Updated: May 26
You may not want to face it, but mental health is essential to your overall well-being. It's just as important as physical health and should be given the same attention and care. Mental health issues can significantly impact our daily lives, from affecting our relationships to limiting our ability to work or study. It can also significantly impact our physical health, leading to various physical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Mental health can include various conditions and issues, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. It can also include everyday habits like handling stress, grief and how we practice thinking about ourselves.
Two years ago, on September 15th, my brother died from suicide, a blow to my mental health. I experience depression and feelings of guilt. Several months prior, I had taken a course in mindfulness with the hope that I would be more present as a coach for my clients. So, in the months that followed my brother's death and as I processed my grief and guilt, my mindfulness practice became a gift for me which I thought was a gift to my clients.
Jon Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment. Mindfulness helped me to accept things as they were without trying to change them. Mindfulness helped me release guilt, and as I reframed my thoughts, I was provided closure.
I began daily mindful mediation, often in community with others at meditate together, a program hosted by mindful leaders. While I also sought professional help, I was blessed by the constant support of friends and family.
There are many tools available to help you take care of your mental health and reduce stress levels. Here are five tools to help:
1. Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great way to relax and refocus your thoughts. It can help you recognize and manage your emotions and be more aware of the present moment.
2. Breathing Exercises. Taking slow, deep breaths can help you relax and reduce stress. It can help you stay calm when faced with difficult decisions or challenging situations.
3. Journaling. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you make sense of them and provide clarity. It can also help you recognize patterns and be more aware of your feelings.
4. Meditation. Meditation can help you reduce stress and find inner peace. It can also help you focus and be more mindful of your thoughts and emotions.
5. Exercise. Exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood. It can also help you get better quality sleep and be more productive during the day.
Taking care of your mental health is essential for your overall well-being. These are just a few of the many tools available to help you take care of mental health and reduce stress levels in the future. You should explore these or similar tools and make them part of your daily routine.
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Also, look for my upcoming book release, "Top 10 Mistakes Overwhelmed Nurses Make - How To Avoid Giving Up Being A Nurse (. . . and Live a Balanced Life With Purpose and Reframing Stress in the Process?