Why Mental Health Is The New Medicine

Shallow focus photography of white bald man holding brown chess piece over chess board

Paying More Attention To Your Mental Health

As we continue to move forward with every passing year, society will come to appreciate the importance of mental health. This is because with every passing decade, societal events seem to be getting worse; I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. How much longer will people continue to experience adverse events in society and not have an honest conversation with themselves about their mental health?

I predict that society will shift its focus more from physical ailments onto mental ones. Genetics we can’t control, but a great diet, a sound sleep hygiene and a consistent exercise routine are things we have heard of over a million times; in other words, we already know what we need to do to stay physically healthy and fit. But can the same be said about our mental health? Do we really know how to stay mentally health?

If we do, then why have mental health cases increased during this coronavirus pandemic? Because we have no clue how to stay mentally health! We have a pandemic hit and CNN and Fox News pounding more negative news into our minds, leaving us nervous, worried, anxious and some even psychotically-destined! Most of us have not even encountered this virus and have never developed any physical symptoms, yet our mental health has taken a hit!

Has anyone ever stepped back to think that maybe the real target of this virus was not our physical health but our mental? The body is very sturdy and can survive many physical ailments; if it weren’t, we wouldn’t have survived as humans to see the year 2020. But our mind is weaker than our body because it’s vulnerable to fear, manipulation and confusion; through control of the mind, our body slowly breaks down.

It’s time to wake up and pay more attention to your thoughts. It’s time to pay more attention to what you feed your mind. It’s time to pay more attention to what sources of information you rely on. It’s time to pay more attention to what you are reading. It’s time to pay more attention to your emotions because they always stem from your thoughts first. It’s time to pay more attention to your environment. It’s time to pay more attention to your dreams.

It’s time to pay more attention.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)


Are Mental Health And Emotional Health The Same?

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The Mind’s Bag Of Tricks

Mental health and emotional health are interrelated: one can have mental health problems and emotional problems or emotional problems but no mental health problems. Generally, one cannot have mental health problems and not also have emotional problems; any mental conflict is sure to strike some emotional differences in a person. This is the mind’s bag of tricks at work!

While it’s easier to understand why a person with mental health problems most likely has emotional problems as well, how can a person with emotional problems not have mental health problems? Because we experience emotions every single day; they make up our personality.

But this does not mean that we have a mental health problem just because we are experiencing different emotions as often as every 2 minutes. Emotions are natural and expected. Sure, one can experience emotional dysregulation, but that’s when it has become pathological, involving mental health in the mix.

Generally, mental health and emotional health go together like peanut butter and jelly. But many times, you can enjoy the jelly (emotional health) without the nuts (mental health). The reason why they go together so well is because emotions originate from our mind. Your personality is determined by your mind, and your mind is determined by your genetic makeup and environmental influences.

Separating the two is permissible, but it’s easier to just understand that mental health and emotional health are interrelated. For instance, you may not have an official psychiatric diagnosis, but have been feeling sad for the last 5 days in a row. This emotion of sadness is part of your mental health in a way: sadness alters your perception of yourself, others around you and your environment.

If you continue to remain sad for another 9-10 days or so, with other symptoms in the mix, you may develop what is called major depressive disorder. So what started out as a natural emotion known as sadness, can eventually progress to a major psychiatric condition within as little as 2 weeks!

While the mind does not actually have a bag of tricks, this expression is meant for you to understand the intricacies of the human mind; a very complex and mysterious organ of the human body. What happens in the depths of our mind is often unknown to us. If we are dealing with such a big unknown, can you imagine how many possibilities there are for our mental and emotional health to go astray?

Let’s not dive deeper than we have to.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Giving People A Chance

Two young women sitting on swings in the park

Restarting Your Mind

We often have preconceived notions about a person or group of people, fearing that we won’t like them if we spend time with them. When we don’t interact with someone for a long time, our mind is prone to developing a belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty. And oftentimes, there’s a high chance that we act on these false beliefs.

This process occurs because we are so busy with our personal life that we forget to direct attention to people whom we don’t talk or spend enough time with. Unconsciously, the mind starts forming opinions on these people: “they’re probably not good enough for you”, “there’s a reason you haven’t spoken to them in a while”, “why waste your time seeing them and risk getting in an uncomfortable situation?”

What we need to get good at is controlling these preconceived notions that we develop about others. They’re often very powerful and able to dictate our future moves. If we fall trap, we risk losing perfectly fine relationships. Sometimes it feels like we are fighting against ourself: our mind says one thing while we say another. Who is in control?

We are. Remember that the brain is like a computer; it does all of these random processes in the background which we are not even aware of. Some of these processes dictate how we view others. For instance, when you are using a computer, do you allow it to do whatever it wants? If you sense a slowing down or annoying process in the background, you restart it!

Sometimes we need to restart our mind. This can be done through:

When you find yourself negatively thinking about people whom you have liked in the past, remind yourself that you may be experiencing a preconceived notion, which your mind automatically created without your knowing. Rather than acting on it, give people a chance by spending time with them!

After having a good time with people whom you have liked in the past, you will realize how inaccurate your preconceived notions were in the first place. And rather than burning another bridge, you now have kept another solid relationship in your life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Best Leaders Rely On Their Intuition

Hand holding a black card with writing about intuition and guidance

Intuition Can See Through Illusive Intent

Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. We often find ourselves struggling to balance our mind and intuition; sometimes our intuition is screaming “no!” while our mind is yelling “go!” Balancing the two and bringing them to agree is the key to making better decisions.

Think of intuition as a natural and free guide that is attempting to help you avoid illusive intent, unsafe situations, uncomfortable scenarios or unpleasant future experiences. One may feel intuition originating from their chest; perhaps from the heart? Wherever it comes from, it feels like a natural flow of energy that is telling you the answer right before your eyes.

The challenge becomes listening to our intuition on a consistent basis. What usually stands in the way? Our mind. The brain is like a self-programmed computer that has been developing since its inception. It studies the world around us and processes memories, events, feelings and beliefs. It tells us when to eat, sleep, have sex, exercise or consume alcohol and drugs.

The mind is very selfish: it wants pleasure and comfort. It wants us to survive but not always with the best intent. The mind often argues with the intuition, like a sword fight between two wise ninjas. Only rarely, do they come to an agreement without difficulty. This is because intuition is not selfish; it loves and wants to protect us.

In addition, the brain relies on calculations and past experiences. It bases its decisions on past events and current intent and desires. If it sees an opportunity, it tells us “charge!” But intuition relies on instinct. It doesn’t analyze scenarios; it just knows what is good or bad and tells us “yes or no” in a very natural way that is blatantly obvious.

The best leaders rely on their intuition because they have learned that they make better decisions when they do so. Oftentimes, following your intuition in the moment while ignoring your mind feels very uncomfortable. But as hours or sometimes days pass by, your mind gives up, the smoke clears and you are swarmed with a good feeling and thought in your mind, “wow, I really do feel better now!”

So rather than being selfish and always listening to your mind, take a step back and first listen to your intuition before making a decision. If you find that your mind and intuition are stepping in the fighting ring, it’s probably a safer bet to side with your intuition!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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