What is Holistic Mental Health? Part One.

What is Holistic Mental Health? Part One.

Whether you’re dealing with a moment of frustration, a challenging phase of life, or in the battle of daily mental illness- holistic mental health benefits you.

What is Holistic Mental Health?

Holistic mental health looks at every aspect that can affect your mental state.

  • It’s what you do physically. Or don’t do.
  • It’s what you eat.
  • It’s what you think about yourself and your world.

It’s What You Physically Do

  • Find an enjoyable activity.
  • Cardio 3 times a week is a must. At least. Walking will do.
  • Use community to help by getting in a class or inviting a friend.

Why?

Physical activity gets oxygen flowing plus boosts the hormones and chemicals needed for brain health. Community adds to the benefit. Being around the right people triggers more of those good chemicals in your body. Beyond the biological, being connected and actively taking care of yourself gives your brain a positive message to feed on.

What You Eat

  • Less sugar and junk
  • More protein and not always meat or whey protein
  • More water
  • More Omegas (fish, nuts, etc)
  • More Nuts and seeds
  • More berries
  • More omegas

Why?

Sugar and processed or junk foods when eaten consistently impair your nervous system and brain. To eat for a better mind set start with water. Your brain need a variety of foods; however, making sure protein, omegas, and berries are on your mind’s daily check list. These foods feed your brain and nervous system specifically.

What You Think

How you view yourself and your world sets the tracks of thoughts that will dictate your mind set and behavior. These tracks of doubt, fear, and lack of worth can be changed. THEY ARE NOT PERMANENT. You do have to ability to create thoughts that support you and your world. It doesn’t mean these new thoughts eliminate those fears or challenges. It DOES mean the intentional creation of lifting thoughts get you through and invite more positive opportunities and connections.

Why

What you think about yourself and your world directly impacts your environment and mental health. It continues a detrimental cycle and only serves to hurt than help you. This isn’t a denial of wrong doing or excuse other’s behavior. Changing your thought tracks improves your current and future environment.

What you think causes a chemical chain reaction in your body. Negative thoughts constantly depress the parasympathetic nervous system. You need this system activated to heal, reduce inflammation, and keep optimal flow in your mental health.

What to look forward to

I feel compelled to release some mantras and mental health tool kits. Be ready for the next blog with these techniques to implement immediately for your mental health. Additionally, part two of Holistic Mental Health will dive deeper into more holistic approaches you can easily add. Some may surprise you.

Be safe.

Realize the power your mind has and the power you have with your mind.

J.Riley

Holistic Practitioner

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Seeking Warm Fuzzies Part Two

Certain senses will have more of an impact on your body and mind than others when in sensory seeking endeavors. For me it’s all about smell and food.  Naturally.

Smell it

My sense of smell is insane. When something is pleasant, it’s amazing. If it smell bad, it’s everything I have not to vomit.  Smell is powerful.  I’m ever grateful my children are potty trained.

Make use of the oil popularity.  A couple of days ago I was walking in a store and noticed a section dedicated to essential oils.  It’s not for parties anymore.  What you buy is important and needs to be a pure form.  However, the more readily available essential oils make scent seeking easier.  Rarely is an essential oil on it’s own safe.  For safety sake, mix oils and blends (more than one oil) in a carrier oil.  Grapeseed oil is my favorite choice but fractioned coconut, almond, jojoba oils all work too.  Putting these oils in a diffuser or a few drops in running water for a bath are excellent ways to disperse the scent quickly.  In a bath it will absorb in your skin for more potent results.  A few oils I blend with oil in a dark glass roller bottle.  A 10 mL bottle 80-85 % filled with carrier oil and few drops of each essential oil will do.  When needed, I roll the blend on the palms of my hands then rub hands together.  Then I cup my hands over my mouth and nose then breathe.  From hand to brain, it does the job.  Take this quick guide to a few essential oil options and make the most of your smell sense.

essential oils and benefits

Before we leave the sense of smell there are a few incredibly simple ways to find the warm fuzzies.  It’s as simple as a memory.  Find your comforting scents from the fall arena to floral,  woodsy, coffee, or clean.  Whatever it is that promotes a positive moment past or now, have it on hand.

From Mouth to Brain

Food! Yay!   There is so much my mouth can do other than a sarcastic or off color comment.  From taste bud to texture to temperature, our oral senses can be an amazing way to find those fuzzies.

Like your sense of smell, your taste buds have memories too.  Feeling down or any similar emotion, comfort foods are not called comfort foods for nothing.  It’s okay to indulge in indulging every once and awhile.  Bring those memories to the plate, bowl, or cup to trigger happy moments.  I would encourage you to create new moments and invited friends and family in those culinary endeavors.  Your taste buds will associate with that gathering time for a powerful multi-sensory punch you can draw upon later.  Don’t let those comfort foods sabotage you.  If your comfort food involves high fats, over processed, too much sodium, and not enough nutrition- eating it more than a day within a week or two  it will back fire.  They impact your brain and emotions along with nervous system in dreadful ways.  Then your comfort food becomes your enemy.

When feeling heavy emotionally go for lighter meals.  Less or barely cooked.  Reduce your fats.  Your fats should primarily focus on monosaturated fat, polysaturated fat, and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.  In food forms this is coconut oil, avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, nut butters to name a few.  These fats help you but take in just what you need.  Cool foods and drinks help wake up the brain.  So does caffeine, but too much can over work the nerves.  Careful, please.  Bitter and spicy tastes aid in uplifting and stimulating your nervous system and brain as well as crunchy foods.  An nut has great brain fats, crunchy plus with a spicy seasoning, it will be an alarm system to your senses.  A warm fuzzy of the jolting variety.

When finding it difficult to calm, anxiety, or an unsettling condition go the opposite direction.  Padded in a couple extra servings of the good fats.  Avocado, egg, and a high protein cheese is my breakfast.  I have difficulty waking up but quickly switch to jitter mode.  I need my nourishment to help out.  Warm foods and drinks soothe and give literal warm fuzzies.  Sweet in its appropriate forms lend a hand too.

Days and moments are vary so should finding those warm fuzzies when using your senses.  Mix it up.

Namaste in your sensory seeking endeavors.

Marked by Mental Illness

Marked by Mental Illness

I want to say this sharing is because of recent events.  In honesty, these losses are indicative of a pervasive reality.  Mental illness is tucked in many corners of humanity, no one is immune.   In a little more than a week I am sharing the story behind my tattoo.  My story has much to do with my mental illness and my victory in my journey.  However, yesterday in the physical pain, fatigue, and mental frustration, I know all too well how quickly I could slip.  Therapy, chemical stability aid, inspiration, and reminders are necessary.  My tattoo is my permanent reminder.

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The largest part of my tattoo is a Lotus.  This flower is unlike many others, its survives in a wide range of temperatures and muddy waters.  I am a wife, mom, advocate, friend, artist, writer, sister, daughter.  Roles built over time and ones that I cherish.  With that I am a survivor of abuse and the social taboo it comes with.  I’ve been told that I shouldn’t share that part of my life because it would make others uncomfortable.  Then I became further isolated.  Anxiety and depression were the roller coasters of much of my life.  Panic attacks and withdrawn.  I felt voiceless.  I am a medical illness hurdle jumper with stumbles here and there.   I am an ADHDian.  It’s been a wide range in my life.  As a conqueror, I am not just blooming.  I am changing.  The butterfly right up on my shoulder symbolizes that crucial mindset of transformation.  I can and do choose to change how my past and current situations are used.  They do not wholly define me.  Written below all of this is 2 Corinthians 5:17.  Those are words I have held dear to for years.  Those words remind me that my Creator designed me for a great purpose and, like a lotus, my roots are deep to thrive despite the mud.  The act of creating is a process.  It takes time, effort, and there are mistakes.  Through the transformation and healing in mental illness, it is a similar process. My creation is flawed, but valuable all the same.

Here’s the thing.  There was a time the darkness was deep.  I didn’t believe in the value of my life and my silence festered the wounds.  It was baby steps, but I found that last shred of strength and sought help.  In the battle we need allies and professional ones.  If you are in that darkness, keep one foot in front of the other with hands out.  We need you.  There’s isn’t another you.  Seeking help isn’t weak, it’s boldness.  You have it in you.  To take it further, I have taken medication in the past to help me.  I found a natural path that works best for me.  It doesn’t matter the means: talking, breathing, medication, supplements, or do all of it.  Grab a hold of your life line.  My hope is that one day your story will become a tattoo, artwork, song, writing, oral story that will empower you and empower others.

Additionally, we need advocates.  Our perceptions on people with mental illness need to change. Perceptions on the illnesses themselves need to change.  The health care system needs to change.  Our interactions with each other needs change.  A simple start is giving grace, checking in with those around us, and be present.  Compassion and deeper connections are imperative.  Become aware of yourselves, others around you, and share resources for help. Be that shoulder.  Make that call.

As always, my soul honors your invaluable soul

Life Lines

National Suicide Hotline 

Crisis Text Line

  • Text Home to 741741

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assualt

Postpartum Support International