Have you met your internal Superhero? The true you. The one that holds all the courage, determination and strength to help break through those mental chains that have been holding you back from shining your light and honouring your very own rich tapestry of colours.
It’s time to take that no-nonsense approach towards the mental stability of your future. This time has shaken up so many people mentally, people of all ages. I want to share with you how you can finally jump off that habitual hamster wheel you have been spinning around on since you can’t remember and disrupt those rigid and often painful thought patterns that have become your monotonous norm. I want to help you see there is a way to a life of true freedom in your mind and your body and spirit.
I use the term Disrupting Rigidity because through my own transformational experience, from addictions and habitual behaviours, the rigid mindset has caused trauma and unhappiness. I’ve observed this in myself and with many others. Working within a one-on-one or group capacity, I started to recognise my own TRUTH, what a difference it made. Not just to my mind but to the way I lived my life as a whole.
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, negative feelings are rising around the world—and the United States is particularly hard-hit with an epidemic of addictions and addictive behaviours, which all relate to mental instability.
Released annually, the International Day of World Happiness Report ranks countries based on their life satisfaction in the Gallup World Poll. Residents rate how satisfied they were with their lives on a scale of 0-10, from the worst possible life to the best possible life.
In 2019, the most satisfied country was Finland, followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands. The United States ranked #19 with an average score of 6.9, down from #18 the year before. The UK ranked at #15.
I want to add although it’s officially not certain as of yet whether suicide rates have increased due to more recent changes within our society, I can tell you that during the year 2020, the organisation the Samaritans UK provided emotional support for their callers over one million two hundred thousand times. Furthermore, 1 in 4 of these conversations has been with someone who is expressing suicidal thoughts or behaviours.
These are statistics, and you may be someone who likes to see numbers on a page to prove a point, but seriously, the feeling comes from within. All the answers to your happiness and your freedom are within you, but you do need to consciously work to stop the busy mind and any self-sabotaging beliefs that may have you creating problems where they don’t exist.
When we recognise we have a problem, admission leads to positive support. I stress the word positive because not all support is positive. Even when we believe it is.
I want to share and add some of my personal experiences that supported my clients and me to feel that wonderful sense of self-empowerment.
We acknowledge there is an issue, whatever that may be – Mental instability can come from several experiences in life, whether that be past, present or future; it doesn’t matter, big or small. For example, if you were to break a leg, it would clearly be seen as something you needed support with, and you would receive all the help in the world to get you back to walking well again. The same applies to mental health. Just because you can’t see the issue externally doesn’t mean it isn’t there. So where can we start?
Action Step 1: Take the step by openly acknowledging that there is an issue (whatever that may be), and you need to make the change. You will stop hiding behind substances, fear or any other negative emotions, which may help feed the issue further and the behaviours that appear side by side. These behaviours often cause us to suppress what is really hiding. Start by taking this step in the good, old fashioned way of journaling. Writing out your need for change, take the step today. If writing isn’t for you, then use colour, create with pictures and share this with someone you love and trust, a friend or family member or even a therapist that can hold you accountable for this stage in your journey. Acknowledgement creates a deeper sense of freedom and allows for a greater opening within the self. When we open to our truth, we watch our life begin to flow towards the better.
We are aware that change can occur – Being aware that mental stability and a healthy mindset is possible. In England, 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem of some kind each year. In addition, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression in any given week.
Action Step 2: When we are aware that change can occur, not only does it begin to open us up to who we are, but it also begins to open us to opportunities for the future. Yes, it takes work; I would be lying if I said otherwise. However, pushing through those old patterns of behaviour starts now. I have covered this below, but right now, I invite you to start slowing down. Creating space for a slower, more spacious mindset. Knowing that the conscious mind is the intellectual mind and it has the ability to accept or reject information. Once it chooses to accept the information, it filters the information into the subconscious mind, the place in the mind that has no choice other than to accept the thought. Now, our habits begin to form. All those negative old patterns of behaviour can be transformed into new positive patterns using stillness of the mind through breathwork and meditation. Start with ten minutes a day. Sit in a quiet space either with or without instruction or music. Breathe deeply in and out through the nose and begin to watch and observe what is going on internally. The mind will try to fight you, be still. With persistence, you will conquer the rigid and pessimistic thought patterns. It takes time; some days are better than others.
I have supported many people with finding freedom after living a life with mental health issues and addictive behaviours; the mind can be conquered.
We accept help – This has got to be my plea to you. Let the right people into your life as your support network. To help you on your journey to recovery and to living the life you so rightfully deserve to live. Adding quiet and still time is a vital part of your healing, and so is having the right people around you. It is time to let go of the old that isn’t serving. This may include relationships too. It isn’t easy, and it requires us to be truly honest with ourselves if we want to make the change and get to know who we really are. It’s a process with many ups and downs, and it takes strength and courage and the right support network.
Action Step 3: I want you to begin with the simple affirmation, ‘I am enough.’
Write this on your mirror with lipstick if you have to. Or if you don’t possess lipstick, write it on a post-it note and stick it all around your house where you can see it. Keep a note of it in your wallet or purse and say it; sing it; dance it, do it with feeling. Even say it to yourself in the mirror.
On a Sunday, plan your week. Time with friends, work, physical activity, good food, meditation, breathing and quiet time. If you don’t read this may be the time to start. If you don’t play a musical instrument or some other form of creative practice, could you begin now?
Be honest with the activities that are realistic for you. Do things that make you happy. To begin, be gentle with yourself. For example, don’t begin to meditate for thirty mins a day when you know it may be a challenge. Instead, start with small steps and increase by one minute a day. This will keep you interested and focused. This was one way I would share meditations with my clients who were learning to break addictive behaviour patterns.
Whatever you do, don’t give in. Stay persistent; you have superhero powers within you. Tune in, and you will find them. They really aren’t that far away, and they are waiting for you to grab them with both hands.
In part two, I will cover some important steps on how to stay persistent during these times.