It is said that mindfulness is the key to a strong and healthy mental being. While that is true, mindfulness is not the only way to achieve this. Mental health can be achieved through three main practices, which are mental flexibility, mindfulness, and resilience. Each of these “pillars” is equally important when it comes to strengthening your mind. What makes each practice different and how can you achieve each one? Read our comprehensive, but a quick guide to learn more.
The Three Pillars
Flexibility is the ability to adjust your thinking and behaviors. This practice is best when you’re placed in situations you may have never experienced before. By achieving flexibility, it becomes easier to understand situations, adjust, and react the best way possible that way it doesn’t take a toll on your mental health. Maintaining this mental flexibility can also help you work on your emotional wellbeing, if and when you may be placed in difficult situations, especially if they target emotions.
Mindfulness, as you may or may not already know, is the process of focusing on your awareness and focusing on the now. It does not throw your thoughts or feelings away, it simply allows them to flow in and out, allowing you to think clearly and be at peace with your thoughts. Mindfulness is crucial to mental health and can make a world of a difference for those who struggle with anxiety and stress, as this can be induced by negative thoughts.
To be resilient means to be tough and to bounce back quickly from difficult circumstances. Achieving resilience does not come easy. It takes plenty of time for individuals to achieve this important pillar of mental wellbeing. Resilience also calls for forgiving yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, what matters is how we deal with them and how we interpret our wrongdoings.
Achieving Flexibility, Mindfulness, Resilience
Now that we have discussed the three pillars that make up mental wellbeing, we must discuss how to achieve each and how they can be perfected. One technique is through the grounding technique. This method is typically used to achieve mindfulness. This requires the individual to notice 5 things around you, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This allows the individual to unravel and understand their thoughts in order to let them pass through.
Focusing on what’s best can be hard. It is natural for us to allow our minds to run from one thought to another, but when we allow that to happen, that is when anxiety, stress, and being nervous can become overwhelming. By concentrating on the moment, including your breathing and your present self, it becomes easier to focus and to stay focused. Proper breathing supports concentration. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly, to stay calm and slowly work your way towards concentration.
To piggyback on the previous point, staying aware is achieved with proper breathing. Although, it is important to understand that you shouldn’t just take deeps breaths, both in and out. The purpose of proper breathing is to be aware of your entire body and what you are feeling in every part, throughout your fingers, to the top of your head, to the bottom of your toes, everywhere! Knowing your body and what it feels helps to achieve awareness and mindfulness.
It can be very difficult to achieve each pillar when you have stress and negative thoughts taking over your mental wellbeing. When you are truly aware of your being and your present self, you will notice the tension that may be traveling throughout your body. Tension and stress can be an accumulation of months and even years before realizing what your body is experiencing. Releasing tension and pain starts with the mind as it is induced by our state of mental wellbeing.
This is one of the best ways to achieve mindfulness. Meditation is all about mindful and effective breathing. As you breathe in, you are aware of your body’s feelings, whether they may be bad or good. As you breathe out, this is where you release those thoughts, no longer allowing them to dictate your mind. Every breath should be progressive and one step closer to joy.
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