The World Health Organization’s definition of mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Wow!
Let’s start with exploring a state of well-being. Life is continually changing. A state of well-being means you accept impermanence as you allow the life force to flow in and through your body and your mind. For this to happen, you need to:
• Be present in your body. Moving your body is a great way to increase your awareness of your physical nature. I recommend finding a movement practice that fits your daily routine, physical ability and personal preferences. Mindful movements like Meditative Movements, Tai Chi and Qigong may be a good fit and have been found to release anxiety and depression naturally. Exercise is a natural prescription for good mental health.
• Be aware that thoughts come and go. When our subconscious thinking patterns are uncovered, we can exercise our personal power in a new way. We can detach from the negative habitual cycles and experience more freedom. As a result, difficult thoughts and emotions flow.
What is possible in your life? How does one realize it? That is done first by being honest and acknowledging your desires. I believe desires that are woven into the fabric of my being are there so I can evolve, grow and learn. What do you believe? Remember, if a belief is not serving you, you can change it.
To cope with everyday stressors and to help change any untrue beliefs, I recommend reading Do the Work, by Byron Katie. You write down your stressful thoughts, and then ask yourself the following four questions:
• Question 1: Is it true?
• Question 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true?
• Question 3: How do you react, and what happens when you believe that thought?
• Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Taking the time to examine your beliefs can give you back your power. We are not helpless. The Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference,” can succinctly guide your mental processing.
Working productively means you experience joy in the doing. If you are like me, this may be a challenge. Many times, I want to race through the activities so I can reach the end goal.
Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, says it best: “Your outer journey may contain a million steps, your inner journey only has one. The step you are taking right now. As you become more deeply aware of this one step, you realize that it already contains within itself all the other steps, as well as the destination. This one step then becomes transformed into an expression of perfection, an act of great beauty and quality.”
Lastly, embrace all your life interactions. Your unique perspective is part of the whole. As you continue exploring, I encourage you to embody your own truth. Then you will be in a state of well-being, giving and receiving all the good the world has to offer.