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.
Welcome to the Wellbeing & Words 30-Day Mindfulness Experience! Mindfulness is a way of being that you can cultivate by regularly doing mindfulness activities. Mindfulness doesn’t remove problems, but it changes our relationship with those problems–and with ourselves. Mindfulness is a wonderful experience that gives us the power to take back our lives and help us live well despite anxiety, depression, stress, and a multitude of other physical- and mental health challenges. Mindfulness allows you to free yourself from these problems by rooting yourself in what’s going on in your real world rather than in your racing, spinning mind.
Among the many types of freedom, mental freedom is perhaps the most important of all. Every year in early July, the United States celebrates Independence Day. Many nations joyfully observe their own independence at various times throughout the year. Regardless of where one lives, an independence day is a day that celebrates freedom from unwanted control. The significance of this day goes far deeper than the political realm and touches each and every one of us on a personal level of being and impacts our mental freedom and wellbeing. .
To live well and embrace a life of wellbeing, we need to experience mental freedom. When we feel as though we are under the control of anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, brain injury, toxic relationships, or so much more, we often feel caged. Our mental health and happiness suffer. Just as entire nations have broken free from unwanted control, so can we as individuals who want to live quality lives.
Social anxiety prevents us from fully living our lives. All anxiety does this, of course, but social anxiety does a particularly good job of blocking our movements along the path to our quality life. This anxiety disorder is more of a spectrum of experiences than it is one single form of anxiety. It ranges from shyness (which isn’t a diagnosable disorder) on the mildest end of the spectrum to avoidant personality disorder (this one is so pervasive that it’s categorized as a personality disorder rather than an anxiety disorder.
Social Anxiety Isolates the Real You
“In response to human interaction, either I clam up and can barely speak, or I click into intellectual mode so I can explain something and be done. Idiot.” —Brian Cunningham in My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel.
Social anxiety gets in the way of our human interaction, which includes our interaction with others and with ourselves (because despite how it feels sometimes, we are human and we interact with ourselves.) It involves the fear of judgement; a lack of self-efficacy, that inability to believe in ourselves and capabilities; the habit of overthinking every component of every interaction; a very unhealthy dose of negative, harsh self-talk which of course only fuels the anxiety.
I love that Mental Health Awareness Month is in May. It’s the height of spring, and flowers are in bloom, leaves are unfurling, and birds are soaring as they build their nests. Signs of life abound when we tune in mindfully to enjoy them. May is the perfect metaphor for mental health (note that the representative color is even green).
Just as the earth is waking up and creating itself anew, so, too, can we. It’s what mental health and wellbeing are all about. This is an ongoing process and spans across all months, but Mental Health Awareness Month shines sunlight on the process on purpose, a reminder that we can take charge of ourselves and our wellbeing. We live an ever flowing journey of creating ourselves anew.
Self-confidence is a major component of our mental health and wellbeing. Self-confidence involves valuing yourself (as in self-esteem), and it involves believing you have the ability to do things (as in self-efficacy). Self-confidence also is about feeling deeply satisfied with…
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.