Mental Health 101

See the source image

Take a moment before reading any further to contemplate the term ‘mental health’.

Now hold those thoughts that arose, and continue.

Mental health is in essence the well-being of your mind and your neural processes. How your synaptic pathways function, all very ‘sciencey’. 

Our minds are amazing things; the average person has between 50 to 70 thousand thoughts a day, and none of us engages with all of them. There are a few that recur, and these are the ones that some identify with. 

Going back to my initial direction to contemplate mental health, what came up for you, what did you think about?

It is unlikely that you thought about standing on a mountain top in awe of creation feeling great, or listening to the sea as you soaked up some sunshine on a golden beach. And yet these are equally valid when talking of mental health, the feel-good factor.

How we maintain our sense of balance has been severely impeded. The things that make life wonderful have been curtailed: connection with our loved ones, connection with the world at large, and work. Work is not just about making money; for many, it is the sense of belonging to a group of people with a shared aim. It’s the banter between colleagues. It’s the energy shared when we are close to each other. 

For many, mental health means depression, suicide, anxiety, stress… we think of how it is when our mental health is out of balance. 

The recent awareness around mental health has been wonderful; unfortunately, it has created an adverse connection with the term, which is neither positive nor negative.

We now have a situation where some believe that if they feel sad for a few days, they are depressed. No, you are sad, and if you look at your life, you may be able to see why and address the reasons. 

I have met many who define themselves as having anxiety. Upon further exploration, they feel anxious when entering into new situations or meeting new people. That is not anxiety; that is a normal response to a new situation, your primal responses are activated ensuring that you’re not going into anything dangerous. 

Prolonged feelings of sadness that you find difficult to emerge from is depression, and then it is necessary to find out whether it is organic or environmental. In other words, is there some chemical imbalance occurring, or has life become too difficult and overwhelming. 

If your anxiety does not fade when you have become comfortable in your new experience, or if you experience recurring panic attacks, you may now be experiencing anxiety. 

Adverse mental health conditions need to be addressed before they become adverse before they become overwhelming. There are ways of maintaining your balance during these stressful times.

Firstly, I would encourage you not to identify yourself with a particular condition or issue. You are more than one thing.

Our mental health is not something in isolation. It is connected to our physical and spiritual well-being. 

When we are not feeling great, we probably aren’t sleeping well, we aren’t eating well and we’re reluctant to exercise. Any of these impact our mental health, and our mental health impacts them. We are more than our mind, we are more than our body, and we are more than our soul, we are all.

Each of us is a unique expression of life and, as such, we each have our unique way of maintaining our sense of wellness. 

For example, going to a gym to work on machines is my idea of torture; nothing is appealing or enticing about it, and it makes me feel uncomfortable and resistant. For others, it is how they release negative feelings, work out their body and keep in shape, endorphin is released and the feel-good factor is achieved. 

This is one example; you know what makes you feel good. Drinking ½ a bottle of wine after work, although for many helps to relax is not truly beneficial for you. If you’ve been doing this for a few weeks, months, or years, try to not do it, and see how it impacts you. 

Getting onto our devices and scrolling through is another way; have you tried not to use your devices for any prolonged amount of time? how does this make you feel? 

There has been systematic and focused attention given to creating rituals and practices that are not helpful for a sense of balance and wellbeing. All things in moderation.

What is extremely useful is nutritious food, clean water, exercise, and sleep. These are the basics, the non-negotiables. The first thing your doctor will ask you when you visit is how is your sleep, are you sleeping? Never underestimate the importance of sleep and rest. If you are not sufficiently rested you are not functioning optimally; if you are not sufficiently hydrated you are not functioning optimally; if you haven’t received the right nutrients, you are not functioning optimally. You would never dream of treating your car in the way that you treat your mind and body; be an exciting journey to make. 

My Six Week Being Well Adventure is one way; it is filled with tools and techniques, jam-packed with a range of things, looking at exercise, nutrition, and the many modalities that are aimed at creating and maintaining rituals and practices that will enhance your sense of wellbeing. With guest practitioners sharing their skills and passion within their field, from working with the Goddesses to hypnotherapy. 

There are many. 

If you should require any support with your mental health, then get in touch. There is help out there. 

As someone passionate about well-being, the most beneficial advice I can give is, to be honest with the self about what’s going on for you. Forget your stiff upper lip, forget pushing your needs aside. To be the magnificent you that you are, be honest with yourself. This is not easy. It requires a level of acceptance that you are worth it. Many of us haven’t been told that we are, we haven’t been educated to think that we matter; we do.

Invest in the Health of your Future Self

10 Remedies for the Road