Self-care and the benefits of taking care of mind, body, and spirit are crucial to overall well-being. When you approach mental health from a holistic mind-set, you bring together all pieces of your health to make yourself whole. Working with a therapist in Orlando gives you the resource you need to start this journey. Orlando Thrive Therapy offers you this three-part blog that is designed to help you improve the three most critical elements to good mental health. This blog in the series will be focusing on Mental Health.
This three-part blog series will focus in on the three aspects of our health and how to implement strategies to enhance our connections to these outlets and become more aware of what our strengths and weaknesses are in order to motivate and pursue change.
Our final section of the three-realm blog post is focusing in on our mind.
Our mind holds a lot of value to our overall functioning. It includes our conscious, language, thinking, judgment and our memory. A common misconception is that our mind is our brain, when in fact they are two separate entities. Our brain sees our visible and tangible world, whereas our mind sees the invisible, transcendent world filled with feelings, beliefs and our imagination. It is important to feed into both aspects equally to form an overall healthy lifestyle.
Mental Health is comprised of everything said above. It includes our social health, emotional health, cognitive functioning, and psychological health. There are many positive ways to promote that health and develop it further. It includes assessing for mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, personality disorders, etc., as well as providing care for ourselves through coping mechanisms, therapy interventions, and sometimes medication.
When we say set attainable goals, we mean simple things like making a to do list for the day. Checking things off your list for the day are mini accomplishments that enhance your overall mood and your mind by clearing things out that may be causing you stress. Even if you’re setting long term goals, ensure that you can attain them or provide yourself with the motivation to get yourself there by setting milestones or keeping track of your progress. Once choosing these goals or plans for yourself, create a vision board. A vision board is something used to visualize and motivate you to achieve said goals. Using your own creative energy, cut and paste things that are of significance and importance to you and your life for the next year.
Practicing mindfulness is another great strategy to enhance and sharpen your mind. Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. There are many ways to practice mindfulness: in various environments, in quiet, with podcasts, YouTube videos, ambient noise, or with music. As long as you’re focusing on one specific thing and feeling through your senses and emotions in the present, you’re practicing mindfulness. One of my favorite and most simple guided exercises is the five senses exercise:
Look around you and bring your attention to five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a shadow or a small crack in the concrete.
Bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of a table you are resting your hands on.
Take a moment to listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of traffic from a nearby road.
Bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast food restaurant across the street.
Decompression is another key theme in enhancing our mind and overall mental health. After long days, or just stressful or emotionally taxing scenarios, we must take time to decompress and let go of what happened. This is a period of reflection and acceptance of how we felt, why we felt that way, and what we can and can’t do in the future. This also includes giving ourselves space and quality time…with ourselves! Positive affirmations could also be good to recite in these times, which are positive statements that hold some sort of weight in our feelings or insecurities. For example, “I can, I will, End of story” or “I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose happiness”. Times of disconnection from social media and our technology are good ways to free our minds, even for a day or an hour. Try your hardest not to go to bed with conflict or unresolved emotions, this can cause sleep disturbances. It is important to work through your emotions as best you can before resting.
If you’re struggling with a specific diagnosis regarding your mental health, there are an array of professionals within the area – all with unique strategies and approaches on various diagnoses. There are a multitude of resources within the Orlando area specifically, between yoga and meditation specialists, and psychotherapists like we have here at Orlando Thrive Therapy. We all strive to balance your mind by using interventions based on your stressors and symptoms. We develop goals and treatment plans around you and what you need from therapy. Our practice specializes with a multitude of different areas of mental health, so check out our other blogs and “Services” tab for more information on what we treat.
Remember, optimum health requires the mind, the body and the spirit to be in balance.
Thank you for tuning into our three realms of overall health blog, we hope you learned some new strategies for enhancing your mind, body and spirit. If you want to have a better understating of your mental health or be assessed on your overall awareness in Orlando contact a counselor at Orlando Thrive Therapy, or the author of this article Mallory Hawkes at firstname.lastname@example.org!