What Mental Hygiene Can Mean For Your Life, As Explained By Actress Gabriella Wright – Exclusive

Though Gabriella Wright, inspirational actress, activist, and co-founder of the Never Alone initiative did not coin the phrase "mental hygiene," her ability to guide this term into our collective mental health lexicon is profound. When we consider hygiene, we often relate it to how well we care for our physical bodies. However, cultivating a hygiene routine for our mental health is equally valuable.

The foundation behind mental hygiene is simple — although it can be more challenging to put into practice. According to Wright, "Mental hygiene is a way to start creating [a] relationship with your mind so that you can observe the fluctuations of where you're at." She continued, saying, "So for example, we have physical hygiene, you have dental hygiene. You know, if you don't brush your teeth, you basically get a filling and that can be painful for a second, and you have to have an intervention." Similarly, an intervention is needed to establish mental hygiene.

Fundamentally, mental hygiene is a practice in self-assessment, said Wright. Once you establish your baseline, you will be better equipped to maintain it because of the tools you'll gather through checking in with yourself consistently. 

Finding peace in the middle of a storm

One of Gabriella Wright's favorite ways to self-assess is incredibly simple, while also being incredibly profound. When she begins to feel overwhelmed, she said she stops in her tracks to evaluate what is going on around her. Instead of allowing herself to get swept up in the noise, she steadies herself amid the chaos and observes. She explained that intentionally taking breaths in through her nose and then exhaling them out is a great way to find focus. She also suggests visualizing the words you want to say and the tension you are feeling leaving your body with each exhalation. 

Another way that Wright hones her mental hygiene skills is through imagery and water. This can be as simple as just running the kitchen faucet and being present — "just tuning in to the sensation of your body because your body is the map of your mind." Wright added, "Every tension is a symbol of what's happening in the mind. And if it's recurring, then we haven't paid attention. So, we haven't stopped."

You can watch the first two episodes of Never Alone Artists, presented by Triller x The Chopra Foundation & Never Alone, here.