Learn how to turn surviving into thriving with these three steps.
The world of mental health has accrued a complicated, negative stigma. But this world has been slowly changing for the better. And thank goodness, because you can't have stellar physical and emotional health while your mental health teeters on the edge of destruction. Your physical, emotional, and mental health all work in tandem. The more balanced you feel mentally, the better you will be able to engage with your emotions and charge after those physical fitness goals.
Here are three steps to learning more about, giving space to, and finding the language for the things you think and feel.
Being alone with your thoughts. For some, that might not sound scary at all. But for those who deal with excess stress, anxiety, or depression, you might feel like it sounds like a form of torture. Well, for the first few minutes, it might be. All of the worries you have been fighting to hold in might spill over and make you feel absolutely overwhelmed. But don't stop there.
As you sit in silence, with your eyes closed, you can allow all of the feelings to sweep over you and slowly diminish. Then, you can parse through the thoughts that begin drifting into your head. Take hold of each thought and mull over it for a moment, then let it go and watch it drift past you. This practice may help you gain a greater perspective over the overwhelm and learn to firmly believe that you will be okay. Because you will!
Once you have settled your mind a little bit, you can then begin to fill it with practical and helpful practices to better your mental health. Try downloading an app with daily reminders, mood trackers, breathing exercises, and stress relief techniques. If you don't know where to start, try the Calm app! I use it every night for 15 minutes to clear my head before bed. It’s greatly improved my sleep and my ability to calm my nerves on a bumpy plane flight.
Or, you can listen to a podcast. There are SO many to choose from, but take the time and find the one the matches your mental health needs. The Place We Find Ourselves by Adam Young can be a great start as he outlines the importance of each individual's story and explains that understanding one's past can help bring clarity and healing into the present.
Once you feel like the tornado inside your head has stilled and you can piece through the wreckage with the language you have learned in your apps and podcasts, share it with a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. The more you share, the more you will find that you are not even close to being alone. We are here with you and many of us can relate to your experiences!