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by Sylvia B. Bodell

Focus on Well-being in 2022

At The Center, we believe that well-being comes from attention to every aspect of our lives – our emotional, relational, mental, physical, and spiritual lives.

"When we talk about mental health, we do focus on HEALTH," said Dr. Brad Schwall, President and CEO of The Center for Integrative Counseling and Psychology. "It is key to breaking down the stigma of addressing mental health to recognize that we can face mental illness – depression and anxiety have physical components and need to be addressed just as we treat physical illnesses.

"We can strengthen and build up our mental health just as we can our physical health. We can be proactive with good “mental hygiene.” Take a minute to think about each part of your lives and consider these practical tips for boosting your well-being."

Dr. Schwall offers these tips:

Emotional Health

  • Stay calm – practice calming skills, such as taking deep breaths.
  • Talk about your feelings.
  • Take a break – know what works for you to help relieve stress – a walk, time with friends, reading.

Relational Health

  • Have friends who encourage and give support.
  • In conflict, respond rather than react.
  • Forgive.
  • Accept responsibility for your mistakes.
  • Affirm others.

Mental Health

  • Expect the unexpected – we are all going to have harder days and tricky situations. Knowing they are part of life makes them easier to get through.
  • Be positive – catch those irrational thoughts and change them to gain a fresh perspective – avoid catastrophizing (thinking the worst will happen).
  • Look to your past – remind yourself how you have handled situations in the past to handle the current one.
  • Be grateful – think about what is positive in your life.
  • Recognize that anyone can deal with depression or anxiety – seek support, reach out for help. Dealing with depression or anxiety does not mean that you don’t have enough faith or that you’re just feeling sorry for yourself.

Physical Health

  • Take care of yourself – sleep, diet, and exercise impact our mental and emotional lives.
  • Talk to your physician about your mental health too – there is a direct connection between our physical health and our mental health.

Spiritual Health

  • Build in routines in which you focus on your faith – faith brings perspective and is a great source for community.
  • Look at every situation as a learning opportunity – see your life as a journey – look to when you’ve survived and thrived through a difficult situation. Life will not be perfect. Our faith can be a constant.
  • Think about and focus on your purpose in life and the meaning you find in life.

Dr. Schwall concluded, "At The Center, our therapists focus on the whole person. We help people discover what can help them live healthy lives. We help them build up every part of their lives to be resilient. A healthy life doesn’t mean an easy or perfectly happy life – it means being able to navigate through life with a perspective of hope, belief in ourselves, care for others, and an ultimate sense of contentment and acceptance in life. Life is never perfectly smooth, but perspective, a focus on our well-being, and support can make the journey meaningful and a little easier."