Date of Award
Before we jump in, it is important to make clear to the reader what this thesis will do and what it will not do. First, I will review the empirical evidence behind the main health habits that I decided to start and implement. Then, I will detail how I practiced these habits on myself, how I assessed any change for certain health constructs, and review my experience of this self-study. Most importantly, I will describe why practicing health habits, like meditation, is crucially important in our present moment as a result of the mental health crisis being exacerbated by COVID-19. In doing so, the use of mindfulness through programs and apps in school and work will be discussed then I will provide suggestions to further the practice and instill a mindful culture to effectively address the mental health crisis.
What this thesis will not do is critically assess why there is a mental health crisis. I do, however, recognize its importance in deconstructing why our society is suffering from poor mental health, whether that has to do with our neoliberal-capitalist society that prioritizes profits and consumption over our basic human needs and health or even extreme forms of isolation (not just because of a pandemic, but maybe due to the socialized motive to work tirelessly in order to achieve riches or fame). The critical analysis of the alarming mental health rates being viewed as a symptom of a much larger societal issue would be my natural second-step in wrestling with these ideas. However, to keep my sanity and not bite off more than I can chew for this thesis, I will discuss methods to help oneself in this broken system we live in. How these methods may be a stepping stone to help fix the broken system will be a question I will continue to wrestle with beyond this project.
Correa, Jacob, "An Unexpected Growth Journey: A Review and Self-Study of Health Habits & Why It Matters Today" (2021). Honor Scholar Theses. 167.