What Creates Good Psychological Health?

May 28, 2017

“One secret to progress is self-analysis. Introspection is a mirror in which to see the recesses of your mind that otherwise would remain hidden from you. Diagnose your failures and sort out your good and bad tendencies. Analyze what you are, what you wish to become and what shortcomings are impending you.”
-Yogananda, Where There is Light

I chose this Joy Tip today because I am concerned. Do we really know what is healthy and what it not? If you look at all the chaos in the world, some people seem to think certain kinds of behavior, attitudes and mindsets are healthy and others don’t. Some see dominance as “strength” and others see it as “painful” power plays of bullying which create destruction.

Some see “being a victim” as a cross to bear while others see it as an opportunity to overcome and “make lemonade” out of the pain of their lives. With all these differing perspectives, I wanted to share what I have seen over the last 20 years “truly help” when it comes to enjoying your life and being psychologically “fit”.

Without good psychological health, life can prove to be very challenging and it is hard to enjoy the simple things, let alone fulfill your potential.

What is good psychological health?

As a therapist, I am fortunate to be around people who strive to have better health- mind, body and Spirit. When I googled “good mental health” this is what it said, “Good mental health is a sense of well-being, confidence and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day-to-day life and our environment. When we are mentally healthy we can: form positive relationships and use our abilities to reach our potential.”

I am all about helping you reach your full potential and enjoy your life. Having positive relationships is also one of the best gifts life has to offer.

So how do we achieve “good psychological health” and why is it important?

Similar to nature, there is an inner unfolding happening within each of us. How tuned in you are with it and how much “control” you perceive to have over it, will create psychological health and/or depression and joy.

Like my client “Sarah”, for example. She always thought she was unattractive. Being told this since she was a child by the images on TV as well as the relationships she picked, didn’t help. She ended up in a sex-less marriage with a workaholic husband and ultimately in a divorce. Blaming herself for the whole breakdown, she came to me to get support over her grief and to repair her already damaged self-esteem.

We began teaching her to “self-reflect” over her life and found that she was extra critical of herself, like most of her family. As she observed this pattern of self-criticism, she realized how painful this was and began to question,” do I want to treat myself this harshly?” How she spoke to herself was something she could change. We began to develop a more compassionate, loving and nurturing self to hold her “self-critic” accountable and not let it run the show. This became a very healing, joy-bringer in her life and a true paradigm shift for her.

JOY TIP: Develop the ability to reflect on your life with compassion.

Let’s try self-reflecting with compassion….

As beings who prefer joy and love, it sometimes feels the opposite to brave our inner process and trust that we can take a deeper look into ourselves and how we are made up. This allows us a chance to observe and notice who we are and who we want to be. Which in turn, allows greater psychological health!

Let’s try it: (pick one thing in your life you are curious about)

  1. Why do you react or respond certain ways and how do these behaviors affect your life?
  2. Is this how you want to be or would you like to change this?
  3. How much suffering do you have (grief, inner criticism of self or another and inner judgment etc.)?
  4. What is causing your suffering and what relieves it?
  5. Where do you need to put your energy for the best outcome in this situation? (ex. thoughts, emotions, attitudes, etc.)

Self-reflecting with compassion (the ability to understand, support and/or give love and kindness to yourself) is challenging for most of us. Self-reflection with compassion allows you to “track” your inner self and hopefully give yourself a chance to observe, grow and choose from a more conscious place in your life. This inevitably creates more joy and better psychological health.

Wishing you all, ease, self-love and the ability to nurture yourself with compassion for true and lasting JOY!

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