Connect to Flourish
Yesterday Was World Mental Health Day!
I kept seeing posts yesterday on social media about how we can care for ourselves, our own wellness, on World Mental Health Day. It was kinda bugging me… so I had to reflect on that.
“Why am I feeling annoyed?”
Mental illness is diagnosed within the individual. Workplace burnout is blamed on individuals and their inability to engage in "SELF-care". We are told by the media to drink responsibly and gamble responsibly, though it's well known that there are cultural influences on harmful alcohol use and gambling. WE are responsible for OUR wellness.
So, of course, mental health treatment is about FIXING the individual - FIXING ourselves. The language around wellness is all about SELF-improvement, SELF-discovery, SELF-help! This is a huge problem. The shame that comes from "I'M BROKEN and can't quite fix myself" is devastating. More than anything, it's the ISOLATION of mental illness, being "other", that leads individuals down a dark road.
This is why I loooooove the Flourishing model. Let me explain…
Flourishing is broken down into three parts:
Positive affect – regularly cheerful, in good spirits, happy, calm and peaceful, satisfied, and full of life.
Happiness – Feels happiness toward past or about present life overall on in domains of life*.
Life satisfaction – Sense of contentment or satisfaction with past or present life overall on in life domains*.
* Examples of life domains: employment, marriage, neighborhood
Social acceptance – Positive attitude toward others while acknowledging and accepting people’s complexity.
Social actualization – Cares and believes that, collectively, people have potential and society can evolve positively.
Social contribution – Feels that one’s life is useful to society and that one’s contributions are valued by others.
Social coherence – has interest in society, feels it’s intelligible, somewhat logical, predictable, and meaningful.
Social integration – Feels part of, and a sense of belonging to, a community, derives comfort and support from community.
Self-acceptance – Positive attitude toward oneself and past life, and concedes and accepts varied aspects of self.
Personal growth – Insight into one’s potential, sense of development, and open to challenging new experiences.
Purpose in life – Has goals, beliefs that affirm sense of direction in life, and feels life has purpose and meaning.
Environmental mastery – Has capability to manage complex environment and can choose or create suitable environs.
Autonomy – Comfortable with self-direction, has internal standards, resists unsavory social pressures.
Positive relations with others – Has warm, satisfying, trusting relationships, and is capable of empathy and intimacy.
Do you notice anything?
Flourishing is about our RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS! We can NOT flourish in ISOLATION!
Even if we struggle with a mental illness, we can flourish! But HOW?
This is going to sound nutty, buuuuuuut... WE NEED TO STOP THINKING ABOUT OURSELVES – our mental health, our goals, our wellness. We can’t flourish sitting at home, reading self-improvement books, making goals, “finding ourselves”.
GET OUTTA YOUR HEAD!
YOU CAN’T THINK YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS!
We dwell on our own problems, our own dramas, our own conflicts, our own sadness... Unfortunately, most of us get caught in our own minds, in our own thoughts, our own feelings... unable to break free. It's hard not to when we are TRULY unhappy. I get it.
Research has shown over and over that seeing need and helping OTHERS can make US feel good!!! Doing kind and generous deeds, seeing ourselves through the eyes of others – people that respect us or think we’re kinda great - THAT’S what can break us free of our own minds.
So. Get out there! Socialize!
Regularly SURROUND yourself with people.
Find a cause, VOLUNTEER.
See need and do a GOOD DEED.
TALK to strangers.
ACKNOWLEDGE the GOOD in others, give a compliment daily.
CALL your mother/father/grandparent/aunt/uncle/family.
Spend time with FRIENDS.
DATE your spouse/life partner.
CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY.
Cause… well… it’s not all about US… Get out there and GIVE SOME WELLNESS!
“Helping other people can be a cure not just for those who are in need, but for your soul as well.”
― Marinela Reka
See ya next Wednesday!
CHECK OUT THIS TALK BY COREY KEYES (The creator of Flourishing)
WARNING the video is kinda dry... it IS presented by a sociologist/researcher (yawn haha)... but if you stick with it, the content is amazing!!