Looking out to sea

Use this World Mental Health Week as an opportunity to pause in this busy world and take stock of your mental wellbeing and happiness. Mental Health Ireland advise ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, everyday ways to keep your mind healthy: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

Surprised by Fire-0If you want to learn more about introducing mindfulness in your life Surprised by Fire, written by Martina Lehane Sheehan, is an exploration of personal happiness and wellbeing. Martina is an accredited psychotherapist, counsellor, keynote speaker and spiritual director and, by interweaving psychology, mythology and spirituality, this book brings the reader on a journey of mindfulness and personal growth. In the following extract, Martina explains how to begin taking charge of our mental health:

“A habit is formed when we unconsciously follow old neurological trails that are created through firing off one another. These neurons are the very small brain cells that make up the nervous system. Each time we follow a particular trail, it becomes more embedded and therefore gets stronger.

“Once we can identify the old belief systems that have been keeping this sabotage in place, we are then able to take charge of our brain in introducing new healthier neural trails. Our brain clings to what we know (the law of repetition). By introducing a new habitual thought pattern and repeating it over and over again, the brain will then ‘normalise’ it and a new record is set in place.

“However, especially at the beginning, there is a danger that the old gravitational pull will create a scenario that results in you giving up too soon before the new thought pattern has taken root and before it has become normalised. The more we persevere, the more resilient and resourceful we will feel about ourselves, the more we will have mastery over our mental health and the more we will produce the motivating chemicals (neurotransmitters) dopamine and serotonin.”

If you want to read more about how to introduce mental wellbeing exercises into your life you can click here.