Never did I think I would be writing this, but, back in 2011 I spent a month in a mental hospital.
It was one of the most important experiences of my life and one of the best things that could have happened to me. I realized many life changing things during my stay, and today I want to share some of the biggest lessons.
We Are All A Little Crazy, And That's "Normal"
I learned there is nothing fundamentally ‘wrong’ with me, my brain or my life. I came to this conclusion after being surrounded by other women who had their own stories of trauma and success, good times and bad.
We all have them, but the only difference between us was how we were dealing with it at that time in our lives. The majority of us struggle at one point or another in our lives, we’ve just been conditioned to not talk about it. If you suffer, you’re no different than anyone else.
I realized what a huge impact my mind has on the quality of my experience. I learned that it is possible to turn negative thoughts and emotions around, and these days they don’t affect me like they used to before this experience. I learned about cognitive restructuring, to change the way we perceive and react to situations, especially difficult ones.
I learned how powerful our minds really are when it comes to getting what we want out of life. It was quite staggering actually, I realized that my thoughts are responsible for creating the life that I live today. If you want to change something in your life, it all starts with changing your thinking first!
Always Find Things To Be Grateful For
We embraced how important gratitude can be in keeping a positive mindset – nothing beats waking up every morning feeling thankful for another day! Finding what you’re grateful for and focusing on those things is the best way to ensure that your mental state will be strong.
Starting a simple daily gratitude practise will have a life changing effect. You start to see just how much we all have to be grateful for. You woke up with air in your lungs? What a gift.
Everyone is Fighting Their Own Battle
I learned you can’t judge a book by its cover. You truly never know what someone is going through, and I really can’t stress this enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing an expensive suit or the most fashionable clothes, if you’re the CEO or a perfect looking model.
Look For The Good - Always
It taught me to keep a positive attitude towards everything – even when things don’t go as planned. It’s so easy to let our emotions take control of us, but if you can resist this temptation and keep a positive outlook on life, things will get better. Try to find the good in every situation.
It's Never Too Late
I learned that it is possible to turn your life around, no matter what you’ve been through or how hopeless everything may seem right now. There are always options and chances for things to be better.
I became more confident as a person, knowing that I could see myself through such an intense experience and survive was truly empowering!
Ask For Help - Until You Get It
Lastly but perhaps most importantly, I learned how important it is to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling. When I felt overwhelmed, anxious or depressed – instead of trying to ignore it and hoping it would go away – or worse, masking it with alcohol, I became more aware that this was my mind’s way of telling me something needed attention.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, don’t be afraid of reaching out and asking someone else for support.
Don’t feel ashamed about your problems – the more you talk about them with others who share similar experiences, the easier they will become to deal with in time!
It is always better to ask for help than suffer in silence! Listening to your inner voice and doing what it tells you to do is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your mind, body and soul.