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Including mental health in your fitness regime

It’s important to understand that mental health is important to all of us, and not only to those who have a mental illness
By Dr. Seema Mehrotra

When you are doing well, why bother about your health? Given the rise in health consciousness, this may sound like a foolish question to ask. This implies that we are realizing the importance of preventing health problems and of enhancing fitness because we see its relevance in leading a satisfying and productive life.

Now, while you were reading the above paragraph, what were you visualizing? There is a high chance that you were thinking of people jogging on the roads in the morning, or working out at a gym, or of the elderly doing their daily rounds of brisk morning walk. It is also likely that you were recollecting images of health-food advertisements on the television or the nutritional advice in a popular magazine.

Now let me ask you. Did you include mental health in your imagery or thoughts? Did you imagine a person sharing his distress with a close friend or a counsellor? Did you imagine someone writing down potential ways to handle her anger? Did you picture someone reading a self-help book on managing one’s anxiety or low self-esteem? Did you imagine a person setting goals for improving his interpersonal skills or attending a program on cultivating positivity?

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