Happens all the time. A client or reader will ask me how I pulled myself out of all those years of anxiety, alcohol, and mood hell – and manage to have half a brain left. It’s good to be able to simply reply, “A. S.A.N.E. M.I.N.D.”
Sharing: Isolation – holding it inside – never did anyone with mood or anxiety woes any good. Each and every one of us needs at least one confidant.
So I wanted to come up with an easy, yet thorough, way of telling the tale – providing the inquirer with insight s/he can process and put to work right away.
I’m pleased with what I came up with, and it’s great to have it here for easy reference. But let’s see what you think…
A. S.A.N.E. M.I.N.D.
- Acceptance: How could we hope to manage our circumstances if we won’t accept them? Now, I’m talking acceptance, not acquiescence. Years ago, I came to believe a convergence of predetermined biology and environmental stressors generated my mind challenges. That being the case, to this very day I believe there’s no “cure.” But that’s okay, because I’ve learned to use acceptance in managing my endowment.
- Sharing: Isolation – holding it inside – never did anyone with mood or anxiety woes any good. Each and every one of us needs at least one confidant. Could be a friend, family member, counselor, coach, mentor, clergy – whoever. Believe me, a natural and ever-evolving relief is fostered by verbal processing, support, and encouragement. None of us are rocks or islands.
- Assertiveness: From psychologydictionary.org – “A style of communication in which individuals express their feelings and needs directly to the other person, while maintaining respect for others and keeping emotions under control.” For my money, the “communication” is verbal and behavioral – and puts the kibosh on people-pleasing.
- Nutrition: What we choose (not) to eat and drink can be a huge difference-maker when it comes to managing mood and anxiety misery. In fact, the evidence has become so compelling counselors are being encouraged to include nutrition in their treatment plans. Do your due diligence and initiate healthy dietary habits.
- Exercise: Good for the heart? Yep. Good for the rest of the body? Yep. And the same applies to our mind. Exercise is a great tension/stress reliever, and does wonders for our self-esteem. At this point, don’t get hung-up on complications like “How long?” or “How often?” Just get movin’!
- Mindfulness: Simple definition from Wikipedia – the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts, and sensations occurring in the present moment (which can be trained by meditational practices). It’s a mental discipline that can be applied in so many ways, and it’s acquired and expanded with practice. Best of all, it’s a powerful intervention for mood and anxiety junk.
- Imagination: Our thinking can become so internally focused and distorted. How could we ever catch a glimpse of a tomorrow worth living without imagination? How, then, could we ever find a measure of hope? Given all of the negative – destructive – things we create in our minds, I’m sure we can amp-up our imagination to help us see past another day.
- Nurturing: We beat the tar out of ourselves! Need I say more? We need to make self-care a priority. We really do deserve it.
- Drive: I can’t tell you where I’d be without having forced myself – time after time – to push forward. I would not be writing this post had I not. Don’t ask me where the drive came from, but when I called upon it, it was there. And it can be for you, as well. No matter what else you do, continue to push forward – drive.
What do you think? Now, I know meds, supplements, procedures, machines, psychotherapeutic techniques, etc. may be part of your sane mind formula. But I wanted to share the gut-level – in the trenches – components that led me out of the woods.
That’s a Wrap
Perhaps you’d agree – when it comes to managing our mood and anxiety woes, we tend to over-complicate things. Yes, so often we miss the forest for the trees. And so I’m hoping the simplicity of A. S.A.N.E. M.I.N.D. makes it easier for you to establish and maintain same.
Please give it a go, okay? And pass the message along to those in the same boat…
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