Mental Health Wellness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, the perfect time to explore Mental Health Wellness. As we all know the human experience is complicated; filled with happiness and wonder, as well as challenges and disappointments. It is a normal part of life to struggle at times. Mental Health Wellness is the striving to regain emotional balance in the face of difficult times, evolving and returning to a positive, hopefully more meaningful outlook.
Emotions are natural and taking care of our emotional state is part of our overall good health. Life happens, we respond. Mental Health Wellness impacts how we feel, think, and behave; how we respond to stress, relate to others and make decisions.
Often, Mental Health is discussed in a negative tone, a “something is wrong” viewpoint. However, emotions are intricate, and the formation and evolution of our feelings is complex. Education about Mental Health assists us in understanding about common human experiences. In many instances our emotional experience mirrors another’s, perhaps a different context but often a similar response from which we can learn. Knowledge is power! In my office I see a wide variety of people struggling and thriving. I have concluded that we all have some common themes that cause us distress including relationships, how we see ourselves (self-esteem) and communication (i.e. how we interact with others). Among the challenges I also have recognized common traits in those people who do thrive, even amidst life’s challenges. I have realized that people with Mental Health Wellness are S.M.A.R.T.
SELF: Start with yourSELF. Looking at yourself, assessing what is working and what might need improving. Being human means having challenges and successes. This is life! Personal growth is inevitable and throughout our lives we change. Our relationships deepen or weaken, even our relationship with ourselves change. These changes are a normal part of being human. Acknowledging our humanness and seeing our self can assist with life’s ups and downs by knowing where we are starting from and where we’d like to go.
MOTIVATION: Having the motivation and willingness to identify our struggles and successes. Motivated to have the courage in the face of fear. Being vulnerable. Being inclined to make change.
AWARE: Aware of ourselves, our outlook toward our self and others. Mindfulness of both our strengths and flaws. Understanding that personal development is possible. Realizing what is a big problem and what is just an inconvenience. Conscious that our world is filled with stressors and that strengthening our interpersonal skills is the path to good Mental Health.
RESILIENCE: By definition, resilience is the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. Regrouping after trauma, changing our perspectives to positive, strength base attitudes even in the face of trauma and loss. Adjusting our perspectives and using our skills to move us through difficult situations.
TAKE ACTION: Take action to achieve personal goals. A plan without action is just a good idea. We have to do something to move ourselves forward. Action steps for Mental Health Wellness include finding help from a Mental Health professional, motivational reading, and seeking information. Restart as many times as need be, don’t stop striving.
Be S.M.A.R.T. because our human experience can be challenging. Mental Health Wellness is part of our everyday lives and is essential to well-adjusted living. Take the time to focus on yourself. Life happens; be prepared.