Isn’t it interesting that we can be so open when talking about our physical health but the minute we bring up “mental health” a big wall goes up. This stigma needs to stop. Want to know why?
Because if you are reading this right now, you have a brain and that brain needs to be healthy. The best way to break this stigma is for EVERYONE to start working towards good mental and emotional health.
Having good mental health isn’t about living a life void of emotional struggles….we are all going to experience trauma, loss, sadness, anxiety, fear, worry….it is part of life. However, if we are practicing good mental health we can go through these struggles with a little more ease.
So how do we work towards good mental health?
There is a lot more involved than just thinking positive all the time. Mind and body are connected and we really have to look at this from a holistic perspective. When I work with my clients, I tell them to imagine them reparenting themselves.
Reparenting is a process that starts with realizing one’s inner child, what they think and feel and bringing that to the surface. Then as an adult, talking to your inner child and nurturing them. It is a method that gives the adult version of yourself the great responsibility of taking care of a child and in turn, complete accountability in their actions and life choices. Does your inner child need something healthy to eat? Does he or she need some support with their confidence?
This makes it really easy to care for ourselves. It’s so easy to care for our children and put their needs first, however when we do that, we completely lose sight of who we are and that takes a toll on our mental well-being. We need to care for ourselves just as we do children. I use the word REPARENT as a guide. Each letter stands for a tip for how to practice good mental health.
R – Rest:
Is essential! Put your inner-child to bed when he/she is tired. Stats say the average adult needs between 7 – 9 hours sleep each night, they also say that a staggering amount of us don’t get this amount, here you can find a great resource on sleeping for a healthier mental state.
E – Eat Well
Did you know that 90% of our neurotransmitters are found in the gut? This makes it pretty clear that eating well is paramount to good mental health. Eating foods that help boost your immune system is a great start – considering mind and body are connected irrevocably!
One of my favorite go-to resources for healthy eating is ‘The Food Mood Solution’ by Jack Challem, you can purchase right here on my recommendation: The Food-Mood Solution: All-Natural Ways to Banish Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress, Overeating, and Alcohol and Drug Problems–and Feel Good Again
P – Play
Just because we grow bigger doesn’t mean we stop playing….think about what would be fun to do and start doing it! I especially love this article from Gala Darling, it highlights exactly how couples can turn dates into some totally fun play time.
A – Active
Movement is medicine! We get our natural endorphins from movement, head over to WSBT to check out my segment on how to fit movement into your day and kick excuses to the curb!
R – Routine
Both children and adults thrive with a routine. The importance of routines is well-documented, so much so that a quick Google search brings in thousands of routine examples. Find what works best for you, be realistic and yet firm in your intentions to stick to your routine, and remember, when it’s lunch time, instead of working straight through, imagine your inner child tugging on your arm telling you they are hungry! It works!
E – Express Emotions
Unfortunately, we have all been trained throughout our lives to stuff emotions down. Ever been told you were silly for crying? told you are fine – even worse told someone else you are fine but what you really mean is, I could use a hug and some time to express how I am feeling? I bet you have, we all have.
The trick here is to allow yourself to accept your emotions, acknowledge them, feel them and let them go. Bottling up emotions is detrimental to your mental health. Think about your inner child, do they bottle their feelings up? Nope! Obviously if your inner child is prone to tantrums, as a responsible and accountable adult you must find a suitable way to react to negative emotions. Crying, journaling, talking, running are all great examples, but there are countless ways to constructively express emotions.
N – Nurture Spirit
We all live noisy, busy lives, we have families to take care of, jobs to work, chores to do, food to cook, events to go to, friends to see…amongst all of this we MUST take time to quiet the mind. Our mind needs to rest, re-gather and be re-charged. This can be directly linked with your spiritual or religious self, for example, praying, or perhaps through meditation. Journaling is an excellent way to dive into yourself, check out this comprehensive sheet detaling the benefits of journalling. Nurturing raw creativity, being reflective and tuning into your spirit is very much essential to obtaining the optimum mental health.
T – Talents
We have gifts and talents for a reason!!! Use them!!! You may be a talented carpenter, but find yourself in the field of plumbing. You can start making a shift toward your passions and talents NOW. When we are not aligned with what we are naturally good at, our mental state is off-balance. This can lead to many conditions, notably PASS, or Prolonged Adaption Stress Syndrome. What were you naturally good at as a kid? Did you encourage that in yourself as you grew? If not, there is no time like the present.
Falsification of type is a condition where we live our lives conforming, essentially, to a life that is not ours to live. I like to think: hey, I’m a great life coach – I’ll stick with that and get better at it. There are people who are naturally great with numbers, I will hire them to do my accounting, so we can both be great at what we do and not mediocre at a bunch of other stuff we don’t enjoy. So, are you feeling aligned with your talents?
For a limited time only, I am releasing my ‘Start Simple’ eBook completely free of charge, it includes 10 actionable steps towards a healthier, happier life. All of which were central to my own transformation. Enjoy 🙂