Instrumental: Cultivating a Healthier Mind by Keva Bartnick

We all know that our world has seen its fair share of mental illness these last few years. It’s no secret that mental illness is at the forefront of many news stories today. Anything from the school shootings to using vehicles as ram rods rolling thru crowds. It breaks our hearts and makes us wonder if there is anything we can do about it.

When we see the issues for what they are, a lack of mental illness initiative, we need to ask ourselves what can we do? For starters we can start looking within ourselves asking some pertinent questions. Are we depressed? Do we have anxiety? What is our mental health status?

When we start looking inside, evaluating where we are personally it takes on a new way of seeing. We have to be honest with ourselves though, and that’s where we may start running into issues.

Self-evaluation can be especially hard. It’s not for the weak. When we put our own mental health under the spotlight we may want to sugarcoat what is actually going on. It can be harder than it looks. We may say, “oh I’m fine, it’s no big deal, it’s just a little (fill in the blank).” In actuality it can be a big deal. It may be something that we may want to discuss with our partner, our friends, or a therapist. We are never alone in what we are going thru even if we feel that way sometimes. There are plenty of others going thru and experiencing exactly what we are.

Our mental health is no joke. It is as important, and sometimes even more so than our regular health. Yet, many of us put it on the back burner. Pushing it away, saying we will deal with it later, and never putting in the effort to see it for what it is.

Healing takes a ton of courage. Take it from a woman who knows.

Healing is one of the most courageous acts we will ever encounter. It is something that no one can physically see even though it takes a lot of energy to manage. It is something that many of us keep hidden even when we are in the right mind to act. Yet, people don’t talk about their healing process. It’s a taboo subject. And a lot of people don’t want to know. They believe it is too hard. They perceive the person healing may be shining a spotlight on what they aren’t doing themselves. Others take it personally, making healing even harder.

Yet these things, these incidences, shouldn’t sway our self-reflection. We owe it to ourselves. If for no other reason then to be the healthiest we can be.

So what needs to be done to cultivate a healthier mind? For starters we can take stock of how we feel. We can start asking ourselves probing questions about what stresses us out? What makes us sad and how often we feel this way?

When our answers to those questions are more than 50% of the time then we need to start asking ourselves more questions. How much more than 50% of the time? Are the numbers higher than 60%? If so, then maybe it’s in your best interest to talk to someone about how you are feeling. If you don’t want to find a therapist, talk to a friend, hell talk to a stranger. Talk to anyone. If you don’t want to do those things than journaling or writing may be a great way to release some of that stress.

Better out than in I always say. The more we can get in touch with how we feel the healthier we become. If that means writing it all out then that’s great, but we need to release the pressure somehow.

I find a great way to manage when I don’t want to talk to someone is write it all out and then release it by burning what I wrote. I release all the pent up feelings and emotions onto the page, then release it into the universe by burning it. Put it in the sink, in a burn pit, in the grill outside. It doesn’t matter where you burn it as long as it’s safely dealt with.

Our soul always knows what it needs to heal. We can heal our mental health issues if we start small. Focusing on what we want to privately deal with and handle is a great place to start. We can cultivate a weekly practice of journaling or writing down what bothers us. Feeling all those feelings seep down thru our fingers and out of the pen or pencil out onto the page.

When we are finished we can get up, release it, thanking it for coming to the surface and allowing it to leave our bodies.

We are allowed to be human. We are allowed to feel all of our feelings. We are allowed to heal privately or publicly. We are allowed to express ourselves in ways that are conducive to the betterment of society. We are allowed to feel courageous and heal our mental health issues without stigma. And for the love of all things holy we are allowed to love ourselves without condition.

When we put ourselves and our mental health on the front burner, we cultivate a healthier mind set. In doing this we help more than just ourselves. We help everyone around us know that they can be who they need to be in order to heal what they need to heal. We show them by being a good example and being honest. Healing may take time, effort and a ton of heart, but we know that in doing so we are important. Our mental health is important. Building into our lives a practice of cultivating a healthier mind is the first step in healing the collective. I believe we owe it to ourselves to heal, whatever that healing looks like to you. We owe it to our loved ones and in doing so we help our society become the best it can be.

About the Author: Keva Bartnick

Keva Bartnick is an artist, writer, and lightworker. Happily married mother of three; she’s been inspiring people to be their most courageous selves since 2015.