‘Treat your mind like your most precious treasure’ Leila K
A few years ago, I set a crystal clear intention to give myself clarity of mind. To do that though, I had to make the decision to stop fighting the scary, destructive and negative thoughts that were swimming in my mind. I wanted to stop analysing and ruminating on every thought, and creating stress in my mind. I just wanted a mental break but I was falling into a deep depression. So I consciously choose to be depressed-to not fight it, to let it be what the experience needed to be. I gave myself a time frame of 2 months (I needed an exit point!), all the while knowing that a timeframe was unrealistic and unpredictable. I had to let it be because I knew I had to go through the depression to come out the other end. Having suffered from bouts of depression from a young age and working through them each time with professionals, I knew I would be able to manage, self-coach and self-counsel and take care of myself whilst I let things be. It was going to be a time of deep learning and deep inner searching. And, so much more…
It was a time of immense healing; many tears were shed, I journaled, read books, meditated, slept, exercised, really listened to myself, heard and observed what was going through my mind. I spent ample time challenging my thoughts by asking ‘Is that really true? ‘Do I really truly believe this or has that belief come from the media, society, culture, myself or from people who haven’t considered the impact of the words they are using?
As I was observing my inner world, I began to recognise the ego voice, the fear voice, the hurt/wounded inner child, the intuitive voice, my heart’s calling etc. In the end, I needed four months and it was the most humbling experience of my life. I’m glad I gave myself permission to go through the angst of ‘feeling lost’ because of everything that I gained. I learnt so much about myself, my life’s purpose, the Universe, Faith and so so much more. Gratefully, it wasn’t for nothing as it shows in my work as a personal and business development coach and teacher.
But, you know the one question that gave me so much freedom was what I now call my magic question: ‘What is mentally healthy thing for me to do?’/ ‘What is the best thing for my mental health? It’s a question which offers me emotional freedom from worrying, anxiety and stress. It also offers me choice in how I want to move forward in a situation, moves me away from anger and deeper resentments, and allows me to become more self-aware of how I authentically feel. Furthermore, it helps quieten the ego voice. The ego voice wants to control situations by keeping things the same, be in charge, hold onto anger, for example, because of what it can gain as it is so afraid of what it will lose. This question also helps me to search for solutions using my creative mind, my logical mind, my intuitive mind, my body wisdom, listening to my heart, my analogical mind and so on.
Having spent a huge amount of time dedicated to understanding my own mental health and in turn, other peoples, I now recognise that our mind, conscious and unconscious, is such a fragile part of every human being. At the same time, it is also one of the most powerful resources we have in order to experience this lifetime as full and abundant. We are so much more than our thoughts lead us to believe.
When we learn to understand how our mind works, we can discover new capabilities within ourselves to solve problems, discover solutions, choose our thoughts and create a life filled with empowering choices such as being financially free, choosing the most compatible life partner, choosing to live your purpose through work that makes you feel good etc. It can however also feel like a burden and responsibility and this is where the magic question can help. We have a responsibility to ourselves and other people to look after our mental health, through the choices we make.
Finally, I have found that managing and then leading the mind (rather than controlling it) to be a helpful and empowering resource is much more beneficial. I suppose this means showing your mind who is the Boss! You’re in charge of your mind, you decide what words you read through your eyes and hear through your ears. Life is today to create a mind that is full of light thoughts, kind words and compelling, enabling futures.
Look after your mental health-it’s more important than any desire for money, love or wealth-you need positive mental health in order to enjoy those things when you get them!
- Give yourself a mental break! Spend time NOT thinking, analysing, ruminating by giving yourself a mental break-set it as an intention. Study and learn something new to occupy your mind (a language is great as you can repeat verb tables over and over again! Not sexy, but does the job!) or get creative by writing, acting, drawing; create an art. Do something different and new…exercise, have fun, laugh, chill out, breathe and dream!
- Ask and answer-What would make you happy? Would you rather be happy or right?
- What can you do today to value your mental health?
Over to you, what do you do to look after your mental health? What suggestions could you share with others who are reading this blog? I hope it inspires some new ideas! Follow the links below to share with friends and family…
Excerpt taken from 101 ways to overcome almost anything, due for release summer 2014. Leila Khan is a certified Master Practitioner of NLP and helps professionals to create a life and business that they love, through personal and professional development.