I often get asked “how can I best support someone who is struggling with a mental illness?” and my question is “how present are you?”
We live in a time of constant distractions and rarely stop and reflect as we jump from task to task, making mistakes, forgetting information and just trying to keep our heads above water. The current state of being that I often hear from folks is “I am so stressed out, I have so much on the go and I just can’t slow down etc.” All of these thoughts are contributing to the increase in mental health problems. Mental health problems may have symptoms of mental illness but aren’t as severe as a mental illness diagnosis, but one thing is for sure, people are noticing the increasing numbers of people who are struggling to cope.
Staying present doesn’t just help you, it helps others. So the bigger question is, how do I stay present?
1) Slow Down – feeling rushed increases feelings of anxiety.
2) Breathe Deeply – a quick method that helps us to slow down.
3) Do what brings you joy – when you feel happier, resiliency increases and you have more reserves/energy available for yourself and others.
4) Mental health check – ask yourself, how am I coping right now?
5) Get Real – be honest about your health, are there habits you can change that will positively influence your well-being?
When we can drop all of our worries and not dwell on the past we are in a better position to be good to ourselves and others. Make your health and well-being the most important priority in your life, it will transition your attention to the present, exactly where you need to be.