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Mental Health: A Spiritual Perspective for Strength and Healing
The topic of mental health can sound very clinical. Doctors and mental health professionals abound in their advice, diagnosis, and prognosis. And it can be easy to get lost in the midst of a mental health decline, unclear how to move forward, or how to turn the cycle of pain and anguish into wellness and empowerment. There can be so much shame around having a panic attack, not knowing why we feel off, or knowing we feel triggered beyond the norm, yet being unable to stop the devastating and overwhelming thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. While following a doctor’s advice is important, there are other tools and explorations that can bring much relief and healing beyond medication and talk therapy.
It is of course important to seek proper medical support, but after your mental health stabilizes, there is often a void that remains despite the gratitude to be feeling better. This is where the spiritual perspective can be most healing and supportive. When I realized medication could not cure the constant and debilitating anxiety, I added healing tools to my toolbox, and it made all the difference.
According to many healing modalities and traditions, anxiety and depression are a sign from the soul that your spirit is trying to get your attention. Depression can be a deep sadness of the soul, one that can be released over time with deep, nourishing soul care, changes in patterns of behavior or unfulfilling work, and developing the skills to listen to your soul.
5 Things You Can Do to Turn the Downward Spiral of Mental Health Decline Around
1. Prevention is always better than intervention
When it comes to your mental health, physical fitness and a health-conscious lifestyle always help. As we have seen when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it is always better to be in our strong and resilient zone than allow a state of sub-optimal mental health to continue without seeking the proper support at the earliest signs.
2. Give yourself the time and resources to stabilize your condition
I personally experienced my ups and downs with anxiety, and I know there are times and experiences that can suddenly make it acute. All it takes is one sudden event, and we can feel thrown into the deep end overnight. When in the acute stages, it is particularly important to work with a qualified mental health professional to stabilize your mental health. Seeking help is in no way a sign of weakness, even if it is due to a relapse. The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to have self-compassion amid your suffering. You do not need to see the entire journey from the start. Take the journey one step at a time until your body and mind are able to see and plan more long-term again.
3. Remove toxic people from your life
In fact, give yourself permission to let go of all that is toxic. Unkind habits, compulsions, addictions, anything that keeps you in a repetitive pattern of chronic stress, isolation, and pain. And that includes people and jobs. Statistics show the staggering health costs of workplace harassment, bullying, and incivility. In some environments, these things are tolerated, and normalized. And it can be scary to leave a job even if it’s hurting your health. But do not allow the fear of losing income to be the only factor you consider. Your health is also wealth, and without it, you may not be able to work. At the very least, get the resources to strengthen yourself internally until you can leave. Whether it is in your personal life, or your work life, you never need to tolerate and accept being abused. Ever.
4. Be kind to yourself as you heal
Despite the increasing conversation about mental health, there is still a stigma about it. We have been so conditioned to feel shame, it can be insidious, and hide below the surface of inaction masked as busyness, procrastination, or confusion. I remember thinking these very thoughts:
- If I can just get through this week, maybe it means I don’t need to see someone.
- I don’t have time to get therapy. I am a single parent, and I can’t fit it into my schedule.
- I can’t go on sick leave; I can’t afford it.
All the while my mental health steadily declined, and I had no choice but to face the difficult truth. And I am grateful I did. So beware of the makings of your own critical thoughts and voices keeping you away from the very help you need. Seeking help is a form of self-love and kindness.
Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself if you need to, and learn to be the gentle and kind voice you always needed. It will give you more strength to overcome your struggle. Do not give in to narratives that may paint you as weak for suffering.
5. Different needs for different stages
Once your condition stabilizes, you may find yourself still searching for answers, or feeling a void. That is usually an indication that you built the strength to begin a new chapter, and the tools that are used to work to neutralize your condition may not be the same tools you need to thrive. In other words, you need to seek new perspectives, tools, and spaces that allow you to peel away the layers of your story. Tools that allow you to listen to your soul’s whispers, to hold its cries, to grieve, and to grow into a new version of yourself. This is where healing can be your best avenue of exploration. There are so many modalities out there, yet you will feel the pull to try specific ones. These are likely to be your doorway to your own transformation.
If you need a guide on this journey, check our content on social media, or reach out for a discovery session. You can also get my book, available on Amazon: Unfolding Peace, 9 Leadership Principles to Create Cultures of Wellbeing, Belonging, and Peace.
About the Author
Name: Kawtar El Alaoui, LL.B, PCC
Title: Founder & CEO, Conscious Togetherness, Inc.
Bio: Kawtar El Alaoui, LL.B, PCC is the #1 best-selling author of Unfolding Peace, 9 Leadership Principles to Create Cultures of Well-being, Belonging, and Peace. Her work supports servant leaders and purpose-driven organizations to become powerful change agents by bridging purpose, whole-brain leadership, and effective strategy in service to a better and more prosperous world. Kawtar is a Trained True Purpose ®Coach, Faculty & Mentor with Leadership That Works India, Facilitator with the Business Plan for Peace in the UK, and Leadership Advisor with She Did It! Elle a osé! in Canada. She is the Founder & CEO of Conscious Togetherness, Inc.