A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body Category : Secondary School Level

A Healthy Mind In A Healthy Body

Category : Secondary School Level

The Romans had a proverb, 'mens sana in corpore sano,' meaning 'A healthy mind in a healthy body'. Research shows that the Romans were really on to something. While it has been known for a long time that exercise can protect general health and wellbeing, it now seems that exercise may help to preserve brain health also. For example, fitness levels have been associated with maintenance of brain function in age while physical activity has been linked with a reduced risk of development of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Exercise is emerging as a possible means to maintain or improve brain health throughout life.


However, many things that happen in life can disrupt emotional health and lead to a strong feeling of sadness, stress or anxiety. "Good" changes can be just as stressful as "bad" changes. The body responds to the emotions i.e. the way people think, feel and act. This is often called the "mind/body connection." Under stressed, anxious or upset conditions, the body tries to indicate that something isn't right. For example, high blood pressure or a stomach ulcer might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one. Some other physical signs of emotional health being out of balance are change in appetite, constipation or diarrhea, extreme tiredness, general aches and pains, headaches, high blood pressure, and insomnia.


Stress results in an increased amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, being released into the blood and it attacks the immune system, the heart and the brain. Although stress is a part of our existence, one should always find ways to beat stress. Laughter, spirituality, positive attitude, avoiding stressful triggers and social interactions are known to reduce stress and help one stay healthy. "Relaxation frees the heart. Courage opens the heart. Compassion fills the heart".


Poor emotional health can weaken the body's immune system, making one more prone to colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health. Persistence of negative feelings is called "major depression." Depression is a medical illness that can be treated with individualized counseling, medicine or both.


When people indulge in negative emotions, they pay the price through the negative effects on their health. Misery can kill one as fast as a bullet. Optimism decreases damage to the arteries. Similarly, in people who forgive easily, stress has fewer effects. Emotional vitality, a positive state of mind, associated with interest, enthusiasm, excitement and energy for living, has been linked with cardiovascular health. For people to enjoy a healthy life, they should strive to improve their emotional vitality. This mental attitude is the key to a healthy living. Remember, "Joy in living keeps the heart healthier".


Meditation helps to develop compassion, as it aids in dealing with the outside world helps one forgive him-self and move away from any hurt that may prevent a person from being happy and staying healthy. Positive emotional states produce buoyancy and satisfaction in life because of the coherence they create within the human system.


It is only now that modern medicine is starting to recognize the link between the body and the mind. There are many cases to highlight the state of people who have cured themselves of life threatening illnesses through positive mental attitude and releasing their emotional issues. Looking after your feelings and emotions is as important as taking care of your body. It would not be wrong to say that 'it is all in our minds'.


The best brush to use is laughter: "It puts roses in your cheeks and in your soul. "He who laughs, lasts."


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