"Mental illness" sounds like a nasty label. It is a phrase that makes many people nervous and uncomfortable. It conjures, for some, images of widely uncontrolled individuals. Someone who is not them. Going to speak with a mental health counselor or therapist, therefore, may feel like you are being lumped in with the unruly group of mental illness. Fact is that most people do not scare at the term "physical illness" -- if we are physically ill, we WANT to try to get better. To overcome. To be well. If we are mentally ill, most times it simply means we have something that ails our minds that needs to be healed. The catch, though, is that we need to WANT to try to get better. To overcome. To be well. For many, the idea of delving into our thoughts and emotions is too foreign. You may push down those dark feelings, push out those negative thoughts, say you're ok when you feel anything but ok. You cannot get better...that is unless you acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and move beyond them. Unless you heal. Want to run a mile but have a sore leg? You rest. Want to go out with friends but keep sneezing? You rest. Want to watch a movie but have a migraine? You rest. You rest, nurture, and recuperate. You've been taught how to do that your whole life and who to see (a doctor) if you can't get through it alone. Maybe, just maybe, you've had a nagging stress you can't shake. Maybe at night you just can't fall asleep. Maybe you can't focus long enough to finish something you need to. Maybe, just maybe, you can't get through it alone. Hi. I'm Elizabeth. I'm here to help guide you through this and help you get better. Overcome. Be well.
How hard can it be to chill out and catch up on some zzz's? Grab a magazine, the phone, turn on the television and scroll though the laptop. Wait, that's a lot of stimulation when you're trying to decrease stimulation. It's been said over and over: "unplug." Have you done it? Really unplugged? Spent an hour or more with just your thoughts or let yourself drift into sleep? For most of us, the answer is no. "I unwind with my phone." "I like to relax while browsing websites." "Trashy tv is calming." Sure, there are plenty of times that being connected allows us to relax and enjoy ourselves. But, what about, just once, we tried something new. We put down all outside stimulation - the electronics, the conversations, the games - and sit with our thoughts and get to know ourselves a bit more. Can you handle the quiet? Does it bring serenity? Does it make you think about anything you haven't thought about in a while? Did you notice your heartbeat and how it slowed to a calming pace? New year, new opportunities for healthy change.
A healthier, happier you.