Mental Health Monday

Mental Health Monday – The Power of Positivity (Boy, Does That Sound Cheesy)


I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to work this new WordPress…

Hey friends! I’m finally back home (ok, I was back home yesterday… but that was for like 2 hours and then I had to work until late so I’m not counting yesterday).

Since I didn’t have time to post yesterday, I have some exciting (for me) news!

I ran 5 miles yesterday with zero knee pain!

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(I can’t photograph and run simultaneously).

Today, I felt my knee a little bit… So I stuck to cross training (Insanity Asylum – Speed and Agility). It’s so bizarre how running can hurt my knee, yet no other type of high impact exercise seems to bother it. Guess that just goes to show how differently our muscles are used in different types of activity.

Anyway, moving onto the real topic of today’s post.

It’s another Mental Health Monday (again, I don’t believe this will be a weekly series, but at least every other week), and today I’m approaching this blog post with one topic in mind.

The power of positive thinking.

Now, before you roll your eyes at me, just hear me out. I know that one of the most annoying things on the planet to hear when you are suffering from some type of mental health issue, whether it be depression, anxiety, OCD, etc., is when (ignorant) people tell you to, “just choose to be happy.”

Choose to be happy? Wow! My depression that I have been dealing with for X amount of years is now completely gone! Why didn’t I realize that I could just decide to not be depressed and anxious all the time sooner?

Um… Yeah. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

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One of the most common (and frustrating) misconceptions about mental disorders of all types is that they are a choice. For whatever reason, society as a whole seems to think you choose to be sad all the time or to have severe anxiety over every little thing or to develop an eating disorder (society also seems to believe that eating disorders are all about vanity… but I’ll save that for a different post).

PET scans have actually shown a difference in the brain activity of a depressed brain in comparison to a non-depressed brain.

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So needless to say, mental disorders are not a choice, nor are they something that you simply decide to not have anymore.

However, you can definitely choose to fight your disorder, or as I call them, your monster.

Enter positive thinking, or specifically, positive mantras.

Now, we all know what positive mantras are. We have all been told, at one time or another, “Tell yourself that you can do it!” or, “Say that you love yourself!”

Most of the time, positive mantras are used as a sort of, “fake it till you make it,” type deal. And in my opinion, they often fail.

Of course, if they work for you, that’s totally rad! But for those of use who don’t seem to get any benefit from essentially lying to yourself (I could say that I fully love and accept myself until I’m blue in the face, doesn’t mean I’ll believe it), then keep on listening!

I mentioned last Thursday that I had an especially good session with my therapist, a holistic practitioner who uses a combination of hypnosis, meditation, and talk therapy to access the subconscious mind. What we focused on last Thursday was actually positive thinking and developing my own personalized positive mantra.

What really made this session impact me was what she told me when we first started.

“I normally tell my clients to say, “I love and accept myself,” but obviously you don’t believe that yet, so we’re going to do something different.”

This was not the first time that I had been told to utilize positive thinking, but it was the first time that I was told not to say something that I didn’t believe. I liked that idea.

Instead, I was told to say, “I choose to try to live my best life.” I liked this mantra for myself before it truly resonated with me. I am no where near being my best self yet, and I know that I am not living my best life… But I want to. I can pretend that I love myself and everything is peachy all that I want, but I’m not there yet.

But I choose to try to live my best life.

And now I can give myself the positive reinforcement that I need.

So here is my challenge to you…

Develop your own mantra that is specific to you and your needs. 

This doesn’t apply specifically to those who are suffering fro mental disorders, but to everyone. Who doesn’t want to be their best self? Isn’t that the goal of life?

You don’t need to lie to yourself to think positive. If you are a truly negative person, you don’t need to all of a sudden start telling yourself that the world is all butterflies and rainbows and unicorns. Honestly, it’s not. The world is a pretty rough place to be most of the time.

But it’s also s truly amazing place.

Making even Lilliputian changes in your thought patterns can have massive results. The point of thinking with positivity and utilizing positive mantras isn’t repetitively lying to yourself to try and make you believe something that just isn’t true yet. The idea is about making yourself believe that things can be better someday.

The idea is hope. 

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Question(s):

What would your mantra for life be?

What do you think of these Mental Health Mondays? Do you find them helpful, or am I just spouting nonsensical information?

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Mental Health Monday – The Power of Positivity (Boy, Does That Sound Cheesy)

  1. Pingback: Are You Holding Yourself Back? A Challenge |

  2. Pingback: Mental Health Monday – Romanticizing Mental Illness and Introvert vs. Social Phobia |

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