Mental health is becoming a far more active topic in most social circles. This is a wonderful thing because it’s just as important as physical health for a truly complete and fulfilled life. However, it’s also something fairly new to our culture as a whole. We’re still in the midst of really examining just how improvements to mental health can impact our lives.
This is proving to be one of the more difficult parts of getting our culture on board with a larger scale program. The absolute ideal is for everyone to care about their mental health and to actively pursue it. But it faces a similar problem to our culture’s relation to physical health. We know that we should be working hard to keep our physical health at its best. But a lot of people just aren’t sure about which steps will be the easiest and most efficient. The big problem for a lot of people is just knowing where to start with their physical health. And this extends to mental health as well.
But both ideas tend to forgo a fundamental part of human nature. Or, rather, one might say that it ignores something about life in general. Everyone has certain instincts. Do you have to teach a dog how to go on a walk? Or do you have to teach a child how to go outside and play? We have a certain intuition that guides us to healthy behavior. In the previous examples we see something that brings both physical and psychological exercise. This is often seen as intuitive energy. It’s a healing energy which comes from working with our most basic drives.
Intellectually we might not know how running on a nature trail helps our muscles. But if we keep at it over enough time for our body to adapt than we’ll know it on an emotional and instinctive level. The same thing is true for the psychological aspect of trail running. We feel happier when we do it for a while. And that happiness will eventually become more apparent to us on an instinctive level. When we look at psychology as a whole we often see a strong drive to approach things on an intellectual level.
And to be sure, there are benefits to really understanding our feelings and drives. But it’s also important to remember that we don’t have to understand everything. Or, rather, we don’t have to understand everything on an intellectual level. We’re born with a certain understanding which can act as a foundation for other types of learning.
When we work with our emotions and intuition, we’re leveraging some important tools for personal growth and self-discovery. It’s not something which should replace an intellectual understanding of the human mind. But at the same time, one could say the same thing about exercise in relation to psychology. Exercise helps us feel better, but we wouldn’t replace psychology with a fitness program. Our spirit, mind and body are all linked together. And each can act as an important tool for understanding the others.