Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
Many people exercise and work hard to ensure their bodies are healthy, strong, and free of disease. Americans spend a lot of money on medical attention and other products to help their physical health and wellness. While maintaining peak physical health is important, we often neglect our psychological and mental well-being. Our brains and minds are capable of amazing phenomena, both good and bad.
The human mind is capable of blocking out significant events as if they never happened, while at the same time, inventing convincing scenarios as if they were real, but actually never happened. The complex functioning of your mind needs attention and continued work just as your physical body does. Although many people believe that psychological help is only for the mentally ill, that could not be farther from the truth. There are many different types and levels of help that are available for people to positively impact their psychological well being, in turn, improving their overall health.
While there are many accessible options for any person to improve their psychological well being, a good first step is to simply avoid social isolation or being alone for long periods of time. As we age, there are many situations that could cause someone to want to isolate themselves (i.e. death of a spouse, friend, terminal illness, etc.).
Therefore, it is imperative to find ways to become socially engaged or involved. Failure to stay socially engaged can quickly lead to depression. Some options to increase social engagement could be joining health clubs, support groups through churches and local hospitals, or even one-on-one psychological counseling.
Counseling is not just for the mentally ill. Seeking help or having a professional to talk to is a great way to address issues in life that perhaps you and or members of your family are not capable of working through alone. Whether you are seeking counseling for marriage, parenting, relationship, etc., there is no shame in this sort of help. Over time, it can effectively help improve your life as well as your physical health.