“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” – Mahatma Gandhi
As it had been said by one of the great leaders of the world and our own Mahatma Gandhi, a fit and healthy body is the first and foremost key for leading a good life. Certainly, we all know the very importance of physical health and in order to keep up with this mantra we put in a lot of efforts. We keep a check on our diet, follow a specific workout schedule, keep downloading every new mobile application that would help us in maintaining our body be it water reminding app or a step calculator, we do everything for the sake of a fit body. But is this enough to stay healthy?
We all have studied in junior schools that our body is made up of multiple organs which in turn are controlled and managed by one of the most crucial and significant organ inside us – the brain. We all are aware the brain is very complex in nature. The jelly mass of tissues of the brain produces multiple thoughts, feelings, experiences, actions, memories and transmits them continuously via neurons to the nerve cells and thus to the various parts of our body.
Responding to the signals given by the brain, our body works. Now imagine if these prompts or signals which our brain is conveying every second are not healthy and positive what will be the state of our body. Will it remain healthy and fit? The answer is ‘no’. Once our brain is in control of negative and unhealthy thoughts each part of our body gets affected. The repercussions of this state start expanding in our day to day lives as well. The first effect would be on our physical activities. We would not be able to follow the same fitness routine as we used to follow earlier because the unhealthy thoughts and feelings which our brain is generating would slow down the pace of our thinking. We would start feeling low and sick. This may lead to loss of appetite, loss of determination to achieve anything, loss of interest in any physical exercise, feeling of being isolated from the world and much more. On the contrary, if our brain produces healthy thoughts we automatically feel charged up. We enjoy every work we do and feel motivated and high spirited. Everything around us gets melodious and we feel strong enough to face any challenge. Even a tasteless food tastes good when you are glad and cheerful. So, the definition of being healthy is not restricted to physical fitness only. A strong brain is vital to lead a healthy and stable life.
When we interact with our surrounding environment various emotions emerge in us. These emotions can be positive or negative. All of us may agree that if we are placed in an environment which is soothing for us and is as per our taste we feel contented. Undoubtedly the emotions that generate at that point of time are very pacific which are apt for developing relaxing thoughts in our brain. These positive thoughts are then transmitted to all parts of our body resulting in an overall relaxation. However, if we have been put to a place or situation where we are not comfortable the adverse emotions will start cropping up and the same would be diffused to our entire body making us uneasy and we would end up being disturbed. Evidently, the physical well-being of our body is largely dependent on our emotional well-being. Our emotions are also have to be taken care of and must be given a chance to be expressed at the right time and place.
Buddha said, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” If we understand the essence of the words in these lines, a major part of our life would be at ease. Being humans, it is in our nature to think again and again about what had already happened in our lives. We bind ourselves so much with our past that it overshadows our present and gives its repercussions in our future. It is true that our past lays the foundation for our present and future. But, at the same time it is important to live the present time in its entirety. Grieving about what we had lost or what we could not achieve would only channelize our energies towards our weaknesses and failures. If we keep focusing on our troubles, we would never be able to locate the opportunities which are always there even in the times of plight and distress. Becoming too much restless about a situation only gives a way for anxiety. This unease would develop multiple negative thoughts one after another letting us into suspicion about our own skills, knowledge and capabilities. This state serves as a platform for all the negative energies around us to creep into our thoughts and act as a barrier to our emotional growth. Life is like the waves in the sea. Sometimes, the tides are high and sometimes they are low. But it depends on us how we face those tides. If we fix our feet firmly in the sand and stay focused nothing will happen to us. In the same way, if we concentrate on our present and make sure to live every moment prudently and with zeal, we are strong enough to hit every ball that life throws on us. Hence, the choice is ours whether we want to stay healthy or invite endless diseases in our lives. Here the term healthy includes the overall development in terms of emotions, physical fitness, social life, intellectual and spiritual growth. We can have emotions of fear, love, hate, anger, happiness, sorrow, surprise and so on. Our ability to express and manage these emotions forms our emotional health. We humans have a tendency of sharing our joys with the world but we feel reluctant in sharing our sorrows with others. This is the most crucial aspect of handling our emotions. It is true that we cannot share everything with everyone. But we definitely have someone in our life, whom we can trust upon and share all the ups and down bowling inside us.
Another significant area that needs to be focused is the continuous development of our emotional health. As our emotions are highly sensitive they need to be fed regularly with the affirmations. ‘Self-awareness’ is the key to emotional development. The primary thing for every person is to be aware about his or her own personality, likes, dislikes, fears, needs, habits and everything that makes that person unique. The more we understand ourselves, the more we will be able to adapt in the fast changing situations of life. We should be conscious about our strengths and positives. But, at the same time we need to understand our weak areas as well. The way we react to any person or the environment largely depends upon the way we perceive the given state of affairs. Reacting to the circumstances or to any person reflects our insecurities and unwillingness to adapt the things which in turn make us feel stubborn and result in creation of negative thoughts in our brain. This condition makes us more reluctant to accept the changes, disturbs the whole system of our body and leaves us in an anxious state. This fretful condition of ours is no way good for our emotional growth. Whereas, giving a deep thought to the bright and dark side of any situation and examining the same in the light of our own capabilities and disabilities, we are always in a better position to respond to it patiently and calmly. This approach does not drain out our energies and leads to our emotional growth as well. Once we realise what we are good at, we channelize all our energies to make out the best from our natural assets. The vigour that develops due to that aura tends to cover up our weaknesses and can even provide a base to work upon them. The term self-awareness is incomplete without self-acceptance. They both go hand in hand. Denial is one of the root foundations that set a bed for our emotional worries. We must accept ourselves the way we are. Rejecting our basic nature and trying to be what we are not, only to fit ourselves into the society is never going to reward us. We will only feel dejected and end up being a person who is stressed enough to ruin the bliss of his own as well as of his family. We will only open up a gateway for numerous diseases which will not have any valid reason. After spending hefty amount from our pockets and with a bunch of multiple scans and prescriptions we will land up with a disease termed as “stress”. Yes, this is the most common syndrome in present times and is spreading at a great speed. Now, the question arises who created this disease and the answer is it is ‘self-created’ by us. If we would have realised the reasons which make us feel upset and increase our anxiety levels, we would have worked upon them and have found out the solutions to calm down the currents of emotions inside us. Though, it is understandable that every time the things are not in our hands. We keep playing our part with complete honesty and enthusiasm but, sometimes the external forces are so dominant that somewhere our emotional strength gets affected with the odds created around us. In that case we have to make every possible effort to keep our spirits high and fight against all the odds. If our inner self is strong then we can manage our thoughts and emotions in a better and positive manner. The first step towards maintaining our emotional well-being would be to relax our mind, body and soul. For that we need to take enough rest and should not overburden ourselves with the pressures around us. Devoting time to our areas of interest, listening to our favourite music, reading books, writing our thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, exercise and meditation would be a great source for enriching our emotional health. Focusing too much on our problems will only make us a pessimist and unhappy. We should try to be surrounded with people who have a positive attitude towards life. Positivity is contagious so try to get it from everywhere. But, among all this the very essential thing which we need to do is to tell ourselves that we are capable enough to go through this hard phase and nothing can puncture your emotional health. We have to repeat this to ourselves “n” number of times so that our brain keep diffusing this positive flow of energy in our entire body and keep your emotions strong.
– Neha Singhal (Freelancer)
Picture Credits: health.harvard.edu