We need to start prioritizing mental health
February 4, 2017
Filed under Opinions
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
When was the last time you brushed your teeth? Put a band aid on a cut? One would hope you would do these things daily, or at the very least, practice somewhat good physical hygiene. Advertisements, peers, and parents are all constantly serving as a reminder to do things such as wash our hair or put on deodorant. But when was the last time you thought about practicing good emotional hygiene?
Emotional hygiene, in definition, refers to the idea of “being mindful of our psychological health and adopting brief daily habits to monitor and address psychological wounds” (Psychology Today). In a sense, this means coming to terms with how we feel about our lives and more importantly, ourselves.
At a school as academically stressful as McLean, there are numerous stressors in students everyday life. Sports, academics, extracurriculars, and attempting to maintain a social life leaves little time for students to even think about their emotional hygiene.
However, In a recent TED Talk by psychologist Guy Winch, he detailed important statistics pointing to the detrimental effects of overlooking emotional health.
Most importantly, he noted the effects that loneliness can have on a person. Chronic loneliness can increase your chances of early death. It also causes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even suppresses the functioning of your immune system.
However, in a post on ideas.ted.com, Winch detailed 7 ways to reboot emotional health:
- Pay attention to emotional pain — recognize it when it happens and work to treat it before it feels all-encompassing.
- Redirect your gut reaction when you fail.
- Monitor and protect your self-esteem. When you feel like putting yourself down, take a moment to be compassionate to yourself.
- When negative thoughts are taking over, disrupt them with positive distraction.
- Find meaning in loss.
- Don’t let excessive guilt linger.
- Learn what treatments for emotional wounds work for you.
Here is the link to the TED talk: