22 Jun Everyday mental health; regulate to motivate
Do you do an daily mental health check in? Who is in your check and balance community? What do you do do keep your mental health in check? If we don’t take a moment (and that could look like simply 5 deep breaths to start) to regulate we will have a harder time staying focused and motivated.
THERE CAN BE WELLNESS WITHIN THE ILLNESS
This phrase “there can be wellness within the illness” caught our attention by videos from Dr. Tracey Marks. She’s a psychiatrist who makes weekly videos that are straight talk plain language to help you better understand your own mental health and hopefully help you better understand others.
While Mental Health Awareness Month is in May and Mental Health Awareness Week is also in October it is increasingly a daily topic and being brought the forefront by popular entertainers and is the subject of conversation as we see grandiose displays of obvious mental health issues from world “leaders”; clearly this is not an isolated issue as there is a WORLD MENTAL HEALTH Awareness Day on October 10 each year. For World Mental Health Awareness day we wrote this blog post.
Remember our post about EUSTRESS? Dr. Marks video mentions EUTHYMIA – which means having a normal mood state. In times of distress of a mental health disturbance we need support systems to keep our mental health in check to better and more quickly return to a state of euthymia. Here are some ways we found that support a EUTHYMIC state:
- Healthy relationships
- Counselor (licensed professional, coach…)
- Proper nutrition – water
- Mediterranean Diet
- Intermittent Fasting
- Wake Therapy
- Scheduled Bedtime
- Support groups
- SELF CARE!
- Grounding exercises
Oh yes, let’s talk about this last one, grounding exercises. We hear about these all the time but do we actually know what they are? And when push comes to shove can we actually REMEMBER them when we need them? THAT’S WHY YOU NEED ALOT to choose from. Some could look and include the suggestions above that support a normal mood state.
Grounding techniques are effective strategies used to help individuals manage mental health symptoms and reconnect with the present moment. They can be particularly helpful in reducing anxiety, dissociation, and overwhelming emotions. Here are some commonly recommended grounding techniques:
- 5-4-3-2-1 Technique: Identify and name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This exercise helps shift your focus to the present sensory experience.
- Deep Breathing: Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. This technique can help calm the nervous system and bring your attention back to the present moment.
- Body Scan: Close your eyes and mentally scan your body from head to toe, paying attention to any sensations or areas of tension. This technique promotes body awareness and helps ground you in the present physical experience.
- Grounding Objects: Hold onto an object with different textures, such as a stress ball, a piece of smooth stone, or a soft piece of fabric. Concentrate on the sensations in your hand, redirecting your attention away from distressing thoughts.
- Mindful Observation: Choose an object in your environment and examine it closely, focusing on its color, shape, texture, and other details. Engaging your senses in this way helps anchor you to the present moment.
- Counting or Reciting: Count backward from a specific number (e.g., 100) or recite a comforting mantra or positive affirmations to yourself. This technique provides a repetitive and soothing focus for your mind.
- Engage the Senses: Engage your senses by doing activities that involve touch, taste, smell, sight, or hearing. Examples include taking a warm bath or shower, savoring a favorite food, lighting scented candles, looking at beautiful artwork, or listening to calming music.
- Grounding through Movement: Engage in physical activities like walking, stretching, or engaging in mindful exercises like yoga. Pay attention to the sensations in your body and the movement of your muscles to anchor yourself in the present.
WHAT ABOUT GROUNDING COLOR/S?
There is no coincidence that the “colors of the earth”, blue and green, are the most grounding colors in the rainbow. Certainly you’ve had hear of the most basic “grounding” technique of literally putting your bare feet on the earth. Both green and blue evoke peace, calm and ease. Blue has tremendous power to manage stress. It’s a very soothing color that helps calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Blue is believed to have a cooling and astringent effect. So what is COLOR GROUNDING or color awareness exercise. Pick any color that comes to mind and then name all of the objects in your view that have that color. So you look around the room and say the object out loud. This exercise and the ideas above can be used to diffuse fear and settle the mind.
Number 8 above can also refer to internal movement. Massage while being applied to your body provides a push-pull-pumping movement of you blood, oxygen and essential nutrients throughout the body. Book SELF CARE for number 8 by using TAO services to bring yourself back to a euthymic state faster and more often; the effects are cumulative. No better time than to start NOW! You may also call/text Tao at 732-775-1550.
Remember that different techniques work better for different individuals, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. It’s also beneficial to practice grounding techniques regularly, even when you’re NOT in a state of distress, to build resilience and maintain good mental well-being. If you’re struggling with persistent mental health issues, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor and reference the many resources in our other mental health post.