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A Critical Component of Mental Health That Few Talk About

If you've spent any time thinking about mental health, you likely know there's more to it than just t
A Critical Component of Mental Health That Few Talk About
If you’ve spent any time thinking about mental health, you likely know there’s more to it than just the mind.
There’s the body. Physical issues can impact the mind.
There are feelings. Emotions can spring up, turn into a mood, and then impact thoughts.
There’s a social component to mental health. What others do can affect how we feel.
But there’s yet another critical component of mental health that few talk about.
Keep reading, and I’ll explain what I mean.

We're all searching for something.
We're all searching for something.
A Certain Kind of Thought
When we are young, we go through life with reckless abandon.
Everything is new and fresh. Each experience is original and an opportunity to learn.
But something changes as we grow up. We learn that the world is not our oyster. There are other people in it too, all trying to make sense of the same spinning globe we all live upon.
Soon, a different kind of thought emerges.
And it’s existential:
What does it all mean? What’s the point? Where am I heading?
The search for meaning.
It’s critical to our happiness, yet we often let it fall to the side like an errant scrap of paper, a library card that we momentarily wrote on to locate our books but then gave little thought to after it served it’s minuscule purpose.
Finding meaning is a core part of finding good mental health. They are one and the same.
Think about how you learn.
If you’re not motivated–if you can’t see meaning in it–it’s almost impossible to take in new knowledge.
If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s so hard to feel happy.
I’m not saying it’s impossible; I’m saying it’s pretty darn difficult.
So now that I threw this curveball at you, what are you supposed to do?
It’s not like finding meaning is something that can be as easily packaged as “meditate for 5 minutes” or “do deep breathing.”
Those are simple concepts that are deceptive in their seeming capability to improve your mental health once and all.
But without meaning, it all falls apart.
Meaning is the glue that holds it all together.
It’s a also a deeply personal journey into the inner self.
Although the journey is personal there are things that might help.
Here are some questions for you:
What did you enjoy doing as a child? What would you spend hours on without anyone asking you to do it?
Maybe there’s something in those memories that is deeply meaningful to you.
I believe that each of us has a driving force, something that keeps us going when all seems futile.
For me, it’s removing pain by freely sharing authentic mental health information, to help others not feel as alone as I have felt at times.
What is it for you?
What keeps you up at night?
Write it down. Write for 5 minutes without lifting your pen or pencil. Doing that can help you tap into your unconscious.
What is inherently meaningful to you may not be readily apparent, and writing about it can help dredge up the sunken thoughts and bring them to the surface.
The Search for What Matters
The search for meaning is something that you choose to commit to.
I’ve found that if I ignore larger questions of meaning, I ignore a huge part of the human experience.
It’s not just me in this world. You’re here too. You’re reading these words. And soon you’ll take what you’ve read here and apply it to your life. Or not. It’s up to you.
You have control over what you focus on.
Will take who you are and embed it into a canvas that includes something bigger?
What is your one, undying purpose?
It’s buried in there somewhere.
Your mental health is asking for you to bring it out.
Thank you for reading. Today’s topic was a deep one. Think on it for a bit. If you have questions, reply and let me know.
Have a fulfilling day,
Jordan

P.S. The Mental Health Update just passed 600 followers on Facebook. Thanks for being part of this mental health movement.

P.P.S. I got some good feedback that short, one-sentence paragraphs can be hard to read on mobile, so I’m experimenting with longer ones. Let me know what you think. Online writing requires a certain kind of formatting, but I want to make sure I’m doing a good job for your email experience.
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Writer, Poet, and Advocate

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