Every month should be mental health awareness month!
Mental health awareness, I know, I am preaching to my choir. There’s a fine balance between fixating on problems and pretending they don’t exist. Problems are expected parts of life, how personally attacked you feel by these problems is, well, personal. Learning how to cope with problems is a sign of emotional maturity and a practice in mindfulness. As I have mentioned in other posts, anxiety is the mind’s imagination gone awry. It is the faulty belief that life’s problems are bigger than us and will be the cause of our demise. It’s not to say that we should welcome every problem with a smile. Or pretend like everything is fine without processing the negative ramifications or the heaviness. This would be considered toxic positivity and gaslighting your true feelings about the situation. Can we find a silver lining? Sure, but glossing over the grit and tenacity it took to overcome obstacles isn’t doing anyone any good or demonstrating any type of maturity or bravado.
Mental health is a work in progress based on your overall consumption of ideas, foods, music, exercise, and relationships. When I introduce breathwork and meditation to some of my clients, kids and adults alike, I sometimes get this look, like, “What did I get myself into? I didn’t realize she was one of those therapists…” Well, I am. But, if you think about it, we breathe from the moment we are born, and unless we are trained athletes or dancers, do we really ever learn how our breath affects our overall well-being? Even then, its importance is probably restricted to the sports world and not applied to everyday life. It’s a basic function that has an impressive impact on our self-regulation. And we don’t learn to use it! Even though it is so basic and the effects are felt within a few minutes, people are reluctant to try to connect with themselves, afraid of what they’ll find.
Take a moment and think about how you fill your day from start to finish.
- What music do you listen to?
- What accounts do you follow on social media?
- Shows do you watch? Read any books?
- Topics of conversation?
- Do you exercise?
- Do you take time to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings or do you pay too much attention to them?
- What do you eat?
- Do you connect with friends and family?
Reviewing all of this will give you parameters of awareness of your mental health.