Working up to Friday’s 10th Oct WHO’s (World Health Organisation) World Mental Health Day, this year’s focus is on schizophrenia, a ‘consistent mental illness’ (it doesn’t come and go, it is always there in the background or foreground for the person and impacts on their life all the time, forever and always or once it develops)
I don’t work with consistent mental health generally, and aim more towards the psychological well-being end of the spectrum like managing issues that create anxiety and stress, cause people to lose focus and feel distracted from daily living, family and friends in the main – depression, anxiety, panic attacks, self-esteem, abuse or bullying, confidence and couples counselling for example.
This sort of concern creeps up on you and before you know it, it could be months or even years before you realise the impact is has been having on your life!
How do people recognise this, and why so long you might ask?
Well, because it is often insidious, drip fed thoughts and reactive feelings from them that (often) others reflect back to us about their opinions and perceptions of us. And sadly, this can be their ‘stuff’ that creates these opinions and related expectations of us – rather than us being ‘wrong’ or ‘not right for them’.
People are vulnerable, vulnerable to other’s ideas and beliefs, including about ourselves and our lifestyle. This is because we need to belong – for safety and security, for survival, and because we are naturally “social” beings. We need people, we need each other, we need recognition and acceptance. Connections are important for us as social animals …
Before we accept the opinions and respond to the needs of others though in our social groups – family, friends and community, society and culture and the wider world – we need to know ourselves so that we can decide what is right or wrong for us, ourselves, and what we want and need to make us happy and healthy.
And how do we know that? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that human beings (and other animals) need certain levels of fulfillment in order to continue personal growth and development which comes naturally to us – we want to do it, we naturally don’t want to stagnate.
Food and Shelter (practical, physical needs to survive)
Security comes from protection and stability within a group – family, community
Being part of a group family, friends, community, society, culture, religion etc (Belonging)
Self-esteem is the value we place on ourselves – as above, based often on reflections of others rather than our own self yet taking those opinions and advice into consideration (not simply believing it because we are told)
Then, when those are all met and we have space and time to reflect on our situations for ourselves, we look to our potential – what we could do, and what we want to do in life.
The pinnacle of our objectives in living day to day, our existence, our ‘raison d’etre’ (reason to ‘be’) is when we can “self actualise”. This is when we flow as we are meant to, when we feel one with ourself and our life and when we realise we are on the right path for ourselves.
Sometimes we have ‘moments’ in everyday living when we reaslise this – when we have ‘peak experiences’ in that we just know things are as they should be or how we planned them to be. And it just works perfectly, everything falls into place and the world is a wonderful place to be!
When we flow life allows us to soar like an eagle – at least for a while…and those are our ‘peak experiences’ – it doesn’t get better than that moment in time (until the next one!)
(Soaring eagle at sunset by Gualberto107 at free digital photos)