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Mental Health Awareness Month: 5 Things You Should Know


Mental health awarness involves knowing what mental health involves and then how you can achieve it. Learn what mental health is and how to enhance yours.

Mental health awareness month, observed every May, places a spotlight on mental health and mental illness. The terms mental health and mental illness are broad terms, encompassing a lot (it can be argued that because these terms involve brain and body, mind and spirit, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and relationship with self and others, mental health and mental illness are truly everything. I think that that is indeed true; however, because it’s difficult to bring awareness to “everything,” here are just five specific things you should know about mental health and mental illness for mental health awareness month.

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A Balanced Approach to Balance, Mental Health, and Wellbeing

Creating balance in life is one of the most important components of mental health and wellbeing. The idea of balance for mental health is that, instead of being pulled in multiple directions, sometimes tipping one way and sometimes tipping other ways, we stay centered in one spot, calmly doing life tasks. The idea of living a balanced life is valid and legitimate. Balance brings harmony around us and within us. However, the mere fact that we need to strive for balanced implies that we’re rather imbalanced. And because we’re imbalanced (and likely stressed and otherwise challenged), achieving balance can be difficult.

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Character Strengths Trump Challenges: Find your Strengths, Enhance Mental Health

We all have strengths, and we can use them to increase mental health and well-being.

Character strengths. Strength. It’s a word so often associated with humanity. We refer to people as strong, and we admire them for it. We encourage each other to be strong in the face of adversity. And, almost without exception, we all want to be strong. Whether we are facing physical health challenges, mental health challenges (the two aren’t actually mutually exclusive), relationship challenges, situational life challenges, or any combination of these very human struggles, we do want to be strong.

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En-JOY is an Action Verb: Mental Health Means Enjoying a Life Worth Living

The term mental health has become quite a buzz word (and well it should), but as a concept, it is very broad. What does mental health really mean? At its core, it means not merely the absence of illness; mental health means thriving and enjoying a life worth living.

Mental Health Awareness Month is in full swing, and how wonderful it is.  To have an entire month dedicated to increasing awareness about mental health and wellbeing is in itself something to celebrate. It means that we as humans want to be well, to not only exist but to live and to thrive, and we want to raise awareness so that this wellness can be achieved by all.

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How an Act of Kindness Made a Difference for My Son

Recently, we took a family trip to Disney World. Topping my children’s list of enjoyment was pin trading. Disney sells cute little pins to tourists, and employees throughout the parks and resorts wear their own to trade with guests. It’s typically something that connects people, brings them together in friendly conversation and exchange.

One day, a man brought his own gigantic selection of pins and parked himself at a table to trade with guests. Unlike the Disney employees, he could be selective in his trading and only accept/trade away what suited him. That’s entirely well and good. What was not so well and good was how he rejected my thirteen-year-old son’s trade proposal. The man was harsh and brusque, telling him his pin was inferior and refusing to trade for the one my son had been seeking. 

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