Where do you think you might be on the mental health spectrum today? (don’t worry it changes regularly) just today…are you struggling or thriving? unsettled or excelling?
It’s important to really stop for a while and connect with what you’re thinking and feeling to try to establish just where you are. Important because once you understand where you are you can begin to take really good care of yourself or to seek help that will support you through any difficulties that you might be experiencing.
There are 5 points on the mental health spectrum, from left to right;
1) In Crisis 2) Struggling, 3) Unsettled, 4) Thriving and 5) Excelling
You may well be able to instinctively pinpoint where you are, but if not here are some descriptions of each of the areas to help you identify.
When you’re in this state you may well be feeling very anxious, unable to think clearly and could often be exhausted. You may well be physically ill, and have pain (there is a very close connection between psychological health and physical pain) You may not be sleeping well and this in turn will undoubtedly be affecting your day and maybe your performance at work. You may have started relying on substances like alcohol or drugs, or you may have become isolated.
If you’re struggling you may well be tired, anxious, sad or even depressed. You may have a poor appetite or have lost weight. You may be simply unable to concentrate for significant periods of time and your self-esteem may be noticeably dropping. You could be present at work but not really engaged or performing as well as you usually do.
If you’re unsettled you could well be ‘on edge’, nervous, worried or irritable. Frustration levels may be higher and nearer to the surface than they usually are, and you may be feeling sad or gloomy. You may be having some difficulty sleeping and have reduced your usual levels of social activity (…do take care not to confuse this with the natural post-Covid levels of reduced social activity)
If you’re thriving your mood will probably feel ‘normal’, you might be quite calm and be functioning well at work, going out with friends and family, eating normally and sleeping well. You should feel mostly okay and overall pretty positive.
When you’re excelling you’ll feel a higher level of energy, you may well be very solution focused and be performing really well at work. You will probably feel if not joyful, then a distinct cheerfulness. You will be naturally sleeping well and building in time to recover by doing things that you love, that bring you joy and really help you to ‘switch off’ (It’s only by
doing this that we can recover and build our resilience) You may well recognise a feeling of ‘Flow’ – being so absorbed in your activity that you lose all sense of time and other things that are going on around you – this is a good thing, it gives our minds a chance to rest and helps us to recover.
What to do next
Once you have identified where you sit on the mental health spectrum you can decide whether or not you need to take action to take care of yourself, and what that might look like, whether you need to seek help from friends, family or professionals. Understanding what worries, tensions or concerns you might have can really help you to have a deeper connection to yourself, to be more in touch with yourself.
Wherever you’re at try to seek your own personal joy, whatever form that might take, it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it brings you joy, however fleeting. Keep finding your joy and your state will change. You can also research evidence based, positive psychology interventions that will build resilience and improve mental health. They will
Our minds are always moving…from the positive to the negative to the positive again. If you are able to, try to change your mindset, it will make all the difference as we manage ourselves towards a life where we flourish.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi “Flow’
‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’
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