Mental health talk is now on the rise. It’s no longer weird to hear stories of depression, anxiety, or suicide in the majority of our communities. But what is mental health?
Simply put, your mental health is the condition of your thoughts.
Are you aware of what’s going on in your mind? What are your common thought patterns? How do they affect your mood and behavior?
The Part It Plays
Your thoughts are powerful.
They form your self-perception as well as your worldview, ultimately influencing how you care for your body, emotions, and soul.
You think thousands of thoughts per day. They start as soon as you wake up and continue until you sleep.
They put your entire body in motion, gathering the materials you need to create a meal or move out of harms way.
Your thoughts also significantly impact your emotions.
This is why feelings are talked about extensively in therapy. Prolonged periods of difficult emotions are often caused by thoughts that need to be brought to the light and discussed in order to recover.
Trauma and adverse life experiences can also warp the way that we think in order to protect ourselves from getting severely hurt again.
And sometimes, other people just teach us false concepts that do us no good, yet we unknowingly believe them.
Our thoughts affect us to our core, down to our very soul.
Therefore, it’s important to develop the ability to reflect on our thoughts and correct faulty ones.
Although it is a skill that takes patience and honesty to practice, doing so helps us to grow in character and live connected to ourselves and others in the present reality.
What I’m Sharing
I used to intensely struggle with my thoughts about myself. Throughout my life, I had been through a lot. Yet I never connected those experiences to my self perception until a traumatic incident in college landed me in therapy. It was there that I was given the opportunity to process everything and learn about myself.
Throughout my recovery journey, I was clinically diagnosed with anxiety, depression, PTSD/C-PTSD, and anorexia.
I see those diagnoses as guidelines my practitioners and I used to understand my thoughts and how they affected my behaviors so they we could find the best ways to help me get healthier.
My thoughts used to impair my life. They would deprive me of food, drive my body to exhaustion, keep me awake at night, disconnect me from friends and family, and much more.
I’ve come a long way since then.
My desire is to help you reflect on your thoughts, recognize when they’re problematic, and respond in ways that will ultimately benefit you.
Now what I’m sharing is not a replacement for therapy. There is so much to gain from a healthy relationship with a professional who has the time and training to completely hear you out and provide individualized care for your specific needs.
However I know that many of you cannot afford regular sessions or may be wary of what mental health practitioners actually do.
This is where I want to show up.
There are many ways that you can take care of and improve your mental health on your own and it’s okay to take your time exploring and getting familiar with the concept of therapy.
In my mental health posts, you’ll find content including:
- information on disorders to better understand diagnoses
- common problematic thoughts and how to deal with them
- practices to reflect, build self-awareness, and learn more about your mind
- healthy responses to difficult thoughts and the emotions that accompany them