April 22, 2019

Spirituality and Mental Health

“What is your quest?”  (Keeper at the bridge of death in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  “I seek the holy grail.” (response of Arthur and his knights.

Spiritual Energy, at the top of the pyramid, is about character, courage, integrity and asking what am I doing on this planet? What do I stand for?

It is a classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpx6XnankZ8[/youtube]

“What is your quest…? I seek the Holy Grail.”

Think of the Holy Grail as your purpose on this earth. If we are not active with our “quest” and identifying our own Holy Grail, it will be difficult to get motivated to make changes in the mental, emotional and physical areas of the energy pyramid.

Remember while we need to create energy from the physical base up the pyramid, the
process of change is from the top down.

Think about yourself and those you know. You may be aware, for instance, of a woman who smoked until she became pregnant; then immediately she stopped, even having failed several times before. During the time of pregnancy, many women are clearly in touch with a greater purpose as they feel and know that life within them. No way will they smoke. Then some, not as physically connected with that life, will smoke again after delivery.

Similarly people who are depressed will seek therapy looking for words or medication to feel better, though they are acting outside of their established integrity and purpose.

A case in point: a person is having an affair; it is definitely against his/her moral code. There really are no words or medication to help. In fact, do feel bad if you violate moral, ethical and trust standards that you declare to stand for.

The essence of therapy then is to get in touch with what you stand for and behave congruently with your beliefs. Energy increases and mood improves when you act according to your standards.

Being in touch with your Holy Grail is a key. Religion may play a part in this. Religion may help identify what you stand for in terms of right or wrong. Connections with people who encourage, support and share a similar moral quest is important. Attending a church of choice may be part of that.

Your Holy Grail will have various parts: experiencing the joys of a grandparent or parent, connections with spouse or fulfillment of career.

My belief for my purpose is to help people to work through difficulties, grow in their purpose, and feel a higher quality of life.   As I carry out my purposes with family and career, I discover the more I get back. Interesting how that works; you give what you get. It’s a full circle.

Consider your purpose and place on the planet. Being connected with who you are and what you stand for can guide you as you consider changes for new habits in Energy.

An example may be losing weight to look better. A good enough reason, but it may not offer a true motive. Does gaining health and energy to enjoy children or grandchildren, or being present at weddings or graduations appear be more meaningful or valuable as your Holy Grail?

Take a quick snapshot of your life with family, friends, and other areas, both large and small. What makes you the smile, gives you joy, and describes your purpose? Define your Holy Grail.

Next week a summary of this series on:
Power Outage and Your Mental Health

Power Outage: Emotional Energy and Mental Health

 “All learning has an emotional base.” Plato 

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.”  Brian Tracy

Over the last three weeks, you have learned the importance of mental health and physical energy, increasing the base of your physical energy and growing new energy habits.

With that base of physical energy in alignment, the next step is improving and managing emotional energy. Emotional energy includes aspects like selfconfidence, empathy, trust, forgiveness, optimism, patience and self control.

When emotions are in excess, we are diminished. We know fear often compromises abilities; we know when people are watching TV they are mildly depressed; we know that ability to forgive enhances the depth of relationships and encourages healing. We can grow emotions with practice. Too much empathy and we may neglect ourselves.

How do we train in the emotional area?  Let’s look at patience. “instant everything” has amplified impatience in society. It’s up to each one of us to work on our individual patience.

To improve your patience starts with small steps. For instance, a) go to a store and check out choosing the longest line; b) let several people go in front of you at the checkout; c) buy items in two trips through two cashiers; d) wait for the train instead of going around. At times patience might be viewed as thoughtfulness.

Empathy is  understanding, being aware of and being sensitive to people around you. To improve empathy again starts with small steps. Ask yourself what others might feel in specific situations. You can even do this while watching TV and thinking of what a character may be feeling. You can consider what family or friends might feel when you have a disagreement. Then ask yourself again and again and again until you start to have a variety of ideas.

Learning any new skill takes practice. Repeat until you feel you are getting it and then do it some more. Will this be easy? Probably not! It’s the repetition that will help you improve these emotions.

It is useful to have positive emotions in our repertoire of good habits, ready to use at anytime. Key positive emotions are self-confidence, self-control, realistic optimism and empathy. Positive emotions help us enjoy life and support our energy.

The negative (fear, anger pessimism) have their place too, assisting with survival. In the big picture, these negative emotions are costly and inefficient. Your emotions affect others. Being supportive or in a good mood, helps others be more positive.

As Tony Schwartz points out in The Way we’re Working Isn’t Working, there is evidence that leaders who operate from fear or anger negatively affect the health of those a around them. Wouldn’t you like to forget some of those kinds of work days?

As with physical energy, continued overuse of emotions will equal exhaustion. When normal grief becomes prolonged, without periods of relaxation and enjoyment, depression may follow. Over using empathy can also become a problem. When people become so focused on the feelings and care of others they may neglect themselves.

Positive emotions are strengths to use freely and often. Grow those that are underdeveloped. You will find your energy increases.

Have you visited the Energy Project at www.theenergyproject.com?

Bill