A workshop called 'Wholistic health and fitness', highlighting the importance of mental and physical well being, was conducted at Opera House in Mumbai on March 14.
The key speakers at the workshop were Dr Anjana Laungani who is a physiotherapist at Physio Rehab, Tanya Vasunia who is a psychologist at M Power, Sabrina who is a patient at Physio Rehab, and Neerja Birla who is the founder of M Power.
What does being healthy mean? Healthy can signify physical well being to one person whereas it can refer to mental solidity to another. There are many answers that can reside under the larger umbrella of 'being healthy'. It can imply mental happiness, zero stress, being productive and so on, but at the end of the day it all comes down to feeling good about oneself.
The terms mental health and physical health are so interlinked with each other that these are two sides of the same coin. If you are physically active but cannot relax mentally, your physical health will eventually start to degrade. The key to maintaining a good physique and looking smart in your routine and work is to keep your mind completely sound, the speakers concurred.
"My professor in the first year of my medical college told us that having good posture is directly related to mental health. That really did not make much sense to me back then. While studying physiotherapy I realized that if in childhood the kids do not sit properly, it will result in muscle imbalance. By the time they reach their teens, they'll incur multiple backaches and neck aches that will ultimately bring out frustration in them. The frustration will be of not doing something children their age can easily do. When they become adults and get married, the tension gets multiplied leading to more neck and body aches. Slowly and gradually they start developing the inferior complexity of not being able to cope up in their married life. Hence a right posture is one of the keys to mental health," says Dr Anjana, physiotherapist at Physio Rehab.
Tanya Vasunia, who has worked with children and adolescents with regard to mental health says, "Thoughts are like bubbles. Some are big, some remain small and some collide with each other to form a bigger bubble or simply burst."
Sometimes, when one feels mental pressure and stress, rather than explaining it to someone, they begin to live with it. Over time, the pain becomes a part of life. It becomes 'normal'. But no, it isn't. No pain can ever be normal, especially when it resides in your mind.
Neerja Birla, chairman at M Power says, "It is okay to be not okay, but it is not okay to not seek help about it."
"The thoughts in your mind create a vicious cycle. Your brain moves a lot faster than your physical body. You need to calm yourself and inhale the breath of peace. When you feel low or depressed, close your eyes, feel your heartbeats on your wrist and slowly hear the voice of it. Your mind will relax and so will your body. Do this exercise whenever you feel your mind is racing ahead of your physical body. This will keep your mental and physical health in a sound state" added Tanya.
The demons to your mental health are depression and anxiety. You need to understand that you cannot run away from them, and that you need to fight them. The golden rule to fight the mental demons is to stay fit and active. You can only keep your physical health in a good state by regular exercise and eating correctly.