Our brain lives in the world of our body. The brain-world connection is the mind. The mind is the brain’s experience of itself. This experience is what we make it, internally with our thoughts and externally through our lived experiences.
The brain gets approximately 7 times the blood supply of any other similarly sized organ in the body. We make 8 new brain cells every day and each cell makes 15000 new connections every day. It’s worth looking after!
Good mental health is a responsibility we all should own. When we are in good mental health we can perform well in our lives, our work and our relationships. We spend a high percentage of our lives at work so it’s important that our brain is in good working order. A healthy brain promotes a healthy body as we think more clearly about what we do to our bodies when our brain is functioning well. When the brain is busy it creates metabolic waste which we need to clean up, two effective ways of achieving this is through sleep and exercise.
If we don’t have a good work life balance, our quality of sleep and amount of physical exercise we are able to do tends to suffer. This means we do not successfully clear out our brain’s metabolic waste every day so it builds up which may lead us to suffer from stress, anxiety, depression and at the extreme end, psychosis. The more stress and anxiety we are under, the more metabolic waste we produce, creating a downwards spiral which can continue until the body or the mind becomes deficient, resulting in , lack of ability to function effectively and potentially requiring time off work to recover.
So the next time you are feeling stressed at work ask yourself some questions;
- Am I getting enough sleep?
- Am I getting enough exercise?
- Am I giving my mind enough respite time to clean up my brain
- Is my brain in the right state to make healthy decisions for my body – what I eat and drink? The body has its own feedback system for this; headaches, indigestion, lack of energy, storage of fat to name a few. We need to listen to this feedback!
So, if we want to stay at work and stay healthy in mind and body, we all need to be responsible for the actions we take, and the actions we ask others to take.
We need to remember that if we push ourselves too far, we break.
For more information on World Health Day please visit www.who.int.