Inspired by Matthew Johnstone’s upcoming specialty retreat on Being Mentally Healthy I thought I would focus on this important topic. They say almost half the population (45%) will experience a mental health issue at some stage in their life. If that is the case then many of you will be able to relate to my story or similar.
What happened over the next two years was amazing. I learnt three of the most valuable lifelong skills that would help me deal with my anxiety forever. These were:
1) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – learning about the mind, how it doesn’t have to control me. That I don’t have to fuse or hook to my thoughts as they are simply thoughts and I am not my thoughts.
2) The breath – is simple but powerful when used mindfully. 10 to 12 breaths a minute is my target to help keep me in a relaxed state.
3) Physical activity – the huffy puffy kind is incredible for the mind, it helps to release ‘feel good’ hormones keeping me more balanced and in good spirits.
Some years later I was lucky enough to discover the magical benefits of meditation. It is now one of my most valuable lifelong skills that helps keep me emotionally balanced. Once upon a time my anxiety was one of the worst things that ever happened to me and now I think it was one of the best and I’m a stronger person for it.
As we know anyone can develop a mental illness and no one is immune to mental health problems. To help raise awareness the Golden Door Elysia is excited to welcome back in June two mental health champions, Matthew Johnson and Craig Hamilton.
Matthew Johnstone is the Creative Director at the Black Dog Institute. The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. For more information click here