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

5 senses in 3 dimensions versus 2 senses in 2 dimensions

I have always been fascinated by technology and communication.  My personal insights and studies were about how technological advancement on modes of communication affect the human condition.  In other words, what happens to humans who use technology to communicate more and more.  There is a basic trade off when using technology to communicate.  For starters, reality is three dimensional, and we have five senses to experience it (feeling, sight, sound, smell, and taste).   Technology provides two dimensions and only two senses, sight and sound.   There is an obvious trade off, which is fine in moderation.  However, what happens to us as we spend more and more time experiencing life in two dimensions with only two senses?  Those senses begin to dominate our reality and overpower the other senses.  Eventually, the two dimensional audiovisual reality becomes more important and powerful a stimulus than the three dimensional reality we all share with five senses.  That is quite a trade off.

I am not saying use of technology in communication is bad.  I am saying, overuse of technology in communication is bad.  Why is it bad?  We ultimately trade our natural three dimensional reality and five senses of experience for two dimensions and two senses.  That is not all.  More problematic is the fact that the more we use technology to communicate the more our brain adapts to using it.  The more our brains adapt to using technology to communicate the more our brain seeks technology to communicate.  Some might say, so what?  The problem goes deeper.

Technology in communication is developed to get and maintain your attention.  The longer you are online the more adds they can sell, for instance.  Technology is used to manipulate media into something that rewards your pleasure center of your brain much like drugs our sex does.  However,  the doses are smaller and less noticeable, but over time unconsciously rewire your survival instincts so that you believe you actually need technology to survive.  We become addicted.  And like any good addict we are in denial.  We defend our online lifestyle and take any counter to it as a personal offense rather than considering information with an open mind and making conscious and educated decisions.  Scientific research is not funded by people who want to understand what technology is doing to us rather than how to profit from our growing need and dependence upon it.

As Nietzsche said, “religion is the opiate of the masses”, I say, “technology is the new opiate of the masses”.

Be aware.  Make conscious educated choices. Keep an open mind.

Tavius Dot Org

The Miracle is You

I have pondered long and hard over existence.  It is in my nature to question life and the experience of living.  I have come to the only conclusion I can possibly make.  Existence is a miracle and not just any miracle, but THE miracle.

Your life as you know it sprung from a moment in modern history which is merely 100th of the past 10,000 years.  Civilizations have risen and fallen over and over again and again, yet here you are in the 21st Century.  So much has happened without us, yet here we are.

We were once a single cell.  Over days, months and years have grown into trillions of cells organized for specific functions in the maintenance of your beautiful body, an utterly amazing feat in and of itself, yet we had little to nothing to do with it.  Drink, Eat. Sleep.

There are billions of lives like yours being supported across the globe just at this present time.  There have been billions to come and billions to go over time on this planet.  The sun has risen and the sun has set for millions of years day after day.

The earth spins as it revolves around the sun just as the electrons whirl around the nucleus of each and every atom in this infinite universe.  Everything is in motion.  Yet everything we experience remains reasonably still.  Your car, most likely, will look and work like your car did tomorrow just as it did today.   Your home will basically look tomorrow like it did today.  Your street will to.  So on and so forth.

The miracle of your existence is not only you at this time in the place, but that you, at this time, in this place remain as you basically are and everything is as it is one moment to the next.  Sure, we can get up, walk out of the room, close the door behind us and walk outside.  Cars will come and go.  You may feel the breeze.  Our experience is quite calm, and tranquil, peaceful, and perfect in comparison to all that is really going on.

If existence is a miracle and the experience of existence is a miracle, then why don’t we experience the miraculous, not only here and there, but always as it truly is always?  Perhaps, it is not to be found in doing or thinking.  Those don’t bring me the experience of miraculous existence often as much as I would like.  Why do monks, and priests and people meditate?  To quiet the mind.  To become still. To stop doing.  To stop thinking.  To just be.  If you can stop thinking and doing you can just be and in being experience the miraculous that is the miracle of your existence.  Easier said then done.  It can take years of regular practice for moments true and sublime.  Perhaps, a little less thinking and doing would do all all some good I think ; )

I will take a moment every day to appreciate the miracle of my existence.

Truth

What is true for you?  Each individual has the choice to believe whatever they wish.  If you are not getting what you really want out of life then maybe you should take a really close look at what you believe.

I have spent decades studying and learning through practice and experience different ways of being and thinking.  I have come across some very simple tools which challenge the way we think about things in ways that can free you from the false beliefs and control of those beliefs.  Ultimately, you should be enabled to think about things in different ways so you can be aware of your options and consciously choose what is best for you.

Where to begin?  Let’s start with the age old questions of “what is knowledge, and what is reality”?  Let’s simplify this discussion by saying they are the same.  I believe reality is based upon what an individual knows.  I also believe the thing we can know most is this reality right here, now, and all around us, this moment, this world as we sense it.  What we truly know we sense moment to moment. What we see, hear, smell, feel, these all make up what we really know best and are dynamic and changing constantly.  I like to say that the senses give rise to sensation which we call consciousness.

Am I clear enough, yet? I don’t blame you if this gets a bit confusing. Some of these words and ideas are “loaded” as well as difficult to absorb for anyone.  That is one thing I am trying to do here, simplify things so that the truth can be self-evident and manifest, which it is. However, our experience of truth manifest is quite another thing.

Let’s take another angle. What are words? Words are man-made signs and sounds associated with things both real and unreal, in this physical reality or unreal (man made ideas). Man made up words to represent reality that are not reality.  However, we use language as a means to think and communicate so much so that we think our thoughts are actually real.  The words in your mind, that voice in your head is just sounds, really.  The language is just language.  The only person listening is you.  So why talk to yourself at all?  Many people cannot silence their voice.  Many people think they are their thoughts or the voice in their heads.  That is one aspect of conscious experience, but symbolic of what is real, or shared.  I believe this world the ground, sky and everything in this universe is real.  It is the only thing we truly share.

I digress. It is easy for me to run off on tangents. I could try and put this all in an outline and maybe one day I will, but the point of this writing is for my mind to have a conversation with your mind imparting ideas to simplify and empower you in your reality.

Why don’t I use a list of simple ideas that can transform your experience with ideas which belief in could set you free.

1. This world, the physical world is real.
2. Our mind is an illusion.
3. Time only exists in the mind.
4. Language is man made and not reality but symbolic of reality (words don’t actually exist like the objects they represent).
5. The only shared time is now.
6. The only shared space is here.
7. People don’t make you feel.  Your thoughts create your feelings.
(Feelings are your body’s reaction to your thoughts.)
10. The only things you have the ability to control are your attitudes (or mental approach to things) and your actions (what you actually do). The thoughts and feelings we think and feel are so important, really are not, at least in affecting this world directly. They are to us, but not really to the world.  All they experience is our attitude and actions.  That is where we can change, ourselves, and only aspects of ourselves.

11. Numbers, including money are man made and only really has the value we allow it to have.  But of course, everyone knows that!  Then why do we let numbers and money have so much power?

12. Life is a miracle.  We can experience the miraculous every moment of our lives.

13. There is no objective “good” or “bad”.  Good and bad are personal judgments about whether we are getting what we want or not.  Most people don’t want people to kill people.  Most people believe murder is bad because it is not what they want.

Sound like some hippy dippy new age stuff? Well, it is. And then some. Common belief is that each person has free reign to change their reality with their minds. Funny thing is, how can you change reality with something that isn’t real? What you change is your perspective or degree of separation.  It’s a lot.  I know.  One day I will simplify it more.  For now, I am just writing some of this out to get it out of me, because it can only do so much good in my mind, but in your mind can do even more if you open yourself up to these ideas and try to understand them for yourself.

The Law of Conservation of Energy

The Law of Conservation of Energy

Energy

Cannot be created
Or destroyed

Only changed in form

As the light of this world
Illuminates

Becomes electricity
In our nervous system

Producing
Chemical reactions in our brains

And the electromagnetic

Pulse
Of
Our
Heart
Beats
Back into this world

Our bodies
Are like conduits
To transform
The energy of this world
Through our minds
And into our open hearts
Producing love
In the world

What we think we are
Is just what energy
We hold on to

It becomes separate
From everything else

Through our attachments
We become
Who we are

Energetically

The most important lesson
Based on my experience
Is simply this

Take this world in

As it presents itself
As it is

Hold on to nothing

And give it back
To itself

Through an open heart
Lovingly

Tavius, Monday, November 30, 2015