THINK WELL, BE WELL

Anybody who makes the much needed commitment to take care of their health should consider therapy with their own psychiatrist or psychologist; much the same way smart, health-conscious people have a fitness schedule or see their dental hygienist regularly.  In the 21st century, to see a psychiatrist for mental health purposes is very forward thinking: we can all do well with correcting our automatic thinking errors, adjusting our biases towards non-judgement and non-comparison, and generally taking measure of our mental health.

The brain is an organ, like a heart is, or a lung, or a pancreas. Like any other organ, it can get unwell. A heart can fail and make a person’s legs swell up. A lung can fail and make a person chronically short of breath. A pancreas can fail and make a person diabetic.

In that same regard, a brain can get unwell and make the person lose interest in life, sleep poorly and, in extreme cases, have suicidal thoughts.

Yet here is the good news! What makes the brain special as an organ is how much it can recover in comparison to the heart, lungs, or pancreas. It has an enormous capacity to rewire itself and be as good as new. It is called “brain plasticity” and it is increasingly proven as one of the main protective factors against cognitive decline (and likely, Alzheimer’s disease as well). It is the only organ in the human body that can stay healthy if it is spoken to lovingly or constructively by another person, and even more so if it is by somebody who knows what he or she is doing.

To attend to the health of one’s brain should be as commonplace and sensible as to floss one’s teeth, or to walk for at least at least 30 minutes a day.

Find yourself a psychiatrist or psychologist, and let them know of your intent to keep your brain healthy by talking to them on a regular basis. You will be surprised how easy it is, how much you will learn and how healthy this type of fitness therapy will keep you.

We should all look after our brains, just as we are looking after our other organs. After all: the old Latin expression “mens sana in corpora sano” goes both ways: a healthy mind does make for a healthy body, not only the other way around.

Keywords: mental health importance, Wellness Retreat; importance of therapy

About Dr. Pieter Strauss:

Dr. Strauss was born in South Africa, emigrating to Canada with his family in 1995. He has a private practice in the Fraser Valley and sees patients with mental health issues in his community. He was Head of the Psychiatry Department at a regional hospital with a staff of nine psychiatrists until last year when he decided to focus on his practice and his work at our hotel. Dr. Strauss has always been interested in long-term human relationships and envisioned enhancing relationships.

Tuesday, July 07 2015

Posted by: Dr. Pieter Strauss

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