Do you mind? We all have one, we all use it everyday but we don’t often think about it, especially in regards to our mental health. It is not until something happens that we find ourselves anxious, stressed out, worried, overthinking, or making irrational decisions based off of our emotions. Admittedly, this has been me at times and I remember back to our first year in business and I really feel for my former self. In my angst to grow our business, I let worry and anxiety guide my path at moments and felt I wasted opportunity by spending it ruminating about what-ifs that never came true. However, I was always able to find my way back to calm and comfort because I recognized that my mental health was immensely important to me as an individual and especially as an entrepreneur.
As a business owner, you are usually the end of the line. The catch-all for problems, people, processes and profit. That is a lot of weight on one person’s shoulders and we often find ourselves questioning our own decisions and sanity in tough times, wondering whether to pivot our push forward. This overthinking gets exhausting and usually results in missed opportunities, rash decisions and poor mental and physical health. We can’t let that happen!
Our Minds Are Powerful
The mind is one of the most powerful organs in your body and I would argue it might be one of the most important. When we nurture our minds we are also at the same time nurturing our bodies and enriching our life around us. When we approach problems from a sense of calm, we produce solutions that are geared in sensibility and strength. When we fend off anxiety with resilience and positive intentions, we find opportunity right around the corner. When we take the time to listen to our mind, we can let our body talk as well and put ourselves in the best position for ourselves, our family, our business, our employees and our customers.
After the year we all experienced and all of its uncertainty I think we can all agree that mental health was something we came to value, even more so at YouWho. With our core values focused on YOU the individual first and foremost, we care deeply about the issues of mental health and recognize the value it has for ourselves, so we wanted to ensure our people have access to the same services. With this in mind we have partnered with Shayn Stavens, an Integrated Wellness Coach that works specifically with entrepreneurs and business owners to foster growth mentally and physically. I was able to work with Shayn over the summer/fall and found his work to be profoundly beneficial to all aspects of my life. I feel more grounded in myself, at ease with the worries of the world and I have a firm foundation beneath my feet to manage whatever comes next. And we set some pretty stellar goals for 2021 that I can’t wait to check off the list.
Here are some words directly from Shayn in regards to his Integrated Health & Wellness program.
Thank you Jarrod for the wonderful introduction and for setting up how important taking care of your mental health is. Like you said, 2020 was a special year for most of us in terms of how it’s impacted every aspect of our health and 2021 is shaping up to be a doosey as well.
I see mental health as an essential element to our total wellness. Total wellness looks like balance within and between our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies. If one aspect of these are out of balance, our lives will be off track.
If your physical body is out of balance, it will usually manifest some type of disease or disorder. For example, carrying excess weight (lack of balance) may create a whole cascade of physical repercussions such as joint pain, heart disease, pre and type 2 diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, etc. This list is virtually endless and science shows a direct link with excess weight. The best way to support your physical health is to move your body in a way that you enjoy and fill it with healthy foods and liquids. Exercise is key but it doesn’t have to be a slog. Find exercise that you enjoy
Finding Balance in Physical, Spiritual and Mental Health
Lack of balance in the mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies are more difficult to see outright, but they have as serious of consequences as not taking care of your physical body. These are much more entangled together than physical health so let me look at some of the ways you might notice a lack of balance.
If you are out of balance emotionally, you might be noticing depression, fatigue, anxiety, and lack of ability to manage stress of your daily life. Another way this manifests is if you struggle with lack of motivation or procrastination. Total emotional health involves the ability to express and manage your emotions created from your past experiences as balanced and adapted behaviors in the current moment. Meditation and exercise are great ways to promote emotional balance. Talk therapy as well as energetic therapies such as reiki can also support emotional balance.
A lack of balance in your spiritual health creates feelings of being unsettled and restless with your current life circumstances. This often shows up as the grass is always greener syndrome or the lack of satisfaction with the outcomes of your life. Most of us feel this to some degree, even the most enlightened of us. Spiritual health in my opinion is the most difficult to keep in balance because it is the one that we pay attention to the least and we are bombarded with social media and advertising that tells us we should be happier. When you focus on your spiritual health, it trickles down to all the other areas of your life. You’ll notice that you are happier and more peaceful even if things are a disaster around you.
Lack of balance in mental health is truthfully debilitating to your total quality of life and wellness. If you don’t have balance in your mental health, it totally kills your ability to handle anything negative that comes up in your life. Mental health is all about how you interpret things that are happening to (for) you. Most of the time when we are out of balance in this area, we feel like victims in our own lives and we are out of control. Often people that struggle with their mental health feel overly triggered by circumstances and people that are completely out of their control. Most people react to lack of balance in mental health by trying extra hard to control everything that happens. Unfortunately, this is an impossible task as the truth of the matter is, the only things that we can control in our lives are our; thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Trying to control anything else will always lead to failure and disappointment. Mental health is an aspect of your total health that is really difficult to manage on your own as it is mostly directed from the ego. We don’t see it as a problem because our identity is rooted in having that problem. Creating balance in your mental health will create a person that is coming from a place of empowerment and doesn’t get bogged down in overthinking and being self-critical. When you work on your mental health with a qualified person, you will show up confident and stress and slights will effortlessly slide off of you.
Managing the Energetic Baggage
The work that I do with people is specifically designed to work on all of these areas; physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental, in an integrated way so that they can all come into balance together. One of the biggest reasons that we struggle in these areas is because of the trauma of our past experiences, which creates energetic baggage. Some people call energetic baggage emotional baggage, but I think that is a misnomer.
When we experience trauma in our lives, it causes an energetic reaction. Remember, we are all just energy in different forms and the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. So when we experience trauma, it causes a transformation of that traumatic energy to be stored in some way in our physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual bodies. This traumatic stored energy gets stuck, creating baggage which continues to build over time. Every time you experience anything that triggers some feeling or emotion of that trauma, it causes more energy to be stored in one or more aspects of the body, which in turn creates some disease. When I say disease, it doesn’t mean something like cancer or heart disease (though it totally could be those things), it simply means dis-ease. Dis-ease is lack of balance that creates negative outcomes in an aspect of your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual body.
Let me tell you a little about my experience in doing this work for myself. I was angry, unmotivated, and had zero self confidence. I hated my physical appearance and my self talk was always horribly critical. I never got anything accomplished and what I did get done in my life I criticized to the point I never wanted to keep working on anything. I had contemplated suicide at different times, I’ve been clinically depressed, and struggled with being overweight and having an auto-immune disease. I really was making myself miserable and I couldn’t stand who I was anymore.
Improving Mental Health With Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
I went looking for help and discovered that I got a lot out of personal development work, particularly neuro-linguistic programming or NLP for short. Maybe you have heard of Tony Robbins? It is not only the work that he uses to create massive change for his tribe, but also what he uses to create the massive success in his own life. He is the walking epitome of NLP tools put to their highest and good use.
I found a program that resonated for me that would teach me these tools and allow me to achieve the outcomes that I so desperately wanted out of my life. Through my work and training I’ve totally transformed into a different person. This last year truthfully was a shit show for me and it really hasn’t kept me stuck like it used to. I feel motivated and excited for what the universe is teaching me because I now understand that everything that is happening is not happening to me, but happening through me and for me. I understand that everything is a lesson and the quicker that I absorb these lessons, the easier things in my life become. I no longer take things personally, I am not angry, I am not feeling stressed to be anything that I’m not. I set my intentions and I let the universe bring those things to me without the need and desire to control the how of how I reach those intentions. My body stays healthy and at a consistent weight because I don’t have energetic baggage causing me to hold onto excess weight and make poor food choices. I’m not going to say that I’m happy all of the time because I don’t believe that is a realistic outcome for any human person. What I can tell you is that I am at peace and that I am able to fully experience happiness and joy in my life. Sure things knock me off balance from time to time, but never for more than a few minutes. I achieve my center and peacefulness without having to think about it. Does this sound like how you would want to live your life? Do you want to be free and at peace?
I know it’s possible because I’ve done it for myself and for the clients I’ve worked with. Releasing energetic baggage is the most important thing you can do to create the results that you want in your life. Total wellness is possible and if I’m reaching you, I want that for you too. Don’t let your mind stop you from mattering. Whatever you think you are, you are much more than that.