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Lasting mental health is about this 1 thing

Lasting mental health is about this 1 thing
I’ve come to realize why I write about mental health.
I’ve realized that one thing above all else creates the foundation for a mentally healthy life.
It’s not exercise.
It’s not sleep.
Those are must-haves, for sure, but people don’t tend to message me or email me about that.
The concept that builds a strong foundation for mental health is meaning.
Meaningful and accessible.
Making content that fit those two terms was my early mission when I started my first mental health site.
And I’m realizing that learning to find meaning is more important than ever.
This is why I do this–and how you can create your own meaning.

Why I Write
I’ve realized something quite strange over the last year.
I’ve found a term to describe a part of who I am.
Because I lack something most people have.
I can’t visualize images in my head.
At all.
I can’t see my parents’ faces.
I can’t actually see the house I grew up in.
It’s really bothered me throughout my life.
And, strangely, it bothers me more now that I know there is a term to describe what I have–aphantasia.
Aphantasia, like mental health, falls along a spectrum.
Some people can create partial images in my head.
I can’t create anything.
It explains why I hated when teachers or therapists would ask me to visualize a happy place and go there to calm myself down.
Who can do this? I thought. It’s absolutely impossible.
It didn’t mean anything to me when they told me to do this.
I’m sharing this with you now because I’ve learned over the years that I write to create meaning.
I talk to myself to shape my experience.
I ask myself questions whenever I see something puzzling.
I’ve always done this, but I only ever realized the extent I use words to shape my world when I learned about mindfulness and meditation in college.
Using words is what I have to create meaning, and it’s probably why I gravitated toward writing to share mental health information.
The Process That Will Define Your Life
Reflection is the core of this important process.
Reflection is the core of this important process.
I’m telling you all this to show you that meaning is at the heart of it all.
When I was first helping my mom through a terrifying mental health crisis, I didn’t have the words to put to my experience.
And because I couldn’t see in my mind what to do–and because I had never experienced anything like it before–I was utterly lost.
Writing has helped me create that meaning.
Of course, only a small percentage of the population has aphantasia like I do.
Not everyone will create meaning in the same way.
But, if you think about it, you will find that meaning is at the heart of who you are.
It’s in your experiences past and present.
One of the hardest parts about overcoming a traumatic event is the sense-making aspect of it.
It often requires a trained trauma therapist to guide you through the meaning-making process.
But there are other mini-traumas in this world. We experience them all the time.
What is holding you back right now?
What is preventing you from growing into the person you know you can become?
The answers you give to those two questions are filled with meaning.
You can ask yourself questions like I do whenever you want.
Maybe your questions are in the form of movies or paintings.
You might get more out of that.
Use your natural tendency to seek your meaning.
Because meeting your basic needs is a given.
Food and sleep give you the ability to focus.
But your “why” and the meaning you create is what will sustain you.
Thanks for being here. I’m back from my camping trip and feeling refreshed. Putting together this audio series took a lot out of me, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. The early feedback has all been very positive, so thank you if you’ve already checked it out. Use promo code JORDANB to listen to all the mental health stories I tell for free. I hope the stories will help you understand how other people created meaning in their lives.
Make some meaning today, and be well,
P.S. Here’s more information about the audio series in partnership with Himalaya Media. Use JORDANB to get all the stories for free (and a whole lot more on the Himalaya app, which I think is just fantastic.)
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update Mental Health Newsletter provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles about mental health challenges.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's two weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other "mental health care" newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and depression articles.

And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

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This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

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"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

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