Sunday, October 10, 2021, was World Mental Health Day; this came about to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. Sadly, this is an aspect of ourselves that we tend to place not so much focus on. If you look around, you will realize that many people, even some you may know, mental health is being affected negatively. Therefore, I thought that my last post on “Detoxing Emotionally and Mentally” was quite timely.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of participating in a Mental Health First Aid Training through my local church. “Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.” I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get informed so that I would have the necessary skills to identify signs and symptoms within myself, friends, and family members that I would have otherwise not known how to recognize. In the past, I have noticed something strange about individuals but chose to mind my own business out of fear of offending them or the mere fact that no one else has said anything. I wanted to know how to have a conversation with others about mental health issues, offer guidance, share valuable resources on getting help, and spread awareness. In general, the knowledge gained may help to save a life one day. I learned so much from that program, and I would recommend that everyone take this course. So if you are interested in being trained in Mental Health First Aid, you can go to http://Mental Health First Aid USA. The training is free and offers training for various groups such as teens, veterans, adults, workplaces, faith-based institutions, schools, and more. You can access individual training as well. The class is for one day, and you will receive a certificate at the end that will be valid for three years. After being certified, you can go a step further and become and Mental Health Instructor.
By no means am I benefiting financially from sharing this information. On the contrary, I believe in the saying that “Knowledge gained and not shared is knowledge wasted.” So, now that I have provided you with some valuable information on becoming a Mental Health First Aider or an Instructor, let’s talk about how to detox mentally and emotionally.
We all need to detox now and then. It is necessary for our mind, body, and soul. The more time you take to detox and replenish, the happier you will feel and the better your health. It does not have to be anything crazy. For example, slowing down to smell the roses, breathe or watch the sunset can do wonders for your mood. It is as simple as that. Of course, there are times when you will have to do a bit more to ensure complete healing and restoration, but that will come with time. Little is much.
So while there are many ways to detox the mind, here are six ways that I have found to be helpful:
- Resist Anger – I know, easier said than done, but the sooner you realize that life and people can be a real drag sometimes, the sooner you will find ways to cope and not let it affect you to the point of anger. Everyone has experienced anger at one point or another towards a person or situation. But we must exercise caution because we may end up causing great irreparable harm within these moments of rage, and we do not want that. Have you ever met someone who seems to be mad at everything and everyone? Can you then imagine the stress their body must be in as it struggles to carry out regular functions? It is no wonder why the Bible admonishes us to be mindful of this emotion. James 1:19-20 (NKJV) says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” It is always best to excuse yourself from the situation and clear your head. We all know how dumb it feels when we allow anger to make us act unbecomingly. Do not compromise yourself. Scriptures also say, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger Proverbs 15:1(NKJV). When we feel hurt, we want the offender to feel the same way. Being quick-tempered is not a good attribute to have, and many times it is best to respond calmly or not respond at all. Remind yourself that anger causes more harm than good.
- Chose to Love – When you allow yourself to feel love for others, even those who have hurt you, it will help you heal and forgive faster. At no point do you want to carry the heavyweight of hating someone? It is far too much work. Besides, you may be hating on someone who did something to you while that person has moved on and even forgotten what they did. Ask yourself who is being hurt in such a case? For example, my husband did something, and I decided to hold unto it all day. So I hardly spoke, cast bad looks his way, and ignored him when he tried to talk to me. He was happily going about his day as if nothing had happened. When he finally noticed and asked what was wrong, I told him. His response was, “what are you even talking about?” And trust me, he was clueless. He had already forgotten that a situation, while I am here, holding unto a grudge instead of letting love prevail. The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins, so we are to love each other deeply. So learn to love even when it is hard to do so. It will be beneficial to you and your health in the long run.
- Cry it out – If you feel overwhelmed to the point where you want to cry, go ahead and do so. Crying offers create relief from feelings of stress and hurt. It allows for healing to take place. Let it all out because you will feel better in the end, and you are detoxing mentally and emotionally in the process. Crying is one way in which I release stress, and it works for me.
- Be real – Emotional and Mental Stress can be relieved by being honest with yourself. What is causing all these negative thoughts and emotions? You are not perfect. You, too, have faults. Sometimes we are the reason for the toxic way in which we are feeling. As you detox emotionally, check yourself to see how your thoughts and emotions may be affecting your health. It is always easier to blame someone else or a particular situation and never ourselves. However, if you choose to be angry, hateful, and unforgiving, you are harming yourself and need to find a way to get rid of whatever is causing you to feel this way. It took me a while to see these defects in myself, and it is even taking longer and much work to remove, but the first step is to acknowledge that you are a part of the problem. Do not cast blame where it does not belong. Own your faults, and then do something about it your wellness and peace of mind.
- Take Back Control – Throughout this whole process of mental and emotional detoxification, the fantastic thing is that you can take back control of your health and, in general, your life. You may not control someone’s actions or choose the most favorable situations to be in, but you can decide how you will let this affect you. You will either allow it to overtake and consume you to the point where you become so toxic inside and eventually sick, or you can decide to find the best and most positive ways to deal with undesirables when they arise. Remind yourself that you have to protect your thoughts and emotion and, in the future, only positive things will be allowed into your mind. in other words, Guard your heart and mind.
- Find your happy place – Another way to detox is to do something that makes you happy and relieves stress. It could be walking in the park, watching a movie, listening to music, etc. Find your happy place and spent as much time as you need there. Reading the Bible, praying, or just talking to God is an excellent way to detox and refocus if you are spiritual like me.
Be observant of your thoughts and feelings, and do not hold unto anything negative. Negativity will break you. Ask, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”