Taking Care of Your Mind’s Health

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, May 29, 2019
By Carolina Pataky, LMFT

& Certified Sex Therapist

When you hear the word health, it is easy to immediately envision things like your weight or a certain physical ailment that you are working to avoid or eliminate. That said, by taking this stance, you are avoiding half of the equation.

I am obviously referring to mental health.

Mental health is about taking a close look at yourself. By this, I mean mental health is about looking at and exploring the thoughts that you have at any point of the day. Most of us have five to ten negative thoughts per day—if not more. When we face this incessant, inner critical voice, our mental health starts to lag. At that point, we are hurting inside and are just trying to get by through life.

Clearly, we need to take some proactive action to get out of that rut.

Think about it. We go to the gym to maintain our physical health. The same is true of our mental health.

If we are being fully responsible for our mental health, it is clear that we need to see someone to get us out of our heads. We need someone that’s able to start reframing our stories. Someone that can slow down the stories for us. Someone that can have us look at where the negative stories are coming from so that we can slowly start to change them. By starting to change the stories about ourselves, we also start to slowly change ourselves.

Usually, when we are stuck in the past, the speed of the old stories ultimately keeps us from feeling something that may subconsciously scare us. However, when we don’t let ourselves drop into those old feelings that we’ve been evading, we can’t heal that part of ourselves. Instead, we continue through life, trying to avoid that anxiety.

Remember: when we do not take care of something, whether it’s our physical or mental health, the problem will only persist. In time, it will grow bigger.

With that said, it’s critical to complete a self-audit of your mental health. Think about how healthy you are being to yourself in regard to your thoughts. What does your mind tell you about yourself every minute, every hour, and every day about yourself? What does it say about who you are and about what you are doing?

Be honest with yourself about your current situation. This is so you can take a comparative approach and check-in with yourself in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Again, honesty is the best policy. By refusing to hold anything back, you are able to check-in with yourself about where exactly your mental health is at.

Ultimately, this is what mental health is about. There is nothing crazy about taking responsibility for another part of your being and taking care of yourself. Both the cognitive body and the emotional body comprise your mental health, so you need to mind both as you work to eliminate those negative thoughts from your head.