Mental Health

Mental Heath and ill health

Arguably most people in our society could improve both their physical and mental health.  Generally people know some steps they could take towards improving their physical health, better diet, exercise, eat less sugar etc but the pathways to improved Mental Health are less discussed and less clear.

In the book “A new model of health and disease” by G. Vithoulkas, there is a depiction of the way that health can be looked at, on the mental, physical and emotion levels, shown in the table below.  Any health practitioner would be well advised to read the book, as knowledge of the theory can be enormously helpful prognosis for patients.

Here is a brief summary of the way the Levels of Health theory defines symptoms on the 3 levels mental emotional and physical. The levels of health theory is further developed in the more recent book “Levels of Health, by G. Vithoulkas and E. Van Woensel, both of whom are known to me personally.  At the bottom of each column are considered less serious, and at the top more serious:

MENTAL EMOTIONAL PHYSICAL
Complete mental confusion Suicidal depression Brain
Destructive delirium Apathy Heart
Paranoid ideas Sadness Edocrine
Delusion Anguish Liver
Lethargy Phobias Lung
Dullness Anxiety Kidney
Lack of concentration Fears Bone
Forgetfulness Irritability Muscle
Absentmindedness Dissatisfaction Skin

 

There is a proven link between good mental health and good physical health.  The ideal is to address both, but if you had to prioritise probably improving your level of mental health is more important.

When we feel good better things happen for us.  It’s an interesting fact that in societies where people have less they are much happier, so a good place to begin improving your mental health is, next time you feel unfortunate try looking down not up. Here are some other things you may also try:

Close your eyes breathe and remember you are alive.

Meditate.

You could start by reading “How to find peace in a frantic world” by Dr Mark Williams and Danny Penman it comes with a free CD containing 8 short meditations.

Practice attention regulation, self awareness, gratitude, kindness and compassion including self compassion for the life that beats your heart

Do yoga, qigong or tai chi

At night before sleep remember all the great things you did that day and picture all the great things you will do tomorrow.  When you wake list all the great things you will do today.

Plan things to look forward to, at least thing/ event week.

Spend more time with people you like, and less with those you don’t.

Do more things you enjoy (at least one every  week).

Attend events that promote wellbeing.  E.g. action for happiness.

Watch the David Reilly ted x talk about self nurture.

Listen or watch Eckhart Tolle a new earth, or the ET collection

Watch Brené Brown on TED  The power of vulnerability and/ or Netflix

Don’t fight, do stand your ground. When you oppose something it gets stronger!

Watch or listen to or go and see Byron Katie

Subscribe to TUT.com  https://www.tut.com/  and suscribe to “Notes from the Universe”

Try and stay in the present moment as much as you can

Practice being amazed.  Look at something and un-name it.  Eg a flower.  Look at and pretend you don’t know what it is.

If you can’t do something you want to do, pretend you can (to yourself) …fake it till you make it.

Look for and notice and focus on The Good – whatever that means to you.

When you feel connected, notice that.

Next time you feel unfortunate practice looking down not up.

Take a 15 minute walk in the morning – get some blue light- there’s more of that in the morning it wakes you up.

As much as possible avoid chemicals of all kinds.

Eat organic

Try the Hay Diet

Drink 2 litres of fresh clean water every day.  Just do it!

Don’t listen to our thoughts so much! You are not your thoughts.

You are your awareness – the sum of all your senses

Practise thinking of thoughts as belonging to “the thought stream” watch them come and go, like clouds, or the wind.

Look for the stillness within you.

Walk barefoot outdoors regularly.

We are not separate from everything else.  We are part of everything.

Connect with the bigger part of you, your higher, or best self.

Treat yourself and others with kindness and compassion.

If self help isn’t working Consider seeing a therapist: e.g. homeopathy, acupuncture, psychotherapy.  They all have different maps with the same aim.

We know much more about the way humans work than we did even 10 or 20 years ago. Watch a TED talk on neuroscience E.g. Iain McGilchrist, to educate yourself about how your brain works.

Do an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course

The foundations of good health: daily meditation, a good network of different friends and family,  a belief in something greater than yourself, good diet e.g. the hay diet, drink 2 litres of water daily, do some physical exercise, including stretching and something that raises your heart rate, tai chi/ qigong/ yoga, good sleep, not too much alcohol (more days off than on)

There’s a lot here to be getting on with 🙂

With love Phil

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