The three golden rules of mental health

Even a few thousand years before our era, people guessed that there should be two main directions in medicine. The servants of the first are called to heal sick people , and the representatives of the second are to keep healthy . This second branch of medicine, which the goddess Hygieia had been occupied with in ancient times, was called hygiene in her honor. And its section, whose task is to ensure the well-being of the neuropsychic sphere, is called mental hygiene . About her and will be discussed in the future.

I must say that while we value little hygienists. Many argue this way: “What kind of doctor is this ?! Only gives advice on how to live correctly. We ourselves know it. The real doctor is the one who cures when we get sick. ” And for some reason they forget that in all respects it is much better to live, not being ill , due to the observance of the rules of hygiene, than to be cured after becoming ill .

To live, always staying healthy, is the ideal. Without strict compliance with the requirements of hygienists, it is simply impossible to achieve it. Hence the conclusion: hygiene should be considered the leading direction in medicine today , and, especially, in medicine of the future. That future, when people begin daily to follow the advice of hygienists and learn to live through it without being ill. In the meantime, we will get acquainted with three basic rules, the observance of which will help keep the neuro-psychological sphere in an optimally good condition.  

Rule one . I formulate it, perhaps, somewhat unexpectedly and categorically, but I think that this wording is better remembered: “Do not suffer!”

– How not to suffer, – many will oppose, – when there are so many possible reasons for suffering?   

– And still, – I answer, – do not suffer! No matter what!   

The fact is that quite a few people, in distress, in distress, begin to “bathe” in their sufferings: they think about them all the time, share them with others, seek sympathy and are offended if they do not meet him; going to bed, they sort through all the details of the incident in their heads, and when they wake up, they again begin to think about how miserable they are. And it is unknown to them that, reveling in suffering, they terribly harm themselves and their health. In what way?

When a person suffers, when he is captured by negative emotions (such as grief, anxiety, fear, mental or physical pain), all of his body systems begin to function much worse than usual. And so much the worse the suffering. Suffering is harder to think; Decisions made by them in such a state often cause others regret or bewilderment, even protest; have them disturbed sleep and loss of appetite. The cardiovascular system becomes prone to spasmodic conditions – hence hypertensive crises, strokes, strokes, myocardial infarction. Breathing becomes constrained, difficult; the activity of the gastrointestinal tract is disturbed, physical strength decreases, and so on. Therefore, we conclude: it is harmful to suffer !  

Those who do not want to struggle with their suffering become like a person who, having pinched a finger by the door, shouts about how painful he is, sheds tears, asks for help, but does not try to free his finger. But you first need to get out of the traumatic situation, and only then think about what to do next: put your finger under a stream of cold water, run to a trauma station or redo the door so that what happened does not happen again.

This example of physical suffering, of course, is consciously simplified – it is not that difficult to release a pinched finger. It is much more difficult to free oneself from spiritual distress. After all, they, figuratively speaking, dig into the brain and heart! And so, seeing an acquaintance with a hunched back, head bowed, eyes dimmed, and having learned that trouble had happened to him, we, with sympathy, say something like this: “Do not think about it! Come on, forget it! Get it out of your head! ”

The advice is good, but, alas, impracticable. For the reason that suffering can not be thrown out of your head, as an unnecessary piece of paper from your pocket. But there is another way, another mechanism of self-help – suffering can be supplanted . Than? In a mental way that can improve the mood for you personally. In such a way you can be a person dear to you, a beautiful landscape, a beautiful melody, a favorite activity, etc. 

Practically it is done this way: once in a distressing situation that traumatizes the brain, it is necessary immediately, without losing a second, with the help of the 1st PMT formula (the PMT technique is outlined in the 2nd part of the book) to relieve the excessive stress that has arisen in the brain. It is possible that this formula will have to be repeated several times in a row – until a calm, “on-screen” state occurs. A person who owns self-regulation, this procedure takes no more than a minute. And then, having checked the screen of the soothing color with the degree of calmness of the brain, it is necessary to put that mental image that is always able to bring peace to the focus of calmly focused attention, and even better – a good mood. By focusing on the desired mental image, you thereby displace all thoughts and feelings that were caused by suffering. Repress, relying on the power of the mental mechanism: when attention is extremely focused on one thing, then nothing else can “enter” into consciousness.

However, it should be emphasized that the repressed images generated by suffering, as a rule, do not give up easily their positions – they will again and again try to occupy a dominant position in the mind and feelings of the sufferer. But this is precisely the art of psychic self-regulation — the means of self-defense and self-help — in order to perseverely keep positive mental images in the focus of their calmly focused attention, which are always able to calm and improve mood. 

From all of the above, the second rule logically follows   : “Always be in a good mood!”   If not upbeat, then at least in a calm, comfortable state.

What is the mood? The end result of all those experiences that we experience in a given period of time. It is like an average value, derived from the sum of all kinds of emotions – negative and positive, passing through our brain. Consequently, one must accustom oneself to react to various vicissitudes of life in such a way as to ultimately always maintain a good, even mood. No matter what!

Why is it important? Because a person who is in a good mood, all organs and systems function, as is now often said, in the “most favored nation” regime. That is, a person thinks better, is even in communication with others, is not irritated even when there is a reason for this, sleeps well, works productively. His heart is actively pumping blood, and the vessels freely carry it through all the tissues of the body. Lungs perfectly take oxygen from the air and give off carbon dioxide. The liver successfully disinfects metabolic products coming from a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract; muscles become strong and resilient, etc. 

Even when a person is ill, it is extremely useful to maintain a good mood, an optimistic attitude towards your future. For the predominance of positive emotions, which form the basis of a good mood, contributes to the normalization of various body functions. This has been known since time immemorial. For example, in the Middle Ages, it was said that the arrival of comedians in the city is much more beneficial for the health of residents than a whole supply of medicines. This pattern was formulated very precisely and succinctly by the chief surgeon of the Napoleonic armies, Dominic Jean Larrey: “The wounded winners are healed more quickly.” And nowadays, in one of the American hospitals, where patients after heavy operations on the lungs and heart lay, a very simple, but very impressive experiment was carried out: in several wards, the animated cartoons began to be operated on regularly. And in these patients, the recovery process went much faster. Even a reaction such as ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), which characterizes the degree of inflammatory processes, they began to decrease much faster.

I will cite an excerpt from the book VF Smirnova “I am a doctor”: “It has been proven many times by scientific research: the more often a person is in a joyful and elated mood, the less often he is sick. And in the case of a disease, optimists tend to cope faster with ailments than pessimists. German scientists have recently found convincing evidence of this, even in relation to cancer. After analyzing a huge amount of statistical material, they revealed a clear pattern: gloomy, sad, constantly doubting, “negatively charged” people for life much more often (other things being equal) get cancer and are harder to cure than balanced, joyful, positive-minded individuals.

It is established that a good mood mobilizes the immune system, activates the blood supply to the tissues and, very importantly, contributes to the concentration of a person’s will to fight the disease. Although this phenomenon has not yet been studied in detail, one thing is undeniable: the level of resistance and the state of body defenses are much higher in people with a positive perception of the world than those who are depressed by their mournful activities … So smile and laugh more often! ”

So, we make a vital conclusion: when a person is in a good mood, his organs and systems function in accordance with the laws of nature and are well adapted to all changes occurring both in the external world and in the internal environment of the body. That is, everything, as they say, is normal. Is not such a rule ideal? Not one of the main conditions for a happy life?

Both the rules of mental hygiene – “Do not suffer!”   And “Always be in a good mood!”   Very successfully combined in the lines of his poem “Deep rear” poet S.V. Smirnov:

Long live the skill of being cheerful

When nothing cheers you up!

Very valuable advice! And mental self-regulation is the best way to put it into practice.

Rule three   – “Do not allow overwork!”   Or (which is the same thing) – “Timely restore strength ” The Council, of course, is of a very general nature and requires specification in each individual case. The duration and nature of the rest can be quite different – from a deep night’s sleep, which lasts for 7–8 hours continuously, to a 2-3-minute special, self-perceived sleep-rest, more like a brief disconnection of consciousness from everything that happens around. How, how much and when to rest – this should be determined by the specifics of the activity in which a person is engaged, the peculiarities of his neuropsychic and physical sphere, age, living conditions, nutrition, etc. 

Often in the process of activity there is a feeling of fatigue. So, you need to know: fatigue is useful . Overcoming it, the body uses its reserve forces, which contributes to the development of many useful qualities – in particular, the will is strengthened, endurance increases.

However, fatigue can accumulate. And in one far from perfect moment, an extra drop of fatigue overwhelms the cup of accumulated exhaustion, and it passes into a new, negative quality — into exhaustion. So, overwork is harmful , because it is already a painful condition in which all sorts of deviations from the norm arise in the body.

Unfortunately, there are no exact criteria that clearly define the boundary between fatigue and overwork. And, more truly, such a border cannot be – it is as mobile and changeable day by day as our life itself. True, there are psychological, physiological and biochemical tests that can be used to predict the approach of overwork. But they require the use of special techniques, which are currently used only in cases where there is a great need for such a prediction – for example, when practicing cyclic sports.

In ordinary life, there is only one criterion: if, after even the hardest work, a person falls asleep, like a dead person, he sleeps without a break until the morning and wakes up with a fresh head, then the day before he was just thoroughly tired – and no more. But if, after heavy loads, sleep does not come at all, the night passes in throwing around the bed, and in the morning there is no desired feeling of rest, these are already obvious signs of fatigue that has come. And then it is necessary to take the most urgent measures for the fastest recovery of the body. In each case, such measures should have a specific focus, but there is something in common that unites all remediation measures. This is the organization of proper rest, rational nutrition and the use of appropriate medical methods – physiotherapy and pharmacology.

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