What continues to be missing from our national discourse on wellbeing is our mental health needs. In our culture, we still have a stigma associated with mental illnesses of all kinds. So much so, that the medical community often does not even equate high blood pressure or high weight as symptomatic of a possible underlying mental health need. "Fixing" the medical/physical takes precedence, and all too often that fix is in the form of a pill or prescription - not a referral to a mental health specialist. How many times do medical doctors talk frankly to us about our anxieties, stresses, feelings and emotions, unless it is to quickly prescribe an anti-depressant?
Holistic medicine has been around for a long, long time. The adage "Mind, Spirt & Body" means something. Our emotional being is connected to our physical being. When our emotional being is off-center, this may manifest itself in the form of a physical symptom - fatigue, lack of (or too much) appetite, sleeplessness (or too much sleep), headache, indigestion, memory failure, or any other number of medical maladies. Healing our emotional hurts, pain and sorrow can go a long way in helping to heal our physical bodies. Healing takes time and determination and is rarely accomplished with a "quick and easy" fix. The next time your body aches, ask yourself (with deep honesty and humility) "Is my emotional self aching?" If the answer is "yes", there is likely a connection. And, just as we would rarely forgo our physical health in the event of high blood pressure, or a similar red flag, our emotional 'red flags" demand - and deserve - no less.
Be kind to yourself and to others.
© Copyright 2013 Douglas Layer, LMHC