In one of the sessions in our just ended training programme in Leadership, Alternative Dispute and Conflict Resolution, we had a healthy discussion on how managing one’s intra-personal conflict is key to the management of inter-personal conflicts in our relationships at all levels.
John Adams described life as a “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”, and not too long ago, mental health was defined as the “absence of mental illness.” But in this fast-paced and changing world, WHO has redefined mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
Am I getting mad? Oh no! Oh yes, not as such! This is an indication of when we are overwhelmed with thoughts that we are unable to manage. More than sixty thousand thoughts go through the individual’s mind per day. Multiply this by the number of people who depend on you either as father, mother, leader, director, minister etc. Your ability to sieve and manage these thoughts determines partly your state of mental wellness. It is, therefore, obvious that there is just a thin line between sane and insane.
Your ability to sieve and manage these thoughts determines partly your state of mental wellness. It is, therefore, obvious that there is just a thin line between sane and insane. Here are three things that determine the shape and size of this thin line, and how you can control it to ensure a sound mental health.
Self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. This means the ability to understand yourself to be able to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them.
Identifying one’s potential and being able to work fruitfully
Identify your interests, the things which you are passionate about and the things you do with ease. Then work on developing those skills and interests so that you can be good at them. If you are not sure what your potentials are you can try your hands on a lot of things and then identify those which interest you, those which put you off and those which spur you on. All these will help you identify and work in a productive fashion since you are aware of who you are.
Career guidance can also help people identify their potentials through counselling, mentoring, coaching and networking with people of various career backgrounds. Taking on challenging assignments can expose you to some of your innate abilities.
I am tired. I am restless. I can’t think straight. I am reacting. These are the natural automatic, autonomic response of one’s body to pressure and it is called Stress. One’s ability to identify the stressors and manage their weight puts the individual in balance.
Does it come easily? You may want to ask because I ask myself too. It may not. However, it adds spice to life. Give yourself a break. Have time to do something differently. Set achievable goals. Celebrate your achievements. Relax by taking a walk, visit places, exercise and learn to say no. You cannot give what you don’t have. Learn to love yourself. Tolerate, forgive and trust God for your life. You can smile again.
In every piece of life, there is beauty in it. What about thinking about things that are good, things that are pure, things that are lovely, things that are true and things that are excellent.