Mens sana in corpore sano is a Latin phrase, usually translated as ‘a sound mind in a sound body’. 

When people think of exercise they often view it from the perspective how it can change us physically. However the biggest benefit to exercise is how it changes us mentally. The body and brain connection is undeniable and you can’t change one without impacting the other. 

A 2014 report on mental health in the Australian workplace found that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and within a 12 month period 21% will have to take time off work for a mental health condition.  

Mental illness can be extremely hard to diagnose as it can manifest itself in many ways. Who doesn’t feel upset or down at times? There is no blood test or x-ray to identify depression.  

What we can control though are our lifestyle habits around being mentally healthy. Maybe smoking could be the solution as everything about smoking is good for your health except for the cigarette.  

Every couple of hours up from your desk (usually from nicotine cravings). A 2015 study found that even if you completed regular vigorous exercise your risk of disability doubled with every hour you spent sitting. So regardless of how much you may exercise, if you sit for long periods each day you are making yourself sick. Limit your sedentary time and incorporate more movement into your day. 

Go outside (as your no longer allowed to smoke indoors). Studies have shown that people who train outside experience greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy and positivity as well as decreased tension, confusion and anger than those who exercise indoors. If you’re having a stressful day pop outside for 5 minutes get some green therapy and boost those Vitamin D levels. Walking meetings is another great concept to incorporate more physical activity into your day. 

Breathe Deeply (just not the smoke). Meditation and mindfulness can mean different things to different people. For some it might entail doing a yoga class, for some going shopping, for others walking or even running. It might be sitting in complete silence for an hour or doing just five minutes of deep breathing. At the end of our sessions we often use the 6 (inhale):4 (hold) :10 (exhale) breathing method to kick our clients’ nervous systems into rest and recovery mode, before they have to rush back to the office and deal with the craziness of emails, employees and clients.  

Chat with a Colleague (before the mobile device people actually spoke to each other). Not all conversations about mental health have to start with R U Ok? Simply listening to someone complain about their boss or amount of work will not only help that person vent their frustrations but can sometimes put our own problems into perspective. Try not looking at your favourite influencer on social and engage in meaningful conversations with people. 

When it comes to good health it is not a case of changing the way you look but changing the way you see.