What is Mental Health?
You can’t have mental health without physical health, and can’t have physical health without mental health!
Sorry to disappoint anyone who thinks 500lbs deadlifts or 6 pack abs cures the demons in your head or 20 minutes of meditation and 1 hour of mass on Sunday will help you lose weight. The question of which one is the chicken and which one is the egg is an equally interesting debate but again, probably not the most important one to wrestle with. Mental health is when a person has a physical body which can send signals to the brain in an efficient and undisturbed way, and the brain has enough space to clearly hear and interpret the original signal. Some people will refer to this as a signal to noise ratio. 75% of all messages sent within the body come from the body to the brain. That being said, if you’re ignoring your body and only focusing on ‘mental health’ aka things above the shoulders you are missing the largest component. Think of our nervous system as the Autobahn in Germany, traffic is expected to flow at high speeds for extended periods of time but if one direction has potholes it will impact travelers performance times. If the body is neglected the timeliness and quality of signals sent to the brain will suffer and thus we end up with subpar mental functioning. In today’s world we love to dissect and analyze components but when we think about mental health we really need to to holistically examine the entire system.