You know that your mental health is important…
If you’ve ever been on the brink of burnout or breakdown, you know that sinking feeling you get, as if your life is about to collapse.
Everything you worked so hard for: your career, stable life, protected family, your future, your children’s future, is all about to come crashing down because you don’t feel like yourself anymore.
You used to be strong, always in control, invincible to stress and to pressures of life. But now you feel that everything is beginning to fall apart, and you don’t know how to keep it all together. Paralyzing panic fills your head. You are lost, you don’t know what to do, and you just can’t think anymore.
That’s not a fun place to be.
Even if you’ve never felt like this, you’d know that mental health is worth taking care of because a lot is riding on it.
So what are the ways to support and protect it so that it remains stable and serves you well?
WHAT IF I HATE TALKING
You might say: “Please don’t tell me to see a therapist, psychologist or a counsellor. I’m really not comfortable discussing personal matters with strangers”.
Not trying to convince you of the merits of talk therapy (although they are many), there are other methods to support your mental health without dropping a single word. Here’s a list of three – very different in nature but all potent and very comprehensive.
LET YOUR BODY BE YOUR GUIDE
While things around mental health can be quite abstract, the physical body is more concrete and reliable. We all have bodies and carry stress in them. Accumulated and stored in the muscles, these stress and tension can be our constant companions, perpetuating our fight-or-flight response, and keeping us stuck in survival mode.
A method to break out of this pattern is called TRE, which stands for Tension, Stress and Trauma Releasing Exercises. A series of exercises, TRE leads to what professionals call ‘neurogenic tremors’ or, put simply – ‘shaking’ or ‘tremoring’. It sounds a bit strange that anything good can come from shaking, doesn’t it? But nonetheless. It appears that shaking is a natural mechanism for a human being to discharge stress.
In a TRE session you will not be talking about your problems but simply do a short set of exercises, go through the steps to activate the shaking in the body and enjoy the process of releasing off your tension. As the body becomes lighter, the mind follows. It sometimes feels like you leave a bunch of old emotions, worries, and concerns on that mat as well. All of the sudden you notice that in daily life you are less reactive, less triggered, more patient with people and naturally calm.
The beauty of this method is that it’s down to earth, easy to grasp and simple to learn. Guided by the rule that ‘everybody shakes’ TRE is suitable for most of us. There are restrictions for certain health conditions and, as your TRE providers, we will brief you about those.
LET YOUR MIND REST
Meditation is no longer a prerogative of gurus and sages. No longer is it a secret covered in mystery. Millions of people practice it and for good reasons. The idea behind it is pretty simple. Just like the physical body that requires a regular rinse, the mind needs the same kind of care. So in meditation we take a few minutes or more to sit quietly with eyes closed. By doing so we minimize outside information input, focusing inwards instead. What do you find when you look inward? Although very subtle, you become aware of a lot of things: sensations, emotions and thoughts. By being aware of them without judgement, you bring yourself into here and now, instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future. This clears your head from rumination and chatter of the mind, creates space for your brain to breathe and relax and gives you a new perspective on things.
You can safely prescribe meditation practice to yourself on a regular basis. How long and how often? As the saying goes – “Meditate daily for twenty minutes, unless very busy. Then meditate for one hour.” 😉
Don’t know how to go about it? We are always here to assist you.
LET YOUR SPIRIT BE STILL
From the physical body, to mind, we are moving up to more subtle layers of a human being. The next method helps us still our spirit. Being over a hundred years old, Reiki therapy enjoys ever growing popularity around the world. About 5 percent of the US population uses Reiki or other forms of bio field therapy to relieve pain, support mental health and address physical health concerns.
Reiki translates from Japanese as Universal Life Force Energy. It’s said to be the energy that animates all things and that’s what Reiki therapists are using to heal. So when you come for a Reiki treatment, you’d be receiving this harmonizing energy as it flows from the hands of the therapist lightly placed over your clothed body.
As Reiki brings your nervous system from a sympathetic activation into a rest-and-restore mode, you may feel calm and relaxed. This sense of calmness goes deeper than the physical and you may feel the sense of inner peace you haven’t felt in a while. At least that’s how other people sometimes describe it.
An added advantage is that there is no need to talk while you are in Reiki session. You can use this time to completely relax and let go. Both your body and your mind will truly appreciate it.
So as you can see, talk therapy is not the only way to support your psychological wellbeing. Even this short list of techniques can help you choose something suitable depending on your personal preference. Whether you are a pragmatic thinker who only believes in what you see or someone who is open to the idea of spiritual practice, these are great options to choose from. Of course, three approaches discussed here do not stand in opposition to psychotherapy and can well be used alongside it. At the same time, they will serve you very well as stand-alone methods to take care of this precious part of your life – your mental health.