Mental Health » 4. Introduction To Mental Health

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”                           John F Kennedy

4. Introduction to Mental Health

Mental Health

Introduction

Welcome to the forth Forever Young Club article called “Introduction To Mental Health”. There is a link to a short video above which covers the same content, so you have a choice of reading the article or watching the video, or both.

Once a taboo subject, there is increasing awareness and acceptance that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. At different times in our lives, we all suffer to a greater or lesser extent from stress, anxiety and depression.

Over the years, my focus was very much on looking after my body and especially my heart. I never really thought about my brain and until recently took it very much for granted. Thinking about it now, that was not very smart because your brain is actively involved in everything you do, every decision you make. We tend to assume, I know I did, that it will just keep going like a well-oiled machine – a bit like our hearts.

Mind Your Brain

Your brain is a key organ and you need to look after it. Think about it this way, you can live a long time with a healthy heart but it’s not of much use without a healthy brain. So your motivation for a healthy brain should be high; at least as high as your motivation for a healthy heart.

If you’re a healthy brain you’re likely to be happier, healthier, more successful and make better decisions. If you have an unhealthy brain, you’re likely to be sadder, sicker, less successful and make poorer decisions. When you look after your brain, you’re making good decisions and taking important actions which will significantly reduce the anxiety, stress and depression in your life.

Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a loss of cognitive function. It can be caused by a stroke or some other trauma to the brain. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Dementia/Alzheimers is a progressive disease which is eventually fatal. However, many experts believe that you can prevent it by stopping or preventing chronic diseases associated with it, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and depression. In particular, controlling cardiovascular risk factors may be the most cost-effective and helpful approach to protecting your brain health.

High-Performance Brain

I’m sure you want to have a High-Performance Brain. It’s up to you! You can choose to have a healthy or an unhealthy brain. You can reduce the risks by knowing what to avoid and you can increase your chances by knowing what to do. The really good news is that most of the things you need to do to be physically healthy will simultaneously benefit your mental health.

For example, physical activity is as important for your brain as it is for your heart. Did you know that aerobic exercise directly benefits the brain by increasing blood and oxygen flow, bringing nutrients and taking waste away. Physical activity reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins; chemicals in the brain that are our natural painkillers and mood elevators.

Accurate and reliable knowledge or information about looking after your brain and your mental health will be another key principle and priority of the Forever Young Club.

Your Comments/Questions

We’d love to hear what you think of this article on Mental Health. Please leave your comments below and let us know if you have any questions. If you prefer, please feel free to email me at pat@patfalvey.com.

4 Comments

  1. Hi there
    Yes you are so right about the physical activity being the important food for the brain,
    It’s a very motivating factor to get you from the couch to the door , which is sometimes the hardest part of the exercise routine ,
    Alice

    Reply
      • Never knew aerobic exercise was so beneficial. Stress anxiety and negativity definitley affect ones brain.Enjoyed video very informative

        Reply
        • Thanks Nora. Yeah I like to call aerobic exercise [sometimes called cardio] our “bread and butter” exercise with strength and intensity the jam or honey! All are important but aerobic activity is the foundation to all activity including that moving we do during the day.

          Reply

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