Mental Hygiene With Mindfulness

by Dr. Manijeh Motaghy

Mental Hygiene with Mindfulness is a necessary skill and repertoire for everyone. Without good mental hygiene, we suffer and cause conflict.

Here is an honest question. Have you showered today or freshened up yet? How about the hygiene of your mind? Are you living with a mind that easily gets irritated, agitated, tuned out, or becomes worried and fearful? Well, that means you do not have good mental hygiene.

I’ll tell you a little secret.

After a few days of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed an unpleasant smell on my breath. I was shocked and thought I was imagining it. With closer attention, there it was, bad breath. “Dear God, that is horrible, unacceptable,” I thought. “How could that be?”

I called my dentist and she told me about better dental hygiene. Three steps, brushing, flossing, and using those little brushes at the gums. I started doing that diligently after every meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I realized how much all three steps were necessary. After brushing, I flossed and some more things got released. Are you disgusted by the image of this? Well, I was sure my teeth were clean after the flossing. Nope. When I used the little gum brush some more food came out. I couldn’t believe it. I was grateful for having learned this. Of course, I had been told before that I needed to floss and I did it too. But this level of cleanliness is another level, which everyone should know about and do it. It could save you from really painful and expensive root canals and such.

Back to Mental Hygiene.

The fact is most people don’t know that they are agitated, angry, or upset due to bad mental hygiene. People justify it and get used to getting upset. Imagine, if most people’s mouths smelled and we became used to the smell. How awful would that be?

When one goes to a doctor for anxiety medication and is told to meditate, they try it and may find it difficult. That difficulty is equivalent to having had bad hygiene for one’s teeth leading to dental issues. Chances are they feel anxious because of not properly cleansing their thoughts and, also making it hard to meditate.

Try the KDDP approach. Be Kind. Don’t judge yourself. Be Determined. Think of the harm it causes to have bad mental hygiene. Be Diligent. Keep your routine. Have Pride for the cleanliness of your mind, like I did about getting rid of bad breath. It takes time and consistency to do the three-step oral hygiene, but I will not have it any other way. My health and happiness are worth it plus the people who encounter me deserve both my mind to be peaceful and my mouth to smell fresh. So, do those who encounter you. :)

If you don’t know how to take care of your thoughts, fears, and worries, how to clean and tune them up properly, go to our course page and see the list of upcoming courses. They all include lots of great Mindful Life Intelligence lessons and mental hygiene tools. :)

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