Let’s Talk Mental Health
What is it?
Mental health is the aspect of our human experience that includes our emotions, thoughts, and feelings. As a result, the state of our mental health can shape the way we show up in and interact with our world, including:
How we process information
How we relate to others
How we handle change and stress
Because mental health strongly impacts our daily lives, it is important to open a conversation about it. By bringing awareness to the fact that we all have dynamic states of mental health (sometimes we’re happy and enthused, sometimes we’re sad and unmotivated, sometimes we’re somewhere in between!), we can remove the shame or stigma that has historically been associated with it. Our mental health deserves as much love, care, and attention as our physical health; it changes, it adapts, and it is here to help us thrive. This is why it’s important not only to address the areas in which we feel strong, but also where we need help, and how we can develop and maintain a resilient and adaptive mental state.
Who would benefit from seeking help?
Since our mental health is constantly being influenced by internal and external factors, there may come a time when just about anyone could benefit from seeking professional help. Depending on your current situation, you might find yourself seeking one of two kinds of help: preventive help or responsive help.
What is Preventive Help?
Using physical health as a metaphor, imagine your heart - in many cases, it is functioning perfectly well; yet, many adults focus on maintaining and strengthening their heart health by keeping active, eating balanced meals, and making healthy lifestyle choices. Similarly, preventive help can lead to benefits of increased quality of mental health; this doesn't mean that challenges won't come along, but it can mean a larger repertoire of tools for coping, stronger resilience, and more awareness and empowerment when navigating one's life path. In this sense, there may not necessarily be a triggering event or specific challenge at hand. The focus may be on self-exploration and building a repertoire of skills to serve you in times of need.
What is Responsive Help?
While preventive measures can be beneficial, many people are not at that point and may need help in response to certain experiences in life. Some of these experiences include, but are not limited to:
a traumatic event
chronic stress and anxiety
troubles with decision making
If you find yourself caught in your thoughts or are having a hard time regulating your mood or behaviour due to any of these factors, it may be time to seek help. Talking to a psychotherapist can offer you the chance to safely sort through the thoughts and feelings that can be too overwhelming to cope with on your own.
Regardless of what point you are at, seeking help does not imply that there is something “wrong" with you as a person. On the contrary, it actually speaks to your strength and your courage. It shows that, even if you feel stuck or in the dark, you still have faith - faith that things can be different, faith that you are worthy of feeling better, and most importantly, faith that you are capable of making a change. What’s important to remember is that no matter what your situation is, you do not need to be alone in it.
What are my options and where do I begin?
There are many avenues to explore when enhancing your mental health. As a student therapist and yoga instructor, I can offer two different options. Together, we can either explore the world of psychotherapy or yoga and meditation. If you are nervous about talking to someone, or are unsure what you're specifically wanting to work on, that's no problem at all. We can start out by talking through some different areas of your life, which can often guide us towards the patterns, experiences, and perspectives that are worth exploring for you. Your curiosity into the process is the only prerequisite!