Mental health week is so wrong!
Mental wellbeing incorporates a healthy body, healthy connections, and a healthy soul, as well as a healthy mind.
We don’t know enough about the brain to know with certainty why some people become depressed or anxious while others don’t. We don’t have a clear understanding about why some people respond to trauma in a way that has a devestating impact on their lives while others are able seemingly able to function well.
What we do know is that whatever happens within your physical body also effects your mind. We know that connection with others can be a helpful salve in stressful times and that social contact plays a vital role in the health of the brain. We also know that having a purpose in life that gives you a sense of meaning has a positive impact on wellbeing. And of course, whether or not you use your mind or your mind uses you has a big impact on your mental functioning.
Read on to learn more about the importance of nourishing these four areas on a daily basis to enhance your wellbeing. You may find it helpful to jot some notes down while reflecting on each area:
Four areas that are essential to wellbeing:
- Book a body tune-up with the best! As a psychologist, if I was able to engage a holistic GP to work with all of my clients I truly believe that at least one quarter of the people whom I work with would be able to improve their mental health without any further assistance from me. A holistic GP understands whole body health. They assist you to learn about your own unique hormonal functioning, understand what nutrients your body is lacking and how to repelenish these naturally, and know what you need to do to have your body in optimal condition. Yes they can be expensive, however aren’t you worth investing in? Visiting a holistic GP is a very good starting point on the road to mental wellbeing.
- Create and maintain conncections: in today’s society we are becoming more and more physically isolated. Sure, we have many more e-connections to people through social media and the wonders of information technology, and I’m positive that this has some benefits in terms of social support, however we are neglecting real, face-to-face, healthy relationships with other human beings. Take a look at your social support network: does it contain people who want to see you thrive? People who encourage you to dream big and who are there to support you should you fall? How do you connect to people in your local community? Are you someone who nurtures your relationships with others in a healthy way? Do you know of someone who has experienced extra stressors recently? Do you make an effort to check in with them, ask them how their day went? Are you connecting and having fun with someone on a weekly basis?
- Soothe your soul: not so many of us engage in formal religious practices today. However, nourishing the soul does not necessarily mean you need to attend an orthodox religion. Instead, it can be soul healing to focus on what the bigger picture means for you. What sense do you make of your life and your role in the world? What are your values? Do you live your life according to your own values? Many of the people that I know find that by immersing themselves in nature they experience a form of spirituality. Others have noticed that it is their connections with people that brings them soul healing. What gives you a sense of peacefulness?
- Manage your mind: does your mind work for you or against you? For many of us it is as though our mind has a mind of it’s own! We can find ourselves almost automatically engaging in unhelpful thinking patterns, getting bogged down in stories about what could go wrong. Is your mind constantly judging what you do, measuring you against others around you, or even judging other people in your life? Give your mind a health check, can you observe where you tend to focus your attention? Are your thoughts loaded with unrealistic expectations of yourself or others? Do you constantly hear a niggling voice telling you that you are not good enough? You can make some positive shifts by becoming the master of your mind, training yourself to choose where to focus your attention. You can learn to focus your mind on values and goals that enhance the other three areas of your wellbeing mentioned above and improve your quality of life.
If you need further support in conducting your own wellbeing check, give me a call on 0404 248 576 and we can book a session to talk about areas of your unique life that you might easily be able to improve.
Posted: Wed 08 Oct 2014