Improving your Mental and Emotional Health
Everyone's Mental Health Needs are UniqueLast week we talked about mental and emotional health and how I define it.For me, Mental Health refers to:Mental and emotional well being. The ability to be aware of one's thoughts, feelings, and how they relate to their actions and results. The ability to process thoughts and emotions, both positive and negative or large and small. It's the ability to problem solve and overcome struggles and challenges. Not everyone's mental and emotional health needs are the same. There is no "one size fits all" solution. This is why it is vital that you take the time to figure out your own mental and emotional health needs and wants.I had one teenager who wanted to increase his ability to sleep at night. He wasn't sure how, but he thought this was somehow tied to his mental and emotional health. (I'll tell you later what he did to go from struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, and then wake up in the morning to sleeping like a baby all night long.)I had another client who constantly worried about mistakes from their past. They worried that they had ruined their future, upset God, and they constantly felt like they weren't good enough. I have parents who constantly worry that their teenager or young adult will do something "too bad" and "ruin their lives."These are all areas that can be improved by increasing your mental health.Increase Your Own AwarenessOne of the things that I've seen that helps people identify areas where they would like to increase their mental health, is to explore areas of your life that you are unhappy with. What things frustrate you? What things seem overwhelming or insurmountable?What are the things or areas of your life that you are avoiding?It's empowering to increase your awareness. Rather than ignoring and avoiding areas of your life that cause you discomfort or dissatisfaction, we face them and experience them. Awareness empowers you to make a change. Make Mental Health a Simple, Sustainable, PriorityIt's important that you don't over complicate your mental health.Find things that are simple and sustainable for you. They don't have to take too long. They don't have to be hard. The young man who couldn't sleep at night started doing a 5 minute thought download 30-60 minutes before bed. Within a week he was sleeping better. Within a month he had the sleep schedule that he wanted and only did thought downloads once or twice a week.The client who struggled with their past actions explored those past actions and found some benefits and positives associated with it. The worked on accepting that circumstances are neutral, and that if there are negatives there has to also be an equal number of positives. Once they found that the past actions were truly neutral, it stopped bugging them overnight. Some of my clients exercise their mental health by doing physical exercise. Others do writing in journals, thought downloads, or even creative writing. Some join sports teams or school/community theater. The bottom line is that YOUR mental health is yours. You get to decide how to take care of you best. If you're worried about your teen's mental health, be the example. Make your mental health a bigger priority. Your example to your teen is the most powerful thing you can do to help them change. Become a Member TODAY!