We live best when we are in balance! Oftentimes life can come at us fast; resulting in most of us losing our center in search of balance. Most of us seek work-life balance and when one facet dominates our lives we can become imbalanced. This article will discuss strategies for finding balance from a holistic approach in a fast paced society.
As a mental health professional, I have learned that treating patients from a holistic approach is imperative to get to the core of the problem and assist them in developing or enhancing the tools to manage life’s complexities. There are many components that factor into treating the whole person. In this article, I will highlight the physical, emotional, mental/ psychological and spiritual domains.
Physical Wellness: This may be the most important area to obtaining mental health wellness. Before we can address the other components, we must he aware of any physical symptoms that may be affecting an individual’s ability to function. Assessing the physical symptoms before the mental health symptoms is essential. Most patients present with physical symptoms that mirror mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression (problems sleeping, loss of appetite, panic attacks, and shortness of breath). When this occurs, patients should be referred to their primary medical doctor to rule out any medical conditions before continuing mental health treatment. Some questions to consider:
How much sleep are you getting at night?
Do you exercise regularly?
Are you getting proper nutrition?
Do you see your doctor regularly?
Emotional Wellness: People in good emotional health are not exempt from adversity. However, they are resilient, having the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune. Emotional wellness is the groundwork for what is necessary for identifying and nurturing your feelings, your intellect and your conscious inner-being. Some strategies for enhancing our emotional wellness include Positive affirmations, practicing self-love, find a hobby, don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t be afraid to say yes, practice forgiveness.
Emotional health also involves the people around you. Conduct an inventory of the people you spend the most time around.
Are they supportive?
Do they challenge you?
Are they draining or discouraging?
Mental/Psychological Wellness: Individuals who have good mental and psychological health are able to use their cognitive and emotional capabilities to function in society and meet the day to day demands of life. If an individual finds himself or herself suffering from symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, feelings of hopelessness that persist for several days, irritability, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions seek medical attention immediately. Again, medical conditions should be ruled out before patients begin treatment with a mental health professional. Most mental health disorders are a result of chemical imbalances and some are genetic. When an individual has a chemical imbalance, he or she may have a mental health disorder. Seeking mental health treatment is extremely important in assisting individuals in tapping into their strengths to enhance their coping skills in order to manage their conditions. It is also important to take any medication prescribed by your doctor and report all side effects in counseling and to your doctor. Do not stop taking medications without speaking to your doctor. Other strategies for enhancing our mental and psychological wellness include joining a support group, journaling, reading a self-help book and practicing relaxation techniques.
Spiritual Wellness: The activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a higher power and deeper meaning for our lives. Spiritual wellness involves the values and beliefs that provide meaning and purpose in our lives. A huge part of spiritual wellness is understanding “Who Am I?” When the gap between whom we are versus whom we think we are narrows; we begin to have good spiritual health. The process of spiritual wellness also includes what is real within our own experiences on our journeys to discover our truths. Consider the following questions for developing spiritual wellness:
Do you make time for relaxation in your day?
Do you make time for meditation or prayer in your day?
Do your values align with your decisions and actions?
Do you accept the values and views of others?
When treating the whole person, the goal is to assist individuals in finding balance in each facet of their lives. It may take time before one is ready to divulge the information needed to take the steps to achieve the desired results. There are many different ways to assist individuals in achieving this goal, but the one variable that does not change is meeting individuals where they are!
More information on a holistic approach to mental health wellness can be found in Sharise Hemby’s book Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook for the Mind, Body and Soul, click here
For a consultation, contact Sharise Hemby at email@example.com