To understand mental wealth

you need to first understand the mind

and how it works


now you know I like my analogies and stories

it keeps things simple without too much science

and this is how I’m going to explain the mind

imagine your mind is a box


filled with millions of tiny lights and switches

each switch has a wire that connects to the light

and a function, emotion, feeling or action on the other side


Some lights are always switched on

like the ones that control your heart beat and breathing


Some lights are only on when you need them

like when you move or speak


You have daytime lights for when you are awake

and night time lights for when you are sleeping


there are lights for happy thoughts

lights for unhappy thoughts


and so on…


in a balanced mind there will be a set number

and combination of lights on or off

at any one time


thus when the mind is unbalanced

the wrong lights are on or off


some examples:

you are feeling low, life has been sh1tty

and you just can’t be bothered with anything

your lights have probably dimmed

and will shine bright again in a few days


you have gone past the example above

it’s been months since you felt positive

you feel life is getting darker

and you don’t know why


some of your happy lights have probably gone out

and if the majority of your thoughts are unhappy

that’s because they are still shining bright

you might need help to switch those happy lights back on


someone has died

or you’ve suffered from some kind of trauma


maybe you are under loads more stress than usual

the happy lights just went boom

and the coping lights are flickering


a temporary situation means they will come back on

> when they are ready


you need to grieve, rest or recover

all you can think of is dying

the happy lights are out


and those suicidal lights are blinding you

they are the only thoughts you have


loads of other lights have gone out too

rationality, subjectiveness and any life spirit


what if all of the lights come on?

like christmas tree lights

colours and flashing maybe even playing music?


this can be described as mania

where you are doing too many things

and getting nothing done as you are blinded


and that horrible word schizophrenic

or psychotic

people are so scared of these terms


but all they mean is that the person

is seeing, hearing and feeling things that aren’t real


but they are real to the person

hopefully you can figure out

that the combination of lights has got so mixed up

it’s causing confusion in the mind


some sensory lights may be broken

others just can’t switch off

maybe they are wired up wrong

or sending signals to the wrong functions…


I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist

I’m not medically trained or qualified

this is just my way of explaining it


I have read loads of books, reports and studies though

I had to – to try and make sense of it all


I find it helpful to have a picture that I can relate to

and I will be referring to the box of lights

in future emails


Did this make sense to you?

let me know if it does or doesn’t



p.s. I do have a few qualifications in mental health in exercise – I’m just not a doctor xx


Carolyne is the owner of Fit Strong Females with a Studio in Glasgow City Centre and an Online Membership Site, with 18 years experience. She is also a Fitness, Success and Food Blogger, Author and Writer. You can contact her at or find more information at 

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