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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Pam Monjar, LPC-MHSP, NCC, CGP

May 1, 2023

May 2023 Mental Health Blog by Pam
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Did you know that our emotional and mental health impacts our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors?

Here is how it works: something happens, we then have a thought about what has happened; our thoughts trigger our emotions (anger, hurt, pain, sadness, guilt, loneliness, fear, gladness), and based on the emotions (positive or negative) we engage in behaviors (ex. fight, freeze, celebrate) which in turn impacts the situation (positively or negatively).

Did you know that research reports that two of the most common mental health symptoms that affect people with Parkinson’s are anxiety and depression?

  • When feeling anxious try engaging in the 3-3-3 rule. Name three things you can see. Three things you can hear. Finally, move three parts of your body. This has the potential to help center your mind and bring you back to the present moment.

  • Managing depression is more than taking medication. Research supports that engaging in exercise (especially walking outside), eating healthy, and participating in social interactions offer relief from the symptoms of depression.

Another tool for navigating anxiety and depression – mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply focusing on the present moment while taking some deep breaths. By reminding our brains that we are in this moment (not the future or the past) while taking some deep breaths our blood pressure and heart rate

begin to lower.

Did you know that seeking out help and talking about the pain you are carrying is one of the most courageous things you can do? We all have a story. It is our soul’s story that longs to be heard and yearns to be witnessed. What would it be like to tell your story and rewrite it to include healing the pain that has been carried for so long? What is on your heart and mind?

In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, we invite you to look inward and explore what you need to advance and promote your mental health. Do you need to talk to someone? Built up stress can be released just by giving a voice to what is troubling us. Do you need to take some time to just be rather than do? We get so busy thinking about the next task that we forget to breath and just be.

Do you need a hug? Research shows we need twelve (12) hugs a day lasting for twenty seconds to thrive in life. What do you need in this moment?

How will you celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month? Here are a few ideas:

Here’s to caring for your mental health in the month of May and every day!

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