What is mental health?

Over the past few weeks I asked my students: “If you and I switched bodies, would you then become me or would you remain yourself in my body?”

All of them said they’d remain themselves in my body, which we all agreed on would be a funny / interesting experience 😉

Our body is our outfit, the way we show into the world. But we are much more than just a body, you already know that. What you might not know it that our general health is also determined by more than how we treat and feed our physical body.

In fact, you can feed your body with as much goodness as you want, if you are feeding your mind with junk, you won’t feel good. You are a combination of a mind and a body, a mental health and a physical health.

Heaven is a state of mind. Not a place. Your body can be in paradise and your mind in hell at the same time. In the end, you will feel the way your mind feels. But hopefully your mind and body can align! I have experienced feeling miserable on a trip to Hawaii and very happy seating home, watching the rain fall. And I also have experienced Nirvana: a place where mind and body are both in Heaven at the same time.

Your mental health is defined by the quality of your thoughts, what you feed your mind with, your belief system, how you treat your emotions,… In other words: how you deal and interact with your inner chatter, the voice in your head.

Now do you have any power over that voice? Over your mental health? Yes. Absolutely. The mind is a part of you that you can transform, strengthen and bend just like you can transform, strengthen and bend your body: with will power, guidance and practice.

Did you learn how to cook? Play sports? Draw? Read? Write?… Well, you can also learn how to manage your thoughts. Why nobody taught you earlier? Nobody really knew! But now we do.

You can start taking care of your mental health today, by being kind with yourself, observing your mistakes as part of a learning process, making time for your mind to integrate and rest, accepting every part of your being, embracing who you are, trusting yourself more, welcoming your emotions, shifting your perception… Developing a growth mindset.

Neuroscientists and doctors have now proved the direct connection and impact of your mental health on your physical health (and vice versa).

Mental illness is another topic. And often we associate both or mix them up. But it is different. Everyone has a mental health but not everyone has a mental illness.

Do you take care of your “physical body” to keep it healthy and strong? Yes! Well same is true for your “mental body”: don’t wait until you feel sick (depressed, anxious, stressed, …) to take care of it.

Now you understand what is your mental health, watch the amazing movie « Heal » (trailer here) and come back soon to learn what is & how to practice self-care to stay mentally healthy and strong!

Remember: The mind is (almost) everything.

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