I know you've been looking forward to this as much as I have!
Next up is our mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Never forget that you have a brain and soul to fuel and that the only way to fuel it properly is to give it the best nutrients. There are many ways to do this, and it’s honestly my favorite muscle to exercise. I love working on my mindset and challenging myself to be better.
Mental health exercise can include:
Counseling. Do I talk about counseling enough? If I don’t, I’ll say it again. I BELIEVE IN COUNSELING. There is something so powerfully freeing about sitting across from a person who is only listening to you and asking questions that help you see different perspectives. For anyone who is confused about what they get in a therapy session, listen up.
Freedom to say exactly what you’re thinking and how you feel.
Freedom to cry.
NO ADVICE. Only ‘what if’ questions and suggestions. I think that when people don’t ‘believe’ in counseling, it’s mainly because they believe they’re paying money to let someone make decisions for them. That’s not true at all.
The tools to make better decisions for yourself because you’ve allowed yourself to open up your mind sitting in that zero judgment space.
You leave only with what you allow yourself to take.
It is my personal opinion that counseling should be a free resource across the globe. Also, YES, I believe that counselors themselves can benefit from counseling!
My only advice when it comes to therapy, besides 'do it', is that you should not feel obligated to stick to the first counselor you meet with. If you don't vibe with that particular person, don't be afraid to try someone else. You should always feel safe and know that you're both on the same path; direct to your mental clarity and healing. Period.
Meditation. How many of you have ever practiced meditation? If you’re like me, shutting off your brain and forcing your thoughts into silence feels impossible.
I’m always ON, even as I struggle to sleep.
I’ve found magic in the Balance app, listening to guided meditations first thing in the morning, when I need a brain break throughout the day, and to help me fall asleep. As someone who hates being told what to do, I’d always brushed over the guided meditations. Once I opened my mind to it, they became a game changer.
Practicing gratitude. I wrote a whole post about gratitude because it is SO important to recognize where you are in life now compared to where you came from. This practice will benefit your mindset and help propel you forward. Check out my post to see which journal I use and consider it for yourself! P.S. Gratitude doesn't have to be any life-altering thing....even being grateful for your morning cup of coffee counts. Seriously!
Journaling. I probably talk about this as much as I talk about counseling, perhaps more. In my opinion, this is a tool that can be utilized across the board. Can’t figure out why your body feels crappy after eating? Write down everything you eat and maybe you’ll recognize a pattern. Confused about why you react a certain way to different stressors? My bet is that your answer will be somewhere in those pages.
Write things down, use journaling prompts to know yourself better, go back and read what you wrote five years ago. Use a fancy journal, an old notebook, some napkins, or whatever feels right to you. Also, don’t let anyone judge you for being a journal hoarder! Journaling will ALWAYS give you insight on yourself. I'm planning a whole post around this magical tool, and I'm also in the process of creating one to sell! Be on the lookout for some exciting freebies and my first launch!
Feeling your feelings. Raise your hand if you do anything possible to NOT feel a certain way! And then stop doing that. One of the greatest pathways of growth is to sit in your feelings. Don’t push them away; they are all vital for forward movement. Cry it out, punch something(like...a punching bag), scream, and live in those feelings for a while until you come out the other side. And you WILL come out the other side, most likely changed and stronger for it.
Connect to your highest self(your spiritual self). Whatever that means for you. You don’t have to pray in order to be spiritual. A lot of what we just went over falls into this category. I personally connect best when I’m in nature, getting lost in the trees and listening to the birdsong. I end all nature walks with some journaling, because this helps me clear my head and continue the day refreshed. Sometimes, simply being intentional about your thoughts is a direct path to your highest self.
Cut. Out. The Bullshit. I mean this in such a huge way...whatever brings negativity into your life, GET RID OF IT. Guard that inner peace! Stop telling people your plans. Even your family and friends if they are not aligned with your vision. Sometimes the people who love us will try to steer us in the wrong direction because it worked for us at some point in time and the unknown is 'scary'.
Let me tell you that if you're looking for the benefits of any of these things, head back to my last post and read about the benefits of physical health. The same applies. Isn't that crazy? Who would have thought that investing in oneself could do SO much in the way of healing and prevention? It almost seems silly to NOT take at least SOME of these steps toward a better you.
You are worth it! Not just for you, but for the entire world around you.
The next time you find yourself focusing on one thing that you can't seem to 'get right', ask yourself if you're seeing the bigger picture. Go back over these lists. Make one of your own. See if you're paying attention to all of the things that work together and find a way to spread out. I promise you will never regret this work.
It's time to stop investing in the material things around you that promise results and time to begin investing in the one thing that will actually make you a powerhouse human: YOURSELF.
Please share what you find when you put in the mental, emotional, and spiritual work! I can't wait to exchange ideas and learn something new!
Until next time, love yourself and live your soul!