3 Resources for a Healthier Mind
By: Rebecca Barnes
Mind over matter. We've all heard it before, however do we all really know what it means? Merriam-Webster defines it as, "—used to describe a situation in which someone is able to control a physical condition, problem, etc., by using the mind. His ability to keep going even when he is tired is a simple question of mind over matter." We essentially know it's important to have a healthy mind, yet we aren't really taught it. Unless, of course, you are raised by psychologists or parents with a healthy knowledge of mental health.
For those of us who went through P.E. classes all 12 grades, we know the importance of an elevated heart rate and exercise. Even with this basic level of understanding, intense college classes and low budgets are just a bit of what keep us from having the time and resources to dine healthy and have the ultimate gym memberships (Orangetheory isn't cheap!).
So, where does this leave mental health? Even if we are taught to breathe deeply before responding to a stresser or even recognizing what causes stress in our life, our daily life hiccups will most likely cause us to keep our mental health off the to-do list, just like physical health. But what if we could change that? Here are three healthy ways to flex your mental health muscles, by watching, reading and doing.
Learn how to take care of your mind with the same type of priority you take care of your bodies. Isn't it crazy we don't learn in school anything about how to handle stress, even though we all deal with it or will at some point? Exert from Guy Wench's Ted Talk:
How much more we value the body than we do the mind? Why is it our physical health is so much more important to us than our mental? We sustain physiological injuries even more than we do physical ones, injuries like failure, rejection, loneliness and they can also get worse if we ignore them. And they can impact our lives in dramatic ways. And yet even though there are scientifically proven techniques we could use to treat these kinds of physiological injuries, we don't. It doesn't even occur to us that we should. "Oh, you're feeling depressed, just shake it off it's all in your head." Can you image saying that to someone with a broken leg? "Oh, just walk it off, it's all in your leg."
With over 2 million copies sold, the tagline of this life changing book is: When to say yes and how to say no to take control of your life. Exert from Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend's book:
In the physical world, boundaries are easy to see. Fences, signs, walls, moats with alligators, manicured lawns, or hedges are all physical boundaries. In their differing appearance they give the same message: THIS IS WHERE MY PROPERTY BEGINS. The owner of the property is legally responsible for what happens on his or her property. Non-owners are not responsible for the property.
Physical boundaries mark a visible property line that someone holds the deed to. You can go to the county courthouse and find out exactly where those boundaries of responsibility are and whom to call if you have business there.
In the spiritual world, boundaries are just as real, but often harder to see. The goal of this chapter is to help you define your intangible boundaries and to recognize them as an ever present reality that can increase your love and save your life. In reality, these boundaries define your soul, and they help you to guard it and maintain it (Prov. 4:23).
In this Forbes interview, best selling author and researcher Dr. Brene Brown talks about the obstacles and joy surrounding being vulnerable. Want to know how to find your courage and strength? Become more vulnerable and don't see it as a weakness, in yourself or others. Exert from Dr. Brene Brown's interview:
Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. I was raised in a “get ‘er done” and “suck it up” family and culture (very Texan, German-American). The tenacity and grit part of that upbringing has served me, but I wasn’t taught how to deal with uncertainty or how to manage emotional risk. I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. Learning how to be vulnerable has been a street fight for me, but it’s been worth it.
Something all these doctors and researchers have in common? They understand that tapping into our emotional health is as the same value and importance of eating an apple and going to the gym. Spend some time this week focusing on your mental health and let us know if you find any of these resources life changing!
Photography: Riccardo Bresciani