What is “Healthy” Mental Health?

mentalhealth1

Mental health is commonly associated with psychiatric, mood, or personality disorders.  Society at large associates mental health with “crazy”.  Why is mental health so negative?  Shouldn’t the health of our minds be a positive?  Could the negative stigma of mental health be, in large part, due to its negative associations?  What is the positive counterbalance?  What is good mental health? If we do not have a clear picture of what good mental health looks like how can we fully understand mental health issues and to what target we are aiming?  What is good mental health?

Mental health is commonly defined by negative symptoms and behaviors.  If someone’s’ thoughts, feelings, or behaviors fall outside the norm and lead to unwanted or negative consequences it is deemed an issue.  A doctor may prescribe psychiatric medications to lessen unwanted symptoms.  Group and/or one-on-one counseling may be part of the treatment plan.   However, what are we aiming for, and what is the target of good mental health?  Other than attempting to stabilize a person with mental health issues in hopes they can have a full life, or not compromise others, we have no real goals to aim for good mental health.

emotional-intelligence1

Emotional intelligence is a term used to define someone’s emotional maturity.  Is the individual thinking illogically?  Are their thoughts distorted?  How does one respond to stress?  Does the individual take responsibility for their emotions or do they blame others?  Does one take other people’s actions personally? Does one depend too much on others or do others depend too much on them?  Emotional intelligence is a good gauge for positive mental health because it is the direct result of our thinking.

Mental health isn’t necessarily about positivity or looking “on the brighter side”.  Mental health has far more to do about identifying the thinking which is causing our feelings, and discovering the underlying beliefs which reinforce how we perceive and experience ourselves and the world.  Distorted thinking and fallacious reasoning are two main culprits in the creation of negative feelings, beliefs, and actions.  It is one big circle.  If my thinking is illogical or distorted, my feelings will become illogical and distorted.

cbt

A key to mental health is the regular practice of accurate self-appraisal, owing our emotions, discovering our thinking causing our emotions, and challenging our thoughts for sound logic and clarity from distortions.  Far too often, we accept our thoughts as they are and without question.  Thinking is not just a voice in our head, a conversation we are having with ourselves or the story we tell.  Thinking is a key in discovering and understanding how we create our experience and reality. It is a key only you can use.

types-of-distorted-thinking-thoughts-cognitive-behavioral-therapy-cbt

If you have a negative or unwanted feeling check your thinking for common thought distortions above : ) do any of these apply? Or checkout this link to CBT worksheets here!

Hiding in Plain Site – A Poem About Grief

Hiding in Plain Site

 

I’m here

But I don’t want to be

And its not your fault

 

I don’t know how to be myself right now

 

Something has come between us

I feel it

 

But it has no words

To work with

 

It’s not just

 

Anxiety

Depression

Fear

Irritability

Grief

Or shyness

 

I’m not avoiding you

Because

I don’t like you

Or am upset with you

 

I just don’t know what to say

Or how to say it

 

Right now

There is so much

Going on

Inside me

 

I am so preoccupied with everything I am going through

 

I feel bad

I can’t quite be

Fully present or engaging

 

You feel so far away

I don’t feel like I have the energy

To meet you

Where you are

 

It’s cramped

In here

 

I’m alone but with you in spirit

 

And don’t want to bother anyone

I don’t feel I have anything good to offer anyone

I don’t want to bring you down

 

I don’t want you to catch

My disease

Even though

I know you cannot

 

I sometimes feel this way

 

All I really want to say is that I love you

And only want the best for you

And I am here as much as I can be right now

And I hope you understand.

 

 

Tavius Dyer Monday August 8, 2016