Living in the modern world is hard. There’s so much competition, fast change, and daily demands that it’s easy to lose yourself in it. Mental health remains one of the most important conversations of the day. There are many good techniques to help people achieve good mental health: counseling, meditation, education, etc. These are all methods to cure mental health problems. But to only apply these is to forget about the role of the body in mental health.
Physical fitness and physical appearance play a big role in the way we feel about ourselves. Multiple studies suggest sedentary living increases anxiety. Physical isolation and loneliness is another major aspect of mental health difficulties. Through getting in shape, some people find it easier to feel good in their minds. Healthy eating is another important step in this, but there are other aspects of human health and appearance that don’t have anything to do with healthy living.
Humans make judgements — both good and bad — about each other based on how we look. This process has an important role in human development, and in the life of animals all throughout nature. Animals choose to reproduce with other animals based to a large extent on physical traits. That’s a big part of the reason people feel good when they look good.
There’s a good argument to be made for grooming, makeup, plastic surgery, and a whole host of cosmetic possibilities. One of the main reasons people get plastic surgery is to feel good about themselves. This used to be a more controversial idea, but it’s accepted today as people learn more about themselves.
The exciting thing is that as society has become more open to cosmetic procedures, treatments have become less invasive. Plastic surgery more affordable than it was ten years ago. They outcomes are better. The recovery time is down — even for more extensive surgical procedures — and the procedures don’t take as long. For all of these reasons, they are becoming much more a part of regular life.
As cosmetic surgery and physical fitness become increasingly prevalent in our society, people are starting to understand that how you look has an important role in how you feel. That’s why a certain level of commitment to our appearances should be an important part of every mental health strategy. There’s a reason why you think of someone a little scraggly when you think about images of the “tortured soul.” It doesn’t have to be that way.
So if you’re feeling a little less than well, consider how aspects of physical fitness and improved appearance might have beneficial ramifications for your outlook on life. Much of human happiness, for good or ill, is related to other people and our relationships with these other people. For this reason, looking your best is part of being your best. It’s possible to take it too far, but more people should take it seriously as a way of managing mental health.