Much of what we consider is “mental” problems or illnesses are often physiological. Thus perhaps instead of trying to discover optimal “mental health” solutions, we should strive to figure out more robust “physiological health” solutions.
For example, how much of depression is mental versus physiological? If our mind feels heavy, perhaps the root cause is our body and muscles feel heavy?
If we only slept 2 hours last night, of course you’re going to feel mentally unwell. But this is a physiological sleep issue, not a mental issue.
When I sleep the best
Another example: after hiking for 12 miles in a day, how easy is it to fall asleep at night? Very easy.
However if you went the whole day without walking at all, or any physical exercise, how hard is it to sleep? Very hard!
Proposition: insomnia as a physiological problem, originating from the body, not the mind.
Anger as physiological
When I feel anger, it is a physiological reaction. I feel the cortisol and stress hormones flood my blood. I can feel it in my face, my scowl, and my heart rate as elevated. If you want to get rid of your anger, the solution isn’t to mentally force yourself to relax. A more optimal solution is physiological: go on a walk, take an incredibly icy cold shower, go for a run, or go to the gym and lift some weights.
In praise of getting massages
Do we get stressed and then our muscles tighten up? Or is it that when our muscles are tense, we get stressed?
I am starting to become more skeptical of myself and the causes of my moods. Much of my moods are probably physiological and deal with my body.
For example the days I’m not able to walk or exercise, I feel depressed. The days I can walk much and exercise much, I feel lifted.
This is perhaps where we need self-wisdom:
To truly determine the root of our “mental problems”; what or which bodily problem is the root cause.