrary unhealthy minds; mind full of stress, depressed have negative impact to our healthy and therefore resulting in unhealthy aging There are also illness associated to negative emotions e.g anger, unforgiveness can cause cardiovascular diseases. The diseases can impact on the quality of life and result in unhealthy aging
How to enhance healthy minds
Healthy mind is key to healthy body which results in healthy aging. It is important that we look after our minds and do everything that is possible to keep our minds healthy. Some things that enhances healthy mind are
Sleep is important to enhance sound and healthy mind. Sleep helps with memory and renewal of body cell. In my last article Healthy aging get enough sleep has been recommended due to its benefit to the mind and body. Lack of sleep causes anxiety, irritable and forgetfulness, all these are signs of unhealthy minds. Therefore, it is important to have not only slept but enough sleep in order to promote healthy mind.
Meditation/prayer also enhances healthy mind. During prayer or meditation the limbic system primitive part of the brain is deactivated and release comfort and reduce stress. Limbic system is known to produce anger invokes relaxation response which will reduce anxiety and stress. Negative emotions are produced when the limbic system is activated. Prayer and meditation prayer has been found to prevent dementia, reduce anxiety/ stress and depression and other negative emotions. Instead, prayer reinforces positive emotions which are healthy for the mind. To promote a healthy mind prayer /meditation twice daily and you will feel that refreshment in your mind.
Exercise is vital to enhance healthy mind and the evidence cannot be denied. Exercise includes walking, jogging, skipping, running, push-ups, squats and any other bodily activity that enhances or maintain physical fitness. Exercise for mental health research article highlighted that exercises reduces anxiety, depression, mood swings and improves self-esteem. Improved self-esteem is vital for confidence.
Eat well is one of the important factors contribute to a healthy mind. Eating a lot of processed food, complex carbohydrates and sugars stimulates production of toxins in the body. The toxins are linked to some dementia. Taking caffeine is associated with anxiety and depression whereas fatty foods are linked to low moods in the long run. It is important to eat healthy and proteins are recommended because they contain amino acids the food that is needed by our brains to regulate thoughts and feelings. If you are stressed out it slows down the gut motility and therefore eating food that is high in fibre e.g fruits, vegetables and whole meal cereals. It is also important to keep hydrated because dehydration affect mental performance, your memory. judgments, alertness attention and reaction time. Therefore, drinking adequate waters is also key to a healthy mind.
Tips for a healthy minds
- Eat healthy well-balanced diet
- Drink 1.5-2litres of water per day unless if you are fluid restriction as per your physician instruction
- Allocate time to meditate/pray twice a day
- Sleep 6-8hours daily
- Exercises daily for at least 30mins
- Forgive others do not hold anyone in your heart for it will only complicate your heart
- Be happy life is too short
- When challenges or problems floods your life, remember to endure and that there is always a way out
- Do not take issues too seriously, laugh at your problems with others
- Healthy mind is healthy body
The key to healthy life is having a healthy mind, this suggest that there is a clear link between mind and body. To age healthy it is important that you look after your mind and its vital that you do all the things that enhances a healthy mind. It is important to eat well-balanced diet, drink enough water, exercises on a daily basis, meditate or pray everyday to create positive emotions and override negative emotions. Lastly have adequate sleep and follow the ten tips for a healthy mind in order to age health