Prevention is better than cure!

Prevention is better than cure!

A well-used phrase that some people use when they have found something that really benefits them, is 'I wish I had done this years ago!' When we find a great practice or approach, it can really feel, in a very personal way, life changing! The personal situation that may have preceded this change and the personal behaviors and thoughts that have been changed, could have been happening for many years. This could also have impacted on many personal and professional relations we have formed. Some, since childhood! Many of our 'responses' we may have learnt from others around us or 'picked up' as we developed and got older. Studies show these outcomes to be very common.

We all have our own particular habits of actions and thoughts, routines and behaviors, that over time can evolve into learnt responses. Frustrations when we don't get our first cup of tea or coffee in the morning. Delays that lead to missed deadlines or targets. Poor behavior and time management. Personal habits that can evolve into destructive traits that jeopardize our relationships with ourselves, families, friends, work colleagues and many others. Events and issues stemming from childhood. Problems can soon become endemic and that can turn into unhealthy stress.

How do I recognize a mental health problem?

  • If we have significant challenges at home or at work, it's possible that it's having an impact on our mental health.
  • Possible signs are being short tempered, struggling with our focus and self-motivation, poor time keeping, making uncharacteristic mistakes.
  • We may look or feel very tired or drained.
  • We may distance ourselves from colleagues.
  • We may not be acting or behaving in ways that are healthy and proactive.
  • There may be an increase in 'self-medication'!

What can you do to help yourself?

The phrase 'prevention is better than cure' is often attributed to the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus in around 1500. There are multiple things one can apply to this phrase; a very important one is our mental health. However, as many of us know, being proactive and seeking to approach problems in a healthy way is easier said than done. I know from personal experience that seeking validation and reassurance through escapism and unhealthy solutions just exacerbates our problems.

Another issue that may prevent us from being proactive is a fear of the unknown! A fear of exposing deep sadness, trauma, abuse and the feelings of hopelessness that can arise because of this. Culturally and psychologically, we may have been molded in this way to fear the 'unknown!' For example, the cultural and psychological acceptance of medicine, treatment and surgery to allow us to be healthier for longer is generally accepted as essential to living a good or better life! A simple and common example is the pain of a toothache or the emergence of a boil on flesh! After treatment, the relief can bring much comfort!

In relation to mental health, there are various strategies and approaches one can take. Two important things a person can do to resolve poor mental health are meditation and counselling. The benefits of both are widely reported and well known.

The benefits of meditation for people, young or older are phenomenal! To list a few:

For the employer:

  • Demonstrates a proactive, caring attitude towards staff well-being
  • Boosts morale and motivation
  • Reduces stress levels and friction within your organization
  • Makes for happier individuals and a more harmonious workplace

For the employee:

  • Provides time out to de-stress
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Helps common work-related physical symptoms
  • Engenders a feeling of appreciation
  • Revitalizes and boosts energy levels
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Is a tool for life

For children:

  • Has a calming effect on hyperactive children
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Promotes positive thinking, problem solving and reflective behavior
  • Boosts confidence
  • Promotes inner peace
  • Reduces stress
  • Has a positive effect on general health and well-being


The benefits of counselling can also be life changing:

  • Improving relationships   
  • Self-care   
  • Cathartic experience   
  • Confront feelings   
  • Feeling less alone   
  • Coping with everyday life   
  • Improve psychological and physical wellbeing   
  • Skill building


Dealing with mental health problems has some similarities to the earlier example of the unhealthy tooth. To begin with it can be very physically and emotionally painful to deal with. In time, sometimes very quickly, the healing can begin. The emotional hurt from dealing with personal issues will be approached in a sensitive manner and in a way that is uniquely suited to you. The long-lasting effects of dealing with personal issues brings to the present moment a sense of peace which extends into the future bringing with it a sense of body mind balance.


Karl Heard