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Why Prevention in Mental Health Should Be Just As Important As Physical Health

Why Prevention in Mental Health Should Be Just As Important As Physical Health

I watched a very interesting TED Talk by a psychologist Guy Winch. During his talk, he was making the case as to why we need to take our mental health just as seriously as we do our physical health.

He specifically focused on four areas of our emotional health and the detrimental impact that they can have on our overall health and well being if we don’t pay attention to it.

Here are some of the highlights of what he spoke about;

Loneliness

Did you know that loneliness can increase risk for death by 14% and that it actually has the same risk to life expectancy as cigarette smoking. It has also been linked with increased blood pressure and higher levels of cholesterol.

Failure

If we experience a failure and do not deal with it appropriately, it could convince us that we are unable to succeed and we then end up functioning in our lives below our personal potential.

Rejection

Rejection can cause major impacts to our self esteem. If we do not emotionally deal with regjection and the possible associated emotional pain, it can cause ongoing issues in our lives.

Emotional Hygiene

Similar to how we look after our physical hygiene, we need to look after our emotional hygiene. It is not something to be ignored but something that needs to be focused on and dealt on an ongoing basis.

Watching this clip made me think about how we have made some advancements of our understanding of mental health and de-stigmatizing some of the perceptions around it.

But have we really moved this into the mainstream of prevention and management yet?

There is still so often the perception that there is something wrong with the person who seeks help for mental health – and that they have ‘a problem’ – ┬árather than viewing it as a strength in asking and seeking support.

Maybe if we did approach our mental health in a preventive way similar to our physical health and implemented a regular routine in taking care of ourselves emotionally (for example – along with annual physicals and blood tests we also do an emotional check on what has happened over the past year), we might all be more emotionally healthy and in turn also benefit physically.

Here is Guy Winch’s TED Talk;