Just lately, we experienced another sad event: a mass stabbing at a Pittsburg-area high school graduation. Just one week preceding it was yet another mass shooting at Fortification Hood. And before that a long brand of damaging and preventable tragedies of the kind that are seemingly becoming more common each day. The Navy blue Yard, Aurora, Newtown, Va Tech, Columbine: once brands that simply brought to mind placid locations across our great nation that, sadly now, conjure damaging memories of unspeakable heartbreak. fit
In the midst of all of this, a national dialogue has again begun to emerge. Is actually one that, given the questionable mental stability of a large number of the shooters during these events, involves discussions spinning around our nation’s behaviour and policies regarding mental health.
~ Are we doing enough to treat the mentally ill?
~ Just how can we better display screen people for mental health issues?
~ How can we keep guns out of the hands of those with histories of mental instability?
And so on…
But here’s a question I’ve yet to notice: “What can we do to prevent mental condition to get started with? inches
Seems logical. And the truth is, if we were coping with an epidemic of flu, obesity, or some other physical malady, elimination would be at the top of this list. But strangely, our culture’s attitudes and habits associated with mental health differ significantly from those toward physical health.
In the realm of the physical, it’s universally identified (albeit not always practiced), that if you wish a healthy body, you have to do protective maintenance: brush, eat moderately healthy food, exercise, get enough rest. Everyday we engage in a number of chores designed to help enhance the wellbeing and longevity of our physical selves.
In other words, we recognize that physical fitness is a progenitor to physical health. But, in matters pertaining to our mental and psychological selves, we find a different story.
Developing practices to nourish and exercise our mental and mental selves is not something regularly considered by most Americans. On the in contrast, almost all of our effort focused at focusing on our mental and emotional needs are more about coddling than fitness. Feeling exhausted? Grab a beer with friends. Sadness got you down? Go see the latest blockbuster movie. Stressed about work? How about a round of tennis?
Rather than increasing our mental capacity, we address ourselves. We embark on activities to make us feel better in the growing process, but without really addressing the root problem which involves an inadequate ability to soak up and cope with life’s difficulties. It’s like dealing with weight gain by eliminating all the mirrors in the house. Sure it may make you quickly feel a lot better, but what does it do to fix the problem?
The truth is really a technique that all too often produces what can only be described as free-range, feral minds.
Mental Fitness Defined
To be clear, in this circumstance Mental Fitness would not pertain to the development of knowledge or even mental acuity. This really is an important point. Lots of the mental activities we undertake to develop our minds have very little to do with Mental Fitness, as called to here. Instances of activities that DON’T considerably increase our Mental Fitness levels include:
~ Digesting data as part of the learning process
~ Working out one’s cognitive facility to make the mind more nimble
~ Participating in activities that soothe and nurture the agitated brain and emotions