The pace of modern life is relentless. There is constant pressure to strive for more; more for our clients, more for our loved ones, more for ourselves. Whatever your field, you and those around you are likely to feel that pressure and the impact is clear. 1 in 6 workers are experiencing mental health problems right now, and almost half of all sick days are thought to be due to stress, anxiety and depression.
Mental health first aiders have become necessary because so many people find themselves at the most dangerous end of the wellbeing spectrum, facing serious mental health challenges.
At the high end of the spectrum is a self-actualised, soul-satisfied person who is in flow. They are healthful and vibrant, they are creative and wise. They can access calm in the moment and stay committed to a vision with clarity and confidence. They are not, however, like this all the time! They too have hit bumps, feel slumps – and they continuously learn how to crawl, walk or leap over the humps.
Note that the spectrum doesn’t list emotions. Across the spectrum people are capable of feeling the exact same emotions – however the capacity to process and move through the emotions will vary greatly.
For example, at any place on the spectrum a person can feel intense sadness. When in red you might be so overwhelmed or withdrawn that you cannot name or face the sadness that is present for you. When in purple you will be able to clearly name the sadness, to feel it as sensation in your body and to connect with its root cause. You might spend time with the sadness and express it in various forms. You may, or may not, share it with those nearest to you but you will never hide or apologise for it. This will often be a soul-satisfying process for you – even if it isn’t pleasant.
There is no mental anguish when we can feel and be with any and all of our emotions. Part of the problem is that we were not taught how to feel openly. In fact we were told not to! “Stop crying”, “that’s enough”, “calm down” are still part of the parenting tool kit today and are ways of telling people to shut down their emotions.
The majority of people will apologise for crying when they are sad.
As you learn about mental wellbeing you learn that all emotions are signposts that you want to get information from. Emotions are good or bad and as you move through the spectrum you come to welcome them all – even if some are more pleasant than others.
Embracing and learning from our emotions is one of a suite of tools that allow us to navigate and get into flow with life as well move up the wellbeing spectrum. Another key element is energy and significantly the skill of rest.
We have lost the ability to rest in our “always on” culture. We are constantly busy, rushing, needing to do so much with not enough time. We crash out at night or struggle to relax into sleep because we are over stimulated and “too wired”.
If you want to know more about how you can move up the specturm and create more of the things you want in life, then drop me a line. Ask a question or even set up a consultation. I’m always happy to hear from new souls.
If your workplace could benefit from wellbeing training and support please check out the residency or the workshops or set up a consultation. Even moving up the spectrum a tiny bit can make a great difference your enjoyment of life and your contribution to the world.