Presented by the World Federation of Mental HealthWorld Mental Health Day is today, October 10, 2018. The goal is to help raise mental health awareness. Each of us can make a contribution to ensure that people dealing with problems concerning mental health can live better lives with dignity.

Every year one adult in four, along with one child in ten, will have a mental health issue. These conditions can profoundly affect literally millions of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work.

The stigma attached to mental health causes a damaging, albeit ill-informed, attitude, making it more difficult for those affected to pursue help. According to UK estimates, only about one-fourth of those with mental health problems undergo ongoing treatment. By stark contrast, the vast majority of those affected with these problems are faced with a variety of issues, ranging from isolation to uncertainty on where to get help or information, to relying on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.*

*Text credit: https://www.awarenessdays.com

Understanding Moods and Emotions

 

For positive well-being it is important to be aware of moods, thoughts, feelings and emotions and to be able to express them appropriately. We all experience a range of emotions and moods on an ongoing basis, and it is perfectly OK to do so. We may often think others are judging us for feeling a certain way, or feel guilty or bad about our own feelings, but we are all beautiful souls transitioning through life and our emotions are an expression of the essence of who we are in any given moment. To deny any part of ourselves, therefore, is missing a wonderful opportunity to learn. In human interaction, our emotions guide us to behave in certain ways and protect us from potential harm – to be wary or on guard with certain people, or trusting and open with others. This intuitive wisdom comes from within.

 

By learning to understand our emotions we become empowered. By recognizing physical symptoms that accompany certain feelings we learn to control our minds and actions. By thinking through our emotions we apply logic which sets us in the right direction for positive growth. The more intelligent we are about our emotions, the more self-aware we become.

How The Mood Cards can help

 

 

The Mood Cards enable deep and meaningful conversations within a structured framework. The cards are based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology. They provide a combination approach to positive mental health and well-being – an opportunity to identify with moods and emotions, and a chance to think things through with guided questions for self-exploration, followed by an affirmation for positive thinking. Furthermore, the colours on the cards reflect the colours of the chakras, allowing a connection with the area in the body where the emotion is felt, or where additional strength is needed.

 

Being mindfully self-aware, and then using cognition and logic to gain understanding, is an effective way to bring about healing and positive change. Sitting with your feelings in a mindful way allows you to fully experience the best and the worst of how you might feel. This process is transformational. 

Affirmations, on the other hand, are powerful thoughts that can plant seeds of change. Our thoughts can become our realities – and we get to choose them.

There are huge benefits to understanding moods and emotions. In fact, people who understand their emotions are better equipped to manage relationships more skilfully, and cope more ably with life in general. Being more aware of yourself enables you to be more self-accepting, more sensitive to others and more empathic. Understanding yourself will lead to clearer thinking, more motivation and a healthy life balance.

 

Emotional intelligence helps us to reach our potential.

*Text Credit: The Mood cards

Stress and Calm

 

 

Many people talk about the possibility of being calm, peaceful, at ease, without really believing they can ever achieve such a desirable state of mind. Life itself seems to have inbuilt characteristics that make this impossible. If it isn’t one thing troubling us, making us anxious or stressed, it’s another. Unease comes to be seen as a permanent aspect of our inner landscape – part of ourselves.

The basic principle behind this book is that the perception of stress as unavoidable is untrue: unease is not part of ourselves, it is a response we make and, like all responses, it falls within our powers of control. We can choose the way of calm.

At times, our circumstances may be more than usually challenging. We may be under pressure from juggling more than one role, or there may have been some shock that has stopped us in our tracks – perhaps redundancy, or a flood in the home, or the loss of someone dear.
Then again, we might feel continually troubled because we are in an unrewarding relationship or job, cannot pay our bills or have reasons buried deep in our past that foster a low opinion of our own worth. For either of these two kinds of difficulties – the acute and the chronic – there are strategies we can bring to bear to regain our inner peace.

This book concentrates on two areas of experience where we can effectively make changes for the better – our thoughts and our actions. A third area, our emotions, is less controllable. Attempting to suppress an emotion would be self-defeating in any case, causing a build-up of confusion and anxiety. A more productive approach is always to acknowledge the emotions you feel and then make choices independently of them. This is a technique that can be learned.

 

To reaffirm a key sentence above, we can choose the way of calm.

This choice will involve some kind of change, in either our circumstances or the way we respond to them, or both. Either type of change might fall anywhere on the spectrum, from easy to challenging. Change, whether self-initiated or imposed on us externally, can be seen as inherently stressful or as a journey of adventure: again we have a choice. Much will depend upon our attitude to risk and to the unknown future; and upon whether we can draw on our own strengths and on support, both practical and emotional, from other people.

Unease is often fuelled by dissatisfaction. An invaluable exercise is to consider whether any dissatisfaction we have with any dimension of our lives might be illusory. Dissatisfaction implies a view of how things ought to be, and we would do well to ask ourselves whether that view is founded on false assumptions. Often, if we know how to look, we can find happiness near at hand, in our existing situation, rather than in some distant place on which we set our sights. Related to this is the question of gratitude – what we take for granted, what we would truly appreciate if we stopped churning over our hopes and fears and started to really focus on what we have now.

Our values, and the degree by which we try to live by them, also play a major part in our journey towards peace. Two important elements here are our authenticity and our compassion – the way we relate to ourselves and the way we relate to others.

Meditation and other mind–body–spirit practices can be enormously helpful on the way of peace, and this book recommends that you build an appropriate discipline into your life. But the main emphasis in these pages is on the progress you can make by thinking about and acting on – in the light of universal truths – the triggers of unease and how you can learn

to circumvent them.

Resources

The Mood Cards
ISBN-13:
 978-1859063927

£14.99

Understanding Deep Emotions
ISBN-13:
 978-1859064030

£17.99

Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and positive psychology, THE MOOD CARDS offers a fun and accessible way to help you identify and explore your moods and emotions. There are 42 cards in the box, and 50 cards in Understanding Deep Emotions. The cards show a variety of emotions, ranging from happy and sad to resentment, guilt and stress. Each card includes guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking.

Whether to help you manage difficult moods, approach relationships more skillfully; become more sensitive to the needs of others; or simply be able to communicate and listen effectively, using the cards will encourage you to be confident in who you are; expand your emotional intelligence and help you move forward in a positive way.

The cards are successfully being used by individuals, professionals, families and schools.
The full list includes: parents with young children and teenagers; parents with children on the autistic spectrum; counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists; life coaches and business mentors; mindfulness meditation groups; in mental health settings as an early intervention tool for stress and anxiety; eating disorder units; addiction services; self-harm settings; suicide prevention; refugee services; hospices; for people with mood disorders such as BPD and Bipolar to help with mood regulation. They are also being used in Social Care and Social Justice settings such as fostering; adoption; for young people leaving the care system.
The Mood Cards are used widely in education, ranging from primary schools; secondary schools and colleges to expand emotional intelligence; school counselling services and PSHE. Additionally, the cards can be used for elderly care with regard to Alzheimers and Dementia. 

Each card offers the opportunity to identify with a mood, emotion or behaviour and think through your feelings, featuring guided questions for self-exploration plus an affirmation for positive thinking.

The cards are based on:
Mindfulness: connecting with moods and emotions and being consciously aware of that connection in the present moment
Cognitive behavioural therapy: the three guided questions help you to think through your choice of mood, explore that particular emotion and then look at actions for the future
Positive psychology: the affirmations offer positive thoughts that you can identify with and use on a regular basis to change thinking patterns. 
In addition, the colours on the cards reflect the chakra colours, allowing a connection with the area in the body where the emotion is felt, or where more strength is needed. 

Andrea Harrn is a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, intuitive healer and expert in emotional intelligence. She sees clients at her practice in East London using an integrative approach which combines western science with eastern philosophy. For the past 17 years she has worked with many hundreds of people to help them find clarity, balance, acceptance, healing, meaning, forgiveness, recognition, freedom from addictions, inner peace and new perceptions of themselves and their place in the world.

The cards offer a framework for adults, professionals, parents, teenagers and younger children to open up deep and meaningful conversations around everyday moods and emotions as well as the more difficult issues that bring people to therapy. 

Her aim in creating The Mood Cards series is to demystify psychology and mental health labels in a fun and engaging way. Therapy in a Box!

The Way of Calm
ISBN-13: 978-1859060698
£12.99

For many, true peace of mind remains elusive. But by making simple adjustments to our habits of thinking and doing, we can learn to keep stress at bay, enjoy all that is positive in our lives and find happiness even in times of difficulty. 

This book presents invaluable insights, guidance and exercises for dealing with stress and dissatisfaction in all aspects of life. With chapters on stress-busting, dealing with risk and change, calling on inner reserves when the going gets tough and finding peace in self-acceptance, you will learn how to make your life more balanced and fulfilling and move forward to a calmer, happier you. Each chapter concludes with a 10-point Thought Plan and Action Plan featuring affirmations and to-do checklists, to help you start making a difference straight away. 

Mike Annesley is the author of DK’s Practical Mindfulness and a published poet with six volumes of poetry to his credit. His poetic imagination, and deep absorption in the mind-body-spirit ethos, have shaped (behind the scenes) dozens of successful illustrated MBS titles for the international market. 

Steve Nobel is an author, book mentor and coach, and was the director of Alternatives for 13 years – a leading UK group running weekly MBS events dedicated to raising spiritual awareness. He is also the founder of Soul Matrix Healing, designed to open the gateway to our soul’s potential.

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