AS World Mental Health Day approaches it’s a good time to focus upon the positive meaning of mental health and well-being, rather than upon psychiatric symptoms, diagnoses or treatments.
Several things affect our state of mind and mental health.
Such as how our brain is functioning at the time; the way we’re thinking about things; our self-concept; and the quality of the relationships we have.
Not forgetting what we do or don’t eat – which has a profound effect upon our mood, perception and vitality.
The many layers of our family ‘conditioning’, our traumatic experiences, and the creation of a negative life SCRIPT © can also affect our positive mental health.
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Talking therapies, body therapies and nutrition/herbal medicine all have their place and this is why I advocate what I call a ‘whole-brain and holistic’ approach to positive mental health.
What does good, robust mental health ‘look’ like?
Here’s what I think it involves:
* Emotional stability and control.
* Rational thinking, and an ability to control and disarm any irrational thoughts.
* A positive self-esteem and body image.
* The ability to withstand challenges and criticism.
* Not allowing the past to negatively affect the present or future – and therapeutically healing the past.
* Showing genuine care and compassion towards children, animals and the vulnerable in society.
* Having a sense of empathy and sympathy towards others.
* Not obediently going along with the crowd/mob/tribe – but of finding your own positive path.
* Congruence – what is felt on the inside is portrayed sensitively and assertively on the outside.
* Authenticity – being ‘real’ and genuine.
[Taken from an article entitled Mental Health – How Crazy Are You? (page 116) of my book The Ripple Effect Process]
Keep in mind your own mental health and well-being, and be sure to live a life that enhances it every day – and vice versa!
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)
Maxine Harley has a masters degree in psychotherapy, has written two books, and created four new approaches to psychological, emotional and physical well-being. She lives happily in Chichester with her daughter and grandson.