Episode 56: Keys to Mental and Emotional Health

Episode Summary

Most of us understand that while we have bodies that go through periods of illness or injury throughout our lives, there is so much we can do to improve and take care of our physical health.

The same is true for our mental and emotional health. Today on the podcast, I’m sharing four keys that I think can make a huge difference in managing our mental and emotional life experience. When you put all of these principles into place, they allow you to take control of your own mental and emotional health, alleviate unnecessary suffering, and love your earth life experience

Episode Tools and Questions

There is so much we can do to impact our own mental health. Our brains are the most powerful tool we have in the creation of our life and so managing our mental health is work we all need to be doing. As I thought about this vital work, these four principles have made the biggest long term impact for me and my clients.

1. Every feeling we have is created by a thought - This fundamental principle of mental and emotional health is the starting place. Every feeling we have is created by us. It doesn’t just happen to us. Nothing outside of us causes our pain. It doesn’t cause our joy. Nothing outside of us can create anything inside of us without our consent, without a choice being made, without us first deciding to think something.

2. Every thought is a choice - We might not realize it, but this is where our power is in creating our mental and emotional experience. We have the agency to choose how we are going to think. And that choice will create our experience.

3. The best way to choose your thoughts is to look at your results – Every thought we have produces a feeling, which produces action, which gives us the results in our lives. We can evaluate whether or not a thought is use for to us to decide whether or not we want to keep thinking it.

Useful thoughts will create feelings that produce actions you want. Non-useful thoughts will create feelings that produce inaction or action you don’t want.

Our thoughts are always just a decision. They aren’t required. And so the more often we can make that decision in terms of whether or not it is useful to us, the more traction we are going to get in managing our mental health.

  • Instead of asking if a thought is true or false or good or bad, ask yourself if the thought is useful.
  • Is it creating what you want in your life?

So I think there are two very useful questions to ask yourself when you find yourself in pain. Notice the thoughts creating your pain and then ask yourself:

  • Do I like how I feel when I think this thought?
  • Do I like what I do when I think this thought?

4. Remember that you aren’t supposed to be happy all of the time – A lot of people misunderstand mental and emotional health by assuming that the goal is to feel happy all of the time. The truth is you are supposed to experience negative emotion at least 50% of the time. Your earth life experience was specifically designed that way so that it could provide learning experiences for you.

We aren’t trying to eliminate the 50% negative parts of life with our thoughts because we need that part for our learning. We’re trying to just eliminate the unnecessary suffering, the moments when we make our pain worse with our thoughts.

We should not be happy all the time. This isn’t the goal of earth life. The truth is this earth life experience was personally and perfectly designed for each one of us—on purpose by a loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we need to learn and grow.

It is a privilege to be here to learn these lessons and it is supposed to be hard. That contrast is the only way we learn to choose. It’s the only way we learn to distinguish the thoughts we want to think from the ones that only add to our suffering. Your ability to choose is one of the greatest gift you have been given. And choosing your thoughts is the most important place you can exercise this incredible gift.

Episode Notes

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Lehi, prophet in the Book of Mormon

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