The mind-body connection is the intimate dance that occurs from head to toe and weaves around and through systems and cells. At its essence, the link between mental and physical is “you.” The mind-body connection is more than the sum of its parts. It transcends them to become your self. Use your self as the ultimate tool to create, boost, and maintain mental health and wellbeing.
Practice acceptance of mental health challenges and life problems–stress, jobs, relationships, school, money…the list is long and in our faces day and night, night and day. This is a terrible list. Why would anyone want to accept these things? Accepting them actually reduces their hold on you. As counterintuitive as it may seem, accepting struggles helps you distance yourself from them.
Do more of what helps your wellbeing and mental health. It’s a wise and effective approach to overcoming struggles like anxiety, depression, stress, and a host of other challenges. By embracing the strategy of finding what improves the quality of our lives and intentionally doing more of those things, we make at least two things happen: We shift our thoughts by choosing our focus from what is wrong to what is right, and we empower ourselves to do something to move past what’s negatively impacting wellbeing. This is sometimes easier said than done, however. Yes, doing something that works to propel us forward is helpful, but when we’re stuck, trying to think of what to do can seem nearly impossible. These five ideas can help you discover what increase your mental health and wellbeing.
Much is written about happiness. Books. Articles. Songs. Videos. Happiness seems to be a universal pursuit and one that has existed through ages; indeed, it was a frequent topic among philosophers from the ancient worlds of West and East and has been pursued without pause since then. No one has yet to discover a single answer to how to find happiness. Russ Harris, a important leader in acceptance and commitment therapy, wrote a book entitled The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living. Is happiness attainable, or is it a trap, a sham?
Don’t Move on to 2019 Without Doing This
Pausing for mindful reflection on your year can help you end 2018 well, content in the now, which will carry you into 2019. In the wake of holiday stress, many people begin thinking of resolutions for the new year. That’s a great practice to make the new year yours, as it gives you a sense of control over over what your year will be like. This reduces anxiety, powers through depression, and gives us the upper hand in our relationship with mental health. So don’t discard the ritual of creating resolutions, but don’t start them quite yet. There’s still time to finish 2018 off strong.
It’s difficult to create inner peace when circumstances around us cause or contribute to stress, anxiety, negative thoughts and emotions, and cognitive dissonance (an uncomfortable feeling that develops when your actions and values don’t match up). Sometimes, to be at peace and decrease the experiences we don’t need, we need to walk away. However, doing so is often easier said than done. Knowing what it involves and how to do it will move you in the direction of wellbeing and inner peace.
A box of journals and joy arrived at my doorstep the other day. My copies of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety arrived, and for me it was something to celebrate. The box contained an abundance of mindfulness journals that I wrote to provide a meaningful way for anyone to reflect on what they want (your own version of a quality life) and mindfully work past what they don’t want. In the video, I invite you to complete your journal “with” me as I complete one, too.
Gratitude check-in: it’s the week of Thanksgiving in the US, and many people are stressed with preparations. If that’s you, are you harried or happy? Is November in general a happy month? It’s a very good thing when countries set aside a national holiday for feeling and expressing gratitude, but can that truly make people happy?
The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety is on its way, and it’s coming to help you quiet anxiety and develop your own personal version of stillness and inner peace. When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, journaling simply works. The Positive Psychology Program, an organization dedicated to improving wellbeing and mental health through the application of positive psychology, provides 83 sound reasons why journaling is an excellent healer of depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, and more. I’ve reaped the benefits of journaling, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve written The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety that, in combination with mindfulness exercises, guides you gently on a rewarding journey to stillness and self-recovery.