Everyone’s been hearing about mental health and self-care more than ever in the past year. But one term that should begin to ingrain itself into the English lexicon is the concept of mental wealth.
Whether it’s in excellent or dire conditions, we all have mental health. But mental wealth building is the active and mindful pursuit of attaining mental fortitude, which is more than just achieving good mental health.
Generating wealth in each facet of life—our careers, houses, relationships, finances— is done through consistent and intentional investments.
We cultivate our mental wealth just as we do in these other areas: by investing time, commitment, and action throughout our daily lives.
Your brain is at the helm of your existence, every part of our lives is dictated by our mental capacity and state. It’s more than obvious that when your mental wellbeing is not at its best, your personal life and career suffer, and that trickles out into everything else.
But generating mental wealth is about more than just warding off mental illness, it’s about opening up more doors to success as you reach your full potential.
Growing Your Mental Wealth
Here are 4 powerful steps to help you begin investing in your mental wealth:
1. Take Steps Towards Self-Sufficiency
Psychology Today contributor Dr. Steve Taylor defines self-sufficiency as “a deep-rooted sense of inner completeness and stability.”
Having a strong sense of self-sufficiency is an essential facet of your mental wellbeing because it directly increases your self-esteem and confidence. The Australian Mental Health Association makes a strong case for self-reliance’s capacity to positively shape how you view and feel about yourself.
Creating, growing, learning things that reflect your capabilities and skills is an excellent place to begin:
- Start an herb garden in your kitchen or a larger garden in your backyard if you have one. Teach yourself the basics about soil, seeds, planting, and harvesting. Finding uses for the fruits of your labor will prove to be another lesson on self-sufficiency; learn about preserving your fruits and veggies, sell them, cook for yourself, or gift them to friends.
- Think of services or favors on which you rely on your significant other, friends, or family for—then teach yourself how to do it. Things like changing a tire, sewing on buttons or stitching ripped jeans, and cooking. It can be something as simple as unclogging the drain, or attending self-defense classes to learn how to defend yourself in case of an emergency.
- Learn how to build and create things on your own. This can tie into building boxes for your garden or figuring out how to build a piece of furniture you need instead of buying it at IKEA. Creating art or crafts for your home or for others—whether it’s a painting, embroidery, or a napkin holder—is another way of using your creative and physical abilities to make something functional or beautiful for yourself or loved ones.
2. Set Powerful Intentions
Setting intentions is a tangible way of envisioning positive outcomes and focusing on your goals—making it easier to materialize them.
Knowing how to set intentions is like creating a roadmap that helps you stay aligned with your values, keep track of your aspirations, and remind yourself what you want and what you’re working towards. Setting intentions that envision positive outcomes has the capacity of increasing your overall sense of optimism, calm, and joy.
- Get into the habit of writing out your intentions on paper. Write out your daily intentions in the morning; every Monday, list your intentions for the week; and on the first, detail your intentions for the month.
- Meditate on your intentions and visualize them clearly so they come from a place of honesty and genuine desire. Make them as clear and specific as possible.
- Deepak Chopra insists that the final key to powerful intentions is to “let the universe handle the details. Trust in the power of the universe or God (whichever you believe in) to put everything in place for your intentions to blossom.
3. Recharge/Refill Your Emotional Well.
It’s a fact: we’re all experiencing burnout. Millennials are called the burnout generation; overwhelmingly, women are more burnt-out than men; and alarmingly, women of color are experiencing an epidemic of burnout.
Emotional burnout seems to underlie all cases of depletion and nervous exhaustion. This emotional burnout stunts your professional and personal growth by lowering your ability to perform well at work and be emotionally available for those around you.
It’s time to refill your emotional well as an investment into your mental wealth foundation.
- Accept you’re burnt out
- Begin setting boundaries and limits within your work and personal life, learn to say no
- Identify the activities that led you to burnout and safely distance yourself from them for assigned hours of the day (this may be your phone, email, laptop, certain friends, etc.)
- Know how to ask for help at your job or at home – and start asking!
- Have compassion for yourself and listen to your needs
- Practice meditation, and habits that fulfill and satisfy your critical drives (eating a healthy diet, practicing intimacy, etc.)
- Acknowledge you may need professional help from a therapist
Following these steps is an effective way to recharge and find joy in what you do every day. Keep these tools in mind to avoid burnout in the future.
4. Create a Robust Support System
Humans are social creatures because our survival depends on it—the relationships we create and our community are some of the most important influences on our mental and physical health.
Being able to rely on your system of friends and family for support, love, caregiving, and everything else in life—is a significant investment into your mental wealth—one you will be able to reap the benefits from until you die.
- First, identify exactly what you want and need from your support system, and communicate this to those individuals that are important to you. This encourages clear and honest communication and strengthens an existing bond.
- Identify current bonds that need reinforcement and consistently invest time and emotional work into those relationships.
- Create new bonds with people in your personal or professional life: people from work, your manager, an acquaintance you would like to get to know better, the person that serves you coffee at your favorite shop.
Creating supportive bonds with friends and family is a critical factor—if not the most crucial facet—of your mental health.
Strong mental health isn’t something we can simply wake up with one day; it takes time and dedication.
A global pandemic, surging social turmoil, the acceleration of global warming, and being the most overworked country in the world has made it clear to many of us that in order to survive and succeed—we must focus on building our mental wealth and rely on our well of resources to be able to flourish personally and professionally.
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