Back in the Saddle

How to get back on a healthy mental track

Photo by Jason Weingardt on Unsplash

It amazes me how often I settle into a funk so to speak. The funk is a feeling that is hard to explain other than it doesn’t feel right. What does it feel like to feel right? A hopeful attitude, creative endeavors, laughter, focus, and a sense of connectedness all accompany a positive outlook on life and fall into the realm of feeling right.

On the flip side, negative self-talk usually leads to the narrative. In those darker times, everything seems to halt. Creativity seems out of reach, laughter comes less often, loneliness and disconnectedness become commonplace feelings, yet I know that these are not my true home.

It takes work

It is hard work, but worthy work, digging deep into our minds to find the source of discontentment that has taken root. When did those seeds get sowed? What is the source? Discontentment is a disease, and it will work its way into the very fabric of our being if we do not fight it and sow seeds of contentment.

Sometimes, you may have to flip your life upside down and shake it out to remove the seeds of discontentment, this may involve major life changes. In my case, I decided to leave my very secure job of over a decade because there was something seriously wrong in my mind that was taking me down a path of depression. Though I don’t believe that my job was the source of this sadness, it took up such a large part of my life and mind that I could not truly deal with what was has happening at the time.

As you can guess, the depression did not leave with my job. If anything the feelings got more intense, but I knew getting to the core of my pain would be a hard journey. In this journey, I have found that there are fundamental elements that are needed in my life to live contented.

A sense of purpose

There must be something out there that only I can do. This can be an overwhelming thought, but the path usually begins right in front of us. For me, it begins in my home. If I expect to find purpose and happiness in life, I must first embrace the purpose and joy of my wife and my daughters. Our lives are intertwined, and I need to be whole for them. Beyond that, there are the friendships that I have, and I can choose to take from those relationships or give to them. 

What I have found in my life, is that even the smallest impact in someone else life can have a great impact on our self-worth and confidence.

Create something

What would the world look like if every one of us added to the creative endeavors of the world? At the very least, we would experience the enjoyment of making something. Beyond that, seeing someone else create inspires us to create, so we keep the cycle of inspiration moving. We must not let the doubts about our creativity stop us from creating.

Connect

In the current state of our world, we are being asked to keep our distance from other people, so the human connection is limited. The human connection is so important to our well being, so we need to connect in new ways. If we are unable to connect face to face for a time, we will need to embrace the technology that we do have available to us. Texting, phone calls, and video conferencing are more valuable than ever right now. I had a video chat with some friends the other day, and it had such a positive impact on my mental health.

Whenever possible, we should take advantage of opportunities to be with people if it can happen in a safe and healthy environment.

Ultimately, now more than ever we must take care of our mental health. Our friends and family need us to be a positive impact in their lives, and we need to stay hopeful and committed to living a life of positive impact. 

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