As a practicing psychotherapist and coach for the past 20 years, I’ve kept close tabs on my own mental wellness.
Holding space for hundreds of humans is serious business.
With a global pandemic, social and political tension, and life as an entrepreneur, I’ve had to make some changes in order to fortify my mind and body from life’s stressors.
There’s an expression, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
When it comes to mental health, the effects of stress, anxiety, depression, and many other conditions can become debilitating.
Over the past few years, mental health has become more openly discussed on social media and the news as well as in the workplace and with family and friends. This makes it easier for people in need to ask for help.
Therapists and other healthcare workers struggle too. It’s not just the “Average Joe” who has to work on their mental health.
These are six shifts I made that drastically improved my mental health that you can apply to your life as well.
1. I created space from friendships that I had outgrown.
As you grow, develop, and evolve some relationships will move with you and some won’t. Some people support your changes and growth and some people struggle with the shifts you make. They may even see you as a “different” person, which for you is the whole point, but for them feels threatening. If you find yourself feeling weighed down by some relationships in your life, it’s time to re-evaluate them. It’s okay to let go of what is no longer supporting you.
2. I started to shed old identities, labels, and ways of being that were no longer part of my future vision for myself.
If you are making a career change or some other big move in your life, you may find it difficult to release some parts of your old identity. Those around you may have an even more difficult time letting go, particularly if it means you’re no longer in their circle in the way you once were.
As I moved of my colleague group of fellow psychotherapists to pursue other endeavors, I could feel the friction and distance in those relationships. At times, we must leave something behind in order to pick up something new, which can be painful.
3. I started doing things in ways that worked for me instead of conforming to the expectations others had of me.
As you begin to move into your next level of self-development and take charge of how you want to be, you will find yourself doing less of what others want from you. Releasing the people pleasing aspect of yourself will have an impact on your relationships. And consequently, the dynamics in some of your relationships will start to change. This could mean a loss of more friendships.
4. I got really honest with myself.
You may find that once you start to delve into some of these identity shifts, you’ve told yourself stories about yourself that weren’t actually true. Here’s where you get to unravel some of those deeply embedded limiting beliefs.
Being honest with ourselves and confronting our “true self” is a critical part of the process of leaving behind any parts of your “false self” that you no longer wish to identify with or hold onto.
5. I stopped marinating in all the negative, painful thoughts and began to dwell in gratitude.
When you can hold the duality of life in mind simultaneously, you can appreciate the “work” you still have to do on yourself and embrace who you already are with gratitude. One does not need to cancel out the other.
6. I started being more compassionately curious about my mind.
When you can focus on your inner dialog, you’re able to catch more of the automatic thoughts. You will become much more in tune with how you speak to yourself
Are you critical, harsh, and judgmental, or are you loving, kind, and compassionate?
If your mental health is feeling compromised whether you’re a provider or not, seek the help of a professional.
A check-in or tune-up can do wonders. Sometimes all we need is a slight tweak to get moving in a more positive and aligned state of mind.
For more resources to support your growth and evolution, you can find me on all the socials or drop me a comment below.