Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my insides. Not like my organs and the inside of my body, but rather what goes on in my mind and in my heart.
A few of my friends wonder why they are sad or why things that happened a long time ago still affect them today. Some of them think that they should be over whatever is still affecting them or don’t understand why these things still bother them (myself included). I wanted to address this process and why it deserves more merit than we give it.
A lot of this world (at least, in America) emphasizes the physical. We chase after looking beautiful, physical health and tend to judge people by their appearance. Our mental health tends to go ignored or at the very least neglected. This leads to pushing away emotions or at the very least discounting them. I think that this can be detrimental to our health. We are not just physical beings, life doesn’t make sense if that’s how it works and I want to call attention to this incredibly important part of ourselves. We need to work on our mental health just as much as we need to work on our physical health. We are, after all, thoughtful creatures.
This is not an easy topic. Mental health challenges a lot of people, not just those that struggle with mental illness. I think part of the reason we focus on physical aspects so often is that it is a measurable, tangible thing. We can see if someone has lost or gained weight, we can track physical appearance. Whereas mental challenges and progress are not tangible. We track them through how we are feeling and how we process things and that in it of itself is difficult as it changes from person to person.
I don’t have any solutions. I don’t know how we can change our mental health. I believe the process is personal and changes from person to person. However, I would like to say that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. If we don’t treat a problem, it isn’t going to go away. If we just ignore it, or don’t have the ability to deal with it, we can deal with the mental health issue for the rest of our lives. It’s okay to feel sad and not understand why, it’s okay to struggle with things that have plagued you for years. I think it’s actually healthy, as long as we don’t shove it aside or try to deal with it. Mental illnesses are illnesses nonetheless and even if we don’t have a full-blown illness, everyone gets a cold every once in a while.