For many people who struggle with feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and low mood, it’s not just the symptoms themselves that can weigh in on the mind.
Added to this sense of emotional unrest, there is often the worry about the potential knock-on effects of these symptoms, and the impact they might have on health, work, friendships, relationships...and so on.
As if this isn't enough, there’s then even more baggage in the form of guilt (from having these feelings in the first place) and even failure at not being able to control them in the way we feel we should be able to.
Put simply, it’s the worry, about worrying, about worrying, that is a large part of what we need to look at, if we are to find effective strategies for managing and promoting our mental health.
The idea ties in with a well-known teaching by Buddah on the “two arrows.’ The theory of this goes that the mind reacts to pain with resistance, which then causes more pain. The stress, anxiety, worry and overwhelm is the first arrow, but the worry and guilt then deals a second blow.
By making a conscious decision to be kinder to our minds, and tweak our self talk to be less critical about our unique personality traits and wiring, we might be a step closer to dodging those unneccessary ‘second arrows’.
Being more compassionate to our minds, means not worrying about the knock-on effects of how we’re feeling, or how it might make us be perceived by others. If your mind is feeling out of sorts, extend the same hand of time, space and compassion as you would to a loved one presenting with the same struggles!
Giving our mind the permission to feel how it feels, can lessen a significant chunk of our emotional burden.
This message ties in with the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24th), which this year is ‘kindness’.
Now more than ever, when we’re all feeling all manner of moods and emotions, and probably berating ourselves for doing so, the ‘be kind to your mind' message has never been more important.
We’ll be showing our support with the launch of our ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ Sweater, featuring this specially created design by Izzi Atkinson, which will be available from Teemill next week.
50% of the profits from each sale will be donated to Mind Charity.