Mental Health Awareness
It's September and the world is talking about Mental Health Awareness - bringing this once taboo subject into the light.
In New Zealand, we have some of the highest self harm and suicide rates in the world. Most recently our beloved ex-TVNZ presenter, Greg Boyed, chose to end his life, just one of the 600 New Zealanders who decided to end their lives in the last 12 months.
It's a sobering thought that our annual suicide rate is twice our annual road death toll. You could well ask "Where are the suicide prevention sign posts, the check points, and the safety belts to make our mental health road trips safer?"
If suicide, attempted or merely contemplated, is the ultimate declaration of unhappiness, then surely it follows that it may have started with a much smaller level of mental dis-ease and discomfort.
Each and every one of us is privately engaged in an ever changing conversation with our inner voice(s), feelings, desires, and thoughts. In fact, formal studies suggest that we have 60,000 - 70,000 thoughts per day, and over 90% of these are similar to the thoughts we had the day before!
We each are constantly, both consciously and unconsciously, comparing our internal mental model to what we perceive to be the real world. When we each detect a discrepancy between what we want and what we have or expect to have, we make the mental choice to accept, deny, or do something about it - and we are each happy or unhappy as a consequence. Unchecked, thousands of discordant thoughts can lead to repeated, self-reinforcing and ultimately destructive feelings.
Fortunately, backed by numerous repeatable scientific studies, proven techniques and tools exist to establish and maintain a healthy, resilient mental state, in the face of the challenges, and the highs and lows that life brings. These approaches can be tailored by each of us, on the basis of what we experience and learn about ourselves, and allow us each to intervene if necessary to adjust the path of self-reinforcing behaviours.
When we each learn to acknowledge and our negative emotions and understand our beliefs around them, we can use proven techniques to build positive feelings and make more coherent and positive choices. We don't need to sacrifice honesty, vulnerability, or privacy to do so.
So, I would like to ask you - Are you or your co-workers experiencing:
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What are your morning rituals? Are they the same every day? Do you start your day off in a state of stress or in a state of inner happiness and with an intention of gratitude and the decision that you are going to have an amazing day, each and every day?
It is incredible for me to think how many people, stumble out of bed, do the same thing every day, unaware that their inner dialogue has a profound impact on how they feel and how they go about their day.
So let me ask you, are you aware of your thoughts when you get up in the morning? Did you know that scientists have now discovered that we have between 60-70,000 thoughts a day, most of which we aren't even aware of at a conscious level, although they all have some impact on how we behave and interact with those around us.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?
Bringing awareness to our thoughts and attitudes as we go about the day, from the moment we get out of bed, will help us shine a light on why our lives may be going in an unwanted direction.
Some people find getting out of bed a challenge, and they don't feel up to being loving or kind until that they drink that first cup of coffee or tea, probably feeling stressed about going to a job that they don't really enjoy, working with people that they don't really like or not making enough money to make living easy. Does that sound like you?
Or maybe you are in a relationship where you are feeling taken for granted, you aren't feeling appreciated, you may feel invisible, maybe your spouse makes work more important, or maybe you are worried that your loved one isn't being faithful.
Or maybe, you or your loved ones spend a large chunk of time on your electronic devices, possibly even in the same room, and so you aren't deeply connecting...
Is it true?
As mentioned earlier in this blog, bringing conscious awareness to our thoughts and feelings means we can identify triggers or behaviours that we may have not noticed previously.
We can then ask a question like "Is this really true" to see if the negative story we are telling ourself is actually true.
More than likely the answer is NO. At least having this awareness, we have a choice. We can choose to continue to feel and behave the way we have done up until now, or we can choose a more positive, happier thought or belief.
Which would make you feel better?
How about today you tell yourself that it's going to be a good day.. Take a few moments and say it to yourself, say it with feeling, bring your awareness down to your heart and say it again, maybe even out loud. Say it LOUD, have a laugh. you may just surprise yourself.
Keep your eye on my page for more snippets of wisdom, I will start posting more regularly going forward.
If you feel that getting coaching may help you find a more helpful direction, get in touch with me.
Nicole Wijngaarden - A student of life's magic
Free coaching within my community
I have just completed 4 weeks of free coaching sessions from my local cafe in Khandallah, for people from all over Wellington. It was a huge success and some powerful transformations happened for the people who came and had coaching with me.
What people took away from the coaching included -
If you are ready for transformation or new direction, get in touch.
Nicole Wijngaarden, Life & Relationship Coach
Nicole Wijngaarden, Relationship | Mental Health & Wellbeing Coach Wellington, New Zealand