Mental Health Matters: Always Be Kind to Your Mind

by Brightmark May 3rd, 2022

“Mental health problems don’t define who you are. They are something you experience. You walk in the rain, and you feel the rain, but, importantly, YOU ARE NOT THE RAIN.” – Matt Haig

For quite some time, mental health seemed to garner a taboo reputation. It was a point of contention for many and something very few discussed openly. Of course, mental health has always been an imperative focus for medical professionals, like psychologists and doctors. Still, mental health is rarely deemed an appropriate conversational topic for the rest of us, even amongst family and close friends.

However, in recent years, mental health has transformed from a taboo topic into a central focal point. Today, many employers across the globe, especially corporations, try to promote a culture of wellness—focusing on improving employees’ mental health as a guiding principle. This pragmatic shift of speaking openly about mental health is critical for current and future generations. It honestly restores my confidence that the world is getting better. Why? Because it appears that a lot of the world is trying to fix the various blatantly evident problems. 

So, it then begs the question, why is mental health critical? 

I believe that mental health is bodily health. When your mind is healthy, many positive elements ensue, such as feeling better mentally and physically, performing better at work, and being more present in your personal life.

So, knowing that a healthy mind is beneficial, what practical actions can we take to improve our mental health?

I think there are quite a few ways you can work to be kind to your mind, but I will share a few of my personal favorites with you.

Exercising Your Body Exercises Your Mind
You don’t need to be a licensed medical professional to know that exercise is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your mental state. As little as thirty minutes a day is a critical way to boost your endorphins and provide you with a renewed sense of energy. Exercise is good whether you enjoy biking, running, swimming, yoga, hiking, etc. A significant part of living in the city of San Francisco is the opportunity to walk. Something as simple as walking gets the blood flowing and can contribute to a more positive state of mind.

Nurture Your Mind with Nature
Various studies have shown a significant correlation between positive mental health and nature. The stronger the presence of nature, the happier people tend to be. We work so hard at Brightmark to create a world without waste because we understand how critical preserving and protecting the environment is for us all—mental health included.

I encourage all to spend at least 30 minutes a day outside, walking around your neighborhood, going to a local park (or beach if you live in a coastal area), or anywhere else where you can enjoy the great outdoors.

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “birds of feather flock together,” which alludes to how you become a product of your surroundings. If you choose to surround yourself with positive influences, such as kind and positive people, you’ll most likely begin to adopt some of those traits and behaviors.

Healthy Food is Healthy for the Mind
Much like exercise, taking care of your body inside and out helps cultivate a healthier mind. Eating more nutritious foods enables you to feel better internally, enabling you to feel better overall. Eating various greens and grains and staying hydrated throughout the day with water are simple steps to eating healthier. I also recommend exploring plant-based meats and other plant-based products. I’ve felt significantly better switching to more plant-based meats, and I would encourage you to try it. 

Meditation and Mindfulness
Being mindful and practicing mediation is a great way to support your mental health. I’d also mention that mediation is not a religious act—it’s simply a way to bring attention to your body and mind through calming and peaceful breathing exercises. Mediation can also be as little or as long as you’d prefer. One of the best parts of practicing meditation is that it encourages you to take a few moments out of the day to pause, breathe, and reset your mind.

Break the Stigma
The last piece I’d like to highlight is that it’s ok to talk about mental health. “Break the stigma” is a phrase that has become prominent around mental health and is meant to act as a platform for finding and receiving help.

Concluding on a positive note, I’d like to leave you all with this.

Firstly, remember that you matter, and you should never feel shame about your struggles—we all struggle at times.

Secondly, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. I see this as a saying that it’s easier to be positive than it is to be negative. While this may not always feel true, it’s something to consider.

Lastly, remember that it’s perfectly ok to be truthful about your feelings. Find those you confide in most and share whatever is on your mind. In this day in age, we all have a lot to think about and no time to waste. 

Wishing you well,
Bob Powell