Updated: Dec 16, 2021
“You cannot really separate mental and physical health because health happens as a whole”.
How true is this quote, Isn’t it? Health does not imply only physical health or mental health, it implies both together as one unit, both need a balance. But, let's look at why mental health is important.
Here, I would like to share a short story with you about a woman who I came across in my yoga class. Her story touched me so deeply, made me realize how I was cribbing about petty things that didn't matter and life has so much more than what we actually think. Simple but powerful, if you are open in your mind.
So, we were given a break to use the bathrooms if needed and I at once rushed, was so relieved that they finally gave a short recess break. After I was done refreshing, I came and sat beside an elderly woman who was trying to lift the pants off her right leg.
But was unable to because her leg was swollen real big! I was hesitant at first but still asked her what had happened to her leg and why is it swollen so much and whether she needed some help.
She immediately told me, thank you so much dear, but you cannot help me, I have to do this and I will do it. Then once she felt a bit relaxed she explained her condition to me.
Her legs swell up if she does not pass urine, it starts getting accumulated in her leg and she has to use some instrument to excrete all that out from her leg! She has to do this every single day and every single time that she wants to pee if she does not pee properly! This was due to some issues with her kidneys and multiple organs.
After hearing and looking at her leg, I asked her no further questions. I was just staring at her, looking at her smiling face. She did not feel even a bit sad or irritated about her condition. She was in her 50’s and all alone attending a class where she could not do all the asanas due to her leg. It did not matter to her whether she was able to do it physically, she just wanted to be there.
I did not have the courage to ask her further questions, I had just realized that I used to feel bad and be upset about things that did not even matter, I asked her just one more thing, how is she managing her physical condition and yet so happy!?
For that, she told me, “if I think of it as a suffering, it is going to affect me, but I chose to live my life as long as I am alive, and I will do whatever I want to do because life is very short my dear, this machine (the urine collecting machine) is there to support me wherever I go.”
She did not even want me to feel bad for her, she said that might make her weak. Her sons and daughters did not want her to go alone because of her condition, but she came anyway.
I was so inspired by her, I have told this story to so many people, how she has not given up at all! And every time I share this story, I feel inspired and just can’t believe her courage for her age. Her story just lights me up.
What did I learn?
I learned that mental health plays a major role and it cannot be looked down upon.
That even if you are hurt physically, if you are able to smile and be happy with yourself, then you have won over the situation. You have learned the art of living!
I also learned that, do not give up too soon. Life is short, put in all your efforts and the result will definitely follow.
Train your mind in such a way that you are ready to face any situation. No ONE shoe size fits everyone, and always the other side looks greener.
Do not wait to do what you really want to do. Life is the same for everyone but how you live is what matters.
If you let the suffering affect you, then you will end up feeling worse. You might take more time to come out of it.
Seek help when you need it. The woman in my story also sought help and got herself a machine so that nothing stops her from going forward. Yes, she might have also felt low at some point, but she did not let it accumulate. She took control and took appropriate action.
Lastly, do not wait for someone to make you happy, it is a never-ending loop. Only you have to have control over your emotions and no one else.
And Why is mental health important?
It is because of all the points I just mentioned above. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you did something no matter what your physical condition was (here, I mean practically possible or realistic things)? How you were able to do that? How did you feel after doing that?
You should know that Mental health is equally important as physical health. We tend to go on appearances rather than the overall health. Remember “Do not judge a book by its cover!”.
If you are healthy from within, it will reflect on your face. You need not do anything for the glow. Ya, maybe a moisturizer during winters…
You know, while I was speaking with the woman in my story, I did not even realize that she had such a serious problem, she looked so lively and happy from inside out. She was only spreading good vibes to everyone around.
This is what mental health can do for you. Love yourself, and your love will spread across.