By Ian Chow, Certified Massage Therapist / Infant Massage Instructor / Oncology Massage Trainer
Length: 3 mins read (665 words)
Why is mental and emotional health important? For me, simply put, it completes oneself (beside being physically healthy). I know this may sound cliche, but that what makes us human cos it dictates or influences how we judge and act towards a situation, a problem or any living being.
Meanwhile, when I was younger, talking about mental health and emotional health in our society (especially with Asian parenting style) was always a taboo. But I am glad, fast forward 10 to 20 years later, this is no longer the case. This also shows that our society starts to recognize the importance of this matter and how it can potentially upset the status quo if it is not looked after.
These are my ways in how we can make sure we are mentally and emotionally healthy. I will be tackling it from our five senses perspective:
a). Smell – Usage of essential oils. I use a lot of different essential oils for my massage and I know there are many essential oils that have different benefits too by just diffusing it e.g. to energize oneself, to relax oneself, to make one feel more grounded etc.
Meanwhile, our sense of smell is closely linked to our emotional region of the brain, plus a powerful link to our memory. Perhaps the scent from our favourite essential oils may enlighten us on how to deal with our troubles or conjure up some Eureka moment too for our next project.
b). Hearing – to lift up your mood, spend some time listening to songs that you like. Sometimes we are attracted to the melody of the songs, sometimes the music and we may even be able to relate to the lyrics in our own way and find inspiration in that.
On the other hand, stop listening to people who give you a negative vibe. We certainly don’t need to be surrounded by pessimism especially when we are already feeling down.
c). Sight – Different colour projects a different mood to us or may even have special symbolic meaning to us. For example, many do find looking at green colours refreshing. I will always try to go back to nature (a jungle trekking) once in a while to reinvigorate.
Plus, I find the sound of nature very soothing whether it is the sound of the forest with insects, bird or other wild animals (hopefully no carnivore beast though), the sound of the waves crashing, the sound of the river flowing or the sound of splattering rain and the wind blowing.
d). Touch – touch is our first sense to develop and last to diminish when we die. Whether we are touching someone or being touched, it stimulates the release of endorphins which is our body’s natural painkiller. One of the easiest ways to be touched is to get a free hug from someone you love. Or as a massage therapist, I would say, go for a massage.
If you are going back to nature, try touching the leaves, the tree bark, the flowing river water, the sandy beach etc.
e). Taste – Eating a balanced meal / diet always keeps us healthier and more focused.
On the contrary, in moments when you are down, do spoil yourself and indulge yourself in your favourite food. Doesn’t matter whether it is junk food, fast food, alcoholic drink, spicy / oily food or even soft drink that is not good for your health. In that moment, you come first so just do it. As long as it is not an excessive amount, I would say just go ahead.
Whatever it is, eat something and don’t starve yourself especially when certain conditions may make you prone to that.
At the end of the day, if you are in need of someone to talk, do consider these helpline numbers:
Befrienders: 03-7956 8145, Lifeline Association Malaysia: 03-4265 7995, All Women’s Action Society (AWAM): 03-7877 0224
After: Self Care