Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
“If needed due to loss of cabin pressure, four oxygen masks will drop from the compartment overhead. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”
When you think about life from this prospective, it makes perfect sense.
What good am I to you if I am no good at all. How can I effectively help you if I am dying inside?
Some of us struggle to self-preserve because it is our nature to constantly give of ourselves to our friends and families. We give of our money, resources and TIME. And, yes! I capitalized TIME, because too often we do not know the value of it.
They say time is money but it’s a little more than just material things. Time is also energy. Have you ever noticed how drained you feel after certain conversations? Have you ever observed how your mood got worst, you’re more frustrated, you are now “depressed” sometimes you have no idea why… and we find ourselves repeating… Why do I feel like this? Well my selfless friend… you may have deposited some time you weren’t mentally prepared to deal with. You spent time and energy you didn’t have to spare in the first place, because you already had too much on your plate.
Your cabin pressure dropped but you are too busy to notice, you are too busy trying to be “captain save-them-all”; your oxygen mask is dangling before you, all the signs are hinting you to put your mask on, but you refuse to pause for a minute. Your mama needs you, your dying uncle needs you, your cousin who is beyond stressed out with the four children needs you, your significant other needs you, your children needs you, the committee needs you and the list could go on forever… We get it… The world needs you!
But what about you? Do you need you? If the answer is yes, then it is ok to stop for a moment, put your oxygen mask on, extend the plastic tube and allow oxygen to flow in… once you have gained control over your breathing, your emotions, your mind, then you can proceed to being there for others. If you are broken, then you serve yourself nor the people who are depending on you any good.
Take time out to breathe today, go for a long walk, treat yourself to some much-needed alone time to relax and just be one with you.
Growing up in the Caribbean, I have seen a lot of people who have lost the mental capacity to fully function in life. I’ve also seen others who are barely surviving. In extreme cases, where they have become displaced because of the incapacity to live and function normally. It begs the question, what was the cause of their calamity? Could they have been helped? Can they still be helped?
These were the questions I pondered and still do. I am sure many others have asked those same questions as well. Looking back, I can’t recall there ever being a campaign to bring awareness to the epidemic. What I can recall is the callous approach and the blind eye we turned and accepted it as the new normal.
The obvious signs of mental struggle stare us in the face daily in our schools, homes and communities. We are still unable to recognize the signs of Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar, Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, just to name a few. Visit http://www.nimh.nih.gov for a complete list and for more information. There are different variations of mental illness and they can range from mild to severe. In many cases some have a snowball effect.
Maybe it is not that we don’t recognize the signs, but often it is not easy to discuss. It is not easy to say to a friend or family member, “hey, I think you may need some help”. Even if we can break pass the barrier of suggesting help, we may also face the person who is in total denial. Getting them to accept that “hey, I need help” is an even a bigger task. In some cases, getting the message across requires a person of influence such as a mentor, mother figure, father figure or spiritual leader.
Note: The church’s view on mental health may vary, some are wise and connected to tell the difference between spiritual and physical struggle. While others are trained to only address the spiritual side. This may be another topic for a different day.
Nevertheless, let’s carry on!
Here in the US, in 2017, there were an estimated 46.6 MILLION adults aged 18 or older in the United States with AMI- (Any Mental illness which also includes emotional disorders). This number represented 18.9% of all U.S. adults and an estimated 49.5% of adolescents had any mental disorder, yet it was reported that less than 50% of those diagnosed received treatment.
We are swift to treat the physical pain we feel especially if the pain is unbearable. We however tend to ignore the pain of a dysfunctional life. We ignore the pain associated with the lack of progression, constantly misunderstood, labelled and ostracized, which is just as great as the pain of being physically wounded.
Yes, it is easier to treat the bruise you can physically see and touch but imagine being totally unaware of the source of your pain and unable to explain why is it that you just can’t seem to fit in. Let’s keep in mind that the pain is not limited to the persons who are suffering but also their love ones.
It hurts just as bad to watch someone near and dear to our hearts suffer unknowingly or in denial. Families are left to decide if they ride the roller-coaster or hop off at the next stop and deciding to stay on or get off is extremely hard.
Make no mistake about it, mental health issues can be very subtle, but it is incumbent on us to pay close attention to those subtle signs as it relates to our own mental health as well as the people around us. Be the shoulder that someone needs today or that friend who will take them by the hand. Let’s face it, this might not be your struggle today, but this science project of a body is not guaranteed to last a lifetime, and neither is our mental capacity. Be aware, be conscious, speak out, break your silence, seek help and most importantly remember “Wholeness for humans, depends on the ability to own their own shadow”- Carl Jung.
Feeling worried, stressed, overwhelmed, out of place, not in control of your emotions, off balance like you are not being who you really want to be or could be? Perhaps you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated and in need of change… Your mind is probably going a thousand miles per second because you just can’t seem to find the answers. Instinctively we are pressed to pursue the answers we need to solve the problems we are faced with and nothing is wrong with perseverance. However, It becomes problematic for us when we begin to fixate and obsess over the situations at hand even when we realize that doing so yields no progress.
How do we know if we have become fixated and obsessed over our problems? Simple… When all we seem to be able to think about is the problem for an extended period of time… How do we know when this is beginning to take a toll?! When our bodies begin to react! If what affects the mind also affects the body then being completely conscious, we should be able to make observations that will be a tell tale sign if we are at this particular place of pursuit for too long. If the mind is overworked the body will respond and if the mind is relaxed then the body will also respond. If we pay close attention to what our body’s response is to our overworked mind, we may notice that we’ve been feeling extremely tired, our muscles may have gotten tight around the shoulders and neck area which can be attributed to a change in our sleep patterns. Little to no energy can also be a result of a change in our eating habits be it more or less. We may notice we’ve been craving more of the bad stuff like sugar and more carbs; as a result of this we become fatigue, sluggish and irritable, especially if It starts to change our body’s image to something less favorable (wink wink). Some effects are even more silent, like the drop or increase in our blood pressure levels. By the time we start noticing some of these changes, it simply means we’ve been in an overworked state of mind for far too long.
It is imperative that we develop healthy mental habits that facilitates the processes we go through. However, before we are able to implement healthy mental habits, we must first be able to identify our mental state and in order to do so it requires our complete consciousness. So don’t forget to do your mind check! Be aware of where you are mentally at all times. The only control we are guaranteed to have in this institution called “life”, is our response to it. Check on a friend today and invite them to the awakening of our consciousness mind.
In our every day hustle and bustle or even the total opposite most often people are not in the habit of doing a “mind check”. They are usually focused on what’s in front of them. Occasionally we’ll get urges that prompts us to take a vacation, which in alot of cases we are unable to afford. We also get the overwhelming feeling to change something about our situation, however often times we are not in an immediate positions to do so.
In today’s society we have become more about social media than human interaction, and in a lot of cases have isolated ourselves from people because we’ve been hurt, betrayed or disappointed. We have found solace in being a loner for justifiable reasons. While in other cases we air all our feelings and inner thoughts out on social media, with no consideration for the ramifications but just to seek the instant gratification of release.
With the chaos surrounding our daily lives and little to no outlet, how often can you truly say that you have observed all the changes in your body, mind, and surroundings? Can you with certainty say that you are totally aware of exactly where you are and what got you there? Can you say you are conscious of your mental state?
Being conscious of our current mental state, does not eliminate what’s going on but instead it gives us control. For example, we can’t stop the rain from falling but we can make the decision not to get wet; we have no control over the hand we’ve been dealt but we do have control over how we respond to them. How we respond to situations gives us a greater advantage in progressing and moving pass our hurdles. This is why we are here, to help each other remain conscious and navigate through life… stay tuned.
Hi, my name is Kadine Garrison and I am pleased to welcome you to “My Healthy Mind”. I am excited about this new journey, this new chapter and especially excited because I get to share it with you. I am a psychology major and I have always been fascinated with the mind. The mind fascinates me because it is the seat of our consciousness and everything we are and ever hope to be begins in the mind. The most amazing thing about the mind is that it can be molded and on this journey we’ll get to do that together by exploring every aspect of life including the ups and downs, the ins and outs. We will explore together and discover together. I would love hear from you as well, so don’t be shy about commenting and asking questions. Life is a journey my friend so lets take it together! Don’t forget to subscribe so you can be notified when there is something new for you.